Senior Brianna LeRoy will lead off the Utes in the pentathlon.
Feb. 22, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY- This week, the University of Utah women’s track and field team will make its first-ever appearance at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. The first scheduled event is the pentathlon, which is set to begin at 1 p.m., on Friday in the Dempsey Indoor Track in Seattle, Wash.
“This meet will be the highest level meet we’ve been at all year. So our veterans, especially those who have competed at the NCAA meet in the past, will be able to share their experiences with the younger athletes to help them stay focused and know what to expect,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “This is everyone’s first time (including the coaching staff) at this particular meet, so there is likely a bit of a learning curve. We will adjust and focus on what we know we do well. Beyond that we expect our team to compete hard and trust themselves and each other in hitting some big marks.”
Among the 14 teams scheduled to compete, the Utes square off against six teams ranked nationally in the top-25, including number-one-ranked Oregon. The MPSF Championships features 10 Pac-12 Conference schools, as well as teams from the Big West and West Coast Conferences.
Senior Brianna LeRoy will lead off the day beginning with the pentathlon 60m hurdles. In her only pentathlon appearance this season, LeRoy finished third with 3,403 points at the Boise State Open. Among the list of competitors LeRoy will face, is the top-ranked Brianne Theisen of Oregon and 15th-ranked Keia Pinnick from Arizona State.
Entering the 2012 season, the Utah distance-medley relay was ranked 13th nationally. Senior Alyssa Abbott’s leadership will play a key role as the Utes look to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the event.
The throwing events showcase a handful of athletes that are coming off career-best performances at the Wildcat Open on Feb. 16. Anneli Stahl heads to Seattle after breaking a 10-year-old school record in the weight throw at the Wildcat Open. Nikkie Rudder has improved her mark consecutively in the previous four meets, and will look to continue that streak after posting a career-best performance in the shot put last weekend.
“This is a championship meet so we will take our athletes who have been competing at a high level to this meet. It’s different from the conference championship meet we had in the MWC. They will keep a team score, however, the focus is more individual and getting athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships or improving the marks of those already qualified. We expect the athletes we take to have an opportunity to place well and score team points. We also have some athletes who we believe can qualify for the NCAA indoor championships and this meet will give them a great opportunity to do that as well.”
Last Season at this event:
The Utah track and field team is making its first appearance at the MPSF Championships. Last season at the 2011 Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships, the Utes finished fifth out of nine teams with 71.50 points. The Utes had four athletes finish in the top-three places of their respective events during that meet.