Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah to Compete in Drake Relays and Robison Invitational

Lauren Endersen is the reigning 8K champion at the Drake Relays.

Lauren Endersen is the reigning 8K champion at the Drake Relays.

April 22, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah track and field team will split again this weekend for two competitive meets. The majority of Utah runners will be competing at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, while the rest of the team will travel south to Provo for the Robison Invitational hosted by BYU.

The Drake Relays will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year, with festivities beginning Wednesday afternoon. Last year at this highly competitive meet, Utah had six top-seven finishes, including event- champion Lauren Endersen in the 8,000-meter run.

On Friday, Utah will compete in the distance medley and the preliminaries for the 4x400-meter relay. Saturday will feature 4x400-meter finals, 400-meter hurdles, and the 1,500-meter run. Utah will have a few middle distance runners and sprinters competing at Simpson College. The meet is nearby the Drake Relays.

"We've got kids that can compete with the best in the country," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "This is great exposure for our program, and I think we can really hold our own. We are not just there to compete; we are there to set new personal records and do well."

The Robison Invitational will begin Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. MT with the women's javelin, and the final event is scheduled to begin at 3:30 with the 5,000-meter run. On Saturday, competition will open at 10:00 a.m. with the hammer throw, and last event, the 4x400-meter run, slotted to begin at 4:15 p.m.

"At the Robison Invitational we are looking for another great weekend after having several personal bests and good marks at the Mt. Sac Relays and at the Mark Faldo Invitational."

The University of Utah track and field team competed at Mark Faldmo Invite at Utah State. Chelsea Shapard won the 400-meter dash with a new lifetime best and an all-time second best time in school history of 54.50.



Sarah Grimm continues her improvement in the hammer throw. Her winning throw of 199' 0" is third-best in all-time school history and improved her regional qualifying mark by over four feet. It also gives her a solid lead in the Mountain West Conference standings. She is currently ranked fifth in the region and 18th in the nation.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Whitney Wellington, Chelsey Kaplar, Haley McAllister-Birkeland and Shapard took first, with a time of 3:44.60.

The Utes had several second place finishes in the competition: Klaudia Rokossa in the pole vault with a jump of 12' 0", which is sixth on the all-time list; Chelsea DiGrazia in the 800-meter run finished with a time of 2:13.51; McAllister-Birkeland in the long jump had a mark of 18' 9.25"; in the 400-meter dash, Ashley Patterson had a time of 55.97; and Chelsey Kaplar in the 400-meter hurdles had a time of 1:01.26.

Two Utah distance runners ran in the Mt. Sac Relays. Kellie Anderson ran her career best in the 10,000-meter race, clocking a time of 36:44.34, which is ninth on the all-time list. Lauren Endersen ran her lifetime best again in the 5,000-meter race, finishing in a new personal record and all-time sixth best time in school history with a time of 17:11.21.

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