Utah track and field heads to California for the Pac-12 Conference Championships this weekend.
May 7, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY- The University of Utah women's track and field team heads to Los Angeles this weekend for the Pac-12 Conference Championships, May 11-12 at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC. Saturday's action will begin at 10 a.m. PT with the women's hammer throw.
Last season, the Utah track and field team finished 10th overall in its first Pac-12 championship meet. With the loss of only two athletes from that squad, the Utes return with veteran leadership including 12 seniors, and a 2013 indoor All-American in senior Amanda Mergaert."Championship time is upon us," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "With a veteran team there is not a lot of rah-rah that needs to be said. They understand that this meet is a monster and that they will have to compete at their highest capabilities to obtain the success they are seeking. That is part of the transformation of our program...understanding what it means to compete against the best and having expectations to to win events, score points, and make finals. Last year we were able to find some success in a few events. This year we want to continue to build on that experience and score where we can. We also hope to add a few more NCAA preliminary qualifiers this weekend as well."
On the first day, the Utah runners will compete in preliminary rounds with the exception of the 10,000m race. Throws and jumps athletes will compete in trial and final rounds in the hammer throw, long jump, high jump, javelin and shot put during the first day of action.
In the distance events, Mergaert will lead the way for the Utes. Coming off an All-American performance in the 2013 indoor season, Mergaert has all sights set to capture the team's first event title at the Pac-12 Conference Championships.
The hurdles will feature senior Stephanie Jolley making a push to score points for the Utes. Jolley has continually improved and made a large impact over the past two seasons. With her collegiate career winding down, Jolley will play a big part in the Utes success this weekend.
The Utes look to improve on the 21 points scored at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships. With senior leadership and experience, watch for the Utes to move up in the pack this season and challenge for their first event title.
Live stats and championship information will be available at: www.pac-12.com