Junior Amanda Mergaert has qualified for the NCAA Regional meet all three years of her career.
May 21, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas - Eight members of the University of Utah track and field team will compete in the NCAA West Regional Preliminary meet this week at the University of Texas. The competition begins Thursday and concludes Saturday.
"Obviously we are excited to have eight student-athletes competing at the NCAA Regionals," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "A few of them are veterans of this meet. However, we also have five newcomers, including three true freshmen, who will be making their first NCAA appearance, which is outstanding. Our goals will be two-fold. One will be to survive and advance as far as possible. The other will be to learn and enjoy the experience. In no way are we going to be satisfied just to be at the meet. We will expect to make some noise and advance to the semifinals and finals in Des Moines in two weeks."
Brianna LeRoy is the lone senior in the group and will compete in the high jump and long jump events. Joining her in Texas will be juniors Stephanie Jolley (400 hurdles), Angela Kaplar (100 hurdles) and Amanda Mergaert (1500m). Sophomores Rosalie Griffin (800m) and Destanae Howerton-Davis (discus) will also represent the Utes along with freshmen Andrea Chavez (800m) and Kaitlin Urmson (javelin).
Mergaert has experienced NCAA success before, finishing 14th in the 1500m at the 2011 NCAA Championships after winning that event at the Mountain Regional. Kaplar, Utah's school-record holder in the 100m hurdles, has reached the NCAA Regional meet for the second consecutive year. LeRoy is also making her second straight appearance in the NCAA Regionals and hopes to improve on her 18th-place high jump and 21st-place performance in the long jump at last year's Mountain Regional meet.