Track & Field Posts Another Solid Showing at SDSU Dual Meet
SAN DIEGO – The Utah track & field team took home three event tiles at the SDSU Sports Deck as it competed in a dual meet against San Diego State on Thursday.
"Our kids really competed their guts out. I knew we were up against it," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We obviously don't have athletes in every event, so we knew that we were going to behind the point total a bit, but it was a battle the whole day. It was a fun meet and was what our sport needs more of to be honest. There were some great battles."
Anna Busatto and Claire Rusovick both crushed their previous PRs in the 1500m with Busatto grabbing second. Busatto bested her mark by nearly 11 seconds when she crossed the finished line at 4:35.97. Rusovick also set a new PR by nearly six seconds with her time of 4:45.72.
"When you look at how close the 1,500m was and Anna Busatto with a new PR, almost by a 10 seconds. I thought she ran great. It was a chance for our sprinters to run against a really good sprint program in San Diego State and I thought they held up well and did some really great things across the board."
Ruby Jane Mathewson continues to hit new marks in the hurdles, this time cracking the top-10 at Utah when she clocked in at 14.45 for third place in the 100m hurdles. Freshman Bailey Kealamakia crossed the finish line at 15.29 in her first collegiate 100m hurdles race. Mathewson recorded another top-3 finish shortly thereafter when she ran a mark of 1:02.35 in the 400m hurdles – which was good for second.
"Some kids even ran in events they hadn't competed in since high school and I thought they all performed well. You look at Regan Crofts and her first meet in outdoors with the javelin and coming up with the runner-up finish, Ruby Jane Mathewson got a personal record by half a second in the 100m hurdles and she hasn't run that event for a long time."
The PR day continued in the 400m when Lauren O'Banion ran a mark of 56.06 for second place while Oneillia Fuller took third with a time of 56.21.
Maya LeBar ran an electric race and went neck-and-neck with San Diego State's Alexus Alexander in the 100m that came down to the thousandth of a second before prevailing with a time of 12.231 for first place. The mark also put her into the school's all-time mark at No. 8. Makenna McCloy was not far out, clocking in at 12.70.
Inspire by LeBar's performance in the 100m dash, the 800m crew of Whitney Hessler, Brooklyn James and Jasie York step onto the track and went 1-2-3, respectively. Hessler's winning mark of 2:08.73 was a new PR for the Mission Viejo, Calif., native as she led the pack from start to finish while James (2:12.60) and York (2:13.63) both set new season-best marks.
"Brooklyn James is taking on the task of competing in two sports at once in track and field and soccer in the same semester, and she looked significantly faster than the last time out. Jasie York had a huge PR as well. I also thought our 400 kids in Lauren O'Banion and Oneillia Fuller ran really well and competed well. The 3K kids, going first and second and then Anna coming back after a tight 1,500 to win the 3,000 meters was great."
The fun did not stop there as Busatto came out victorious in the 3k with a time of 10:11.32. Sara Leonard annihilated her previous best in the 3k (10:41.96) when she came in second with a mark of 10:14.56 for her first race of the season. Astrid Lindgren rounded out the top-4 for Utah, securing a new PR time of 10:26.12 by over 10 seconds.
In the field events, Regan Crofts made her outdoor season debut in the javelin and took second with a throw of 38.92m (127-08). Mathewson pulled double-duty, like many of the student-athletes competing today, and picked up a couple points for Utah with a throw of 28.04m (92-00). Delany Gates secure a second-place finish in the long jump for the Utes, leaping a distance of 5.21m (17-01.25).
Earlier in the day, the 4x100m squad of Kelise Davis, Jackie Martin, Maya LeBar and Taylor Watson took second with a time of 46.24 – which is the third-fastest time in school history. The Utah 4x400m team of O'Banion, Murdock, Fuller and Martin took second in their first race together clocked in at 3:46.63 for second.
"It was just the way we competed. It was exactly what we wanted and what we wanted that meet to be. It put us in positions to not worry about a mark or a time, but really worry about beating the team in the other jersey. I think we did a great job of that. We've got work to do like we always do, but our kids went out and didn't worry about anything else outside of just competing and I think they ran and competed in a fearless manner."
The Utes will get a week's rest before they travel back to Las Vegas for the UNLV Spring Opener on Saturday, March 6, at the Myron Partridge Track Stadium.