Utah Track & Field Performs Well at UNLV Spring Opener
LAS VEGAS – The Utah track & field had a great all-around day at the UNLV Spring Opener on a windy Saturday afternoon at Myron Partridge Stadium.
"We had some really outstanding performances and some event wins," head coach Kyle Kepler said afterwards. "We really targeted to have a good day in the 200m race and despite the winds taking away some fantastic runs, we certainly accomplished that. I thought Annie ran a great race as well, executing a great race to win her heat."
Brooke Manson and Jasie York got things going for Utah on the track with both debuting in the 1500m event. Manson took fourth with a time of 4:42.00, running twice her usual distance, while York came in with a time of 4:46.13.
Freshman Annie Murdock ran well in the 400m dash, winning her heat with a mark of 57.79 – which was also good for fifth overall while Manson clocked in 48.48 for seventh. The Utah squad running in the 800m race were neck-and-neck with one another and finished in 5-6-7. Emma Earl was the first to cross with a time of 2:19.21 in her first outdoor race as a Ute while Claire Rusovick came in at 2:20.42. Meghan Curtin made her return off the injury list and set a new season-best time of 2:21.27.
The Women of Utah had a fantastic showing in the 200m race despite the wind blowing throughout the different heats. Maya LeBar's time of 24.20 would have been second all-time time, but the tailwinds was at +3.9. Jackie Martin ran in the same heat as LeBar and clocked in at 24.63, which would have bested her previous time of 24.71 (5th all-time) had it not been wind-aided. Oneillia Fuller was also a part of that first heat with LeBar and Martin, clocking in at 25.16.
Meanwhile, Lauren O'Banion won her heat in the 200m with a time of 24.74 despite a head wind of 4.0 – which ties her for sixth all-time with LeBar.
"That was a huge run for Maya and I'm really excited for her," said Kepler. "She is coming along, gaining fitness and is starting to really be able to work on the technical assets of her events. Lauren and Jackie both ran well too, it just so happened that Lauren's time counted."
In the field events, Delaney Gates continued to improve as the season progresses and leapt a +5.3 wind-aided distance of 5.48m.
Despite the time not counting due to high wins, Ruby Jane Mathewson was third overall in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.74 (+5.1). The 100m dash was faced with the same windy conditions as LeBar clocked in at 11.99 (+4.2) while freshman Kaya Heideman ran a 12.54 (+3.7).
"I think overall, we had a nice meet. The team is doing a great job and working hard. We will all be back together at outdoors here in a couple of weeks."
Utah will now get a couple weeks to rest up and get some more training in as it prepares for the Trojan Invitational (March 19-20) in Los Angeles.