Women of Utah Find Success at Trojan Invitational
LOS ANGELES – The Utah track & field team had a great day on the track at the Trojan Invitational, claiming several top-3 finishes Saturday afternoon at Loker Track/Cromwell Field as they got a feel for the track and field ahead of the Pac-12 Championships.
"I thought we competed at a really high level across the board today," head coach Kyle Kepler said post meet. "Saw a lot of great efforts. Won a couple events with the 1500 for Sarah and then our other event win with Sophie and Morgan going right to the line in the 3k. That wasn't a typical outdoor event but a good chance for those gals coming off of cross country to dip their toes into the track waters."
The day got off to a great start for the Women of Utah as Sarah Newton claimed the women's 1500m with the best time by any Ute this season at 4:32.40 while Anna Busatto took third at 4:36.51 and Emma Earl in fifth at 4:50.62 for her first run in this event.
Oneillia Fuller cracked the top-10 in the all-time records Saturday after she clocked in at 55.55 in the 400m while Jackie Martin (55.62 and Lauren O'Banion (56.16) were right on her tails finishing in third and fourth, respectively. Annie Murdock rounded out the group of Utes in the 400m race with a time of 56.65 for a new season-high.
Brooke Manson and Whitney Hessler ran a great 800m, taking second and third respectively. Manson's time of 2:06.82 was just shy of her collegiate best while Hessler's time of 2:07.40 was both a career-high and bumped her into 10th all-time – surpassing Brooklyn James (2:08.57). Jasie York also picked up a new PR with a time of 2:12.60 for seventh while James took fifth with a new season-best (2:11.17).
"I thought we were awesome in the 400," Kepler said. "Definitely some PRs and top-10 times. Brooke and Whit ran great in the 800 and had a PR for Jasie. Brooke was chasing down USC's top runner and just ran out of track. Whit did a great job getting the race out on the right pace and still took advantage of the right pace."
Sophie Ryan and Morgan Jensen were neck-and-neck in the 3k and finished 1-2 while Utah claimed seven of the top eight spots. Ryan finished with a mark of 10:03.35 to narrowly edge out Jensen, who cut the gap between the two in the final 100m, to finish with a time of 10:03.38. Kennedy Powell was the third Ute to cross the finish line, checking in at 10:12.72 while Karli Branch clocked in at 10:18.32. Natalie Platil, Astrid Lindgren and Chloe Kockler rounded out the group of Utes competing in the 3k.
O'Banion, Hessler, Fuller and Martin teamed up to claim third in the 4x400m relay against USC's best sprinters with a time of 3:46.13 while Utah's B group took fifth (Bailey Kealamakia, York, Kelise Davis, James).
Regan Crofts had a podium finish in the javelin, tossing a distance of 37.08m (121'8") for third.
"Like I said, we competed really hard and the efforts were terrific. People were definitely engaged. Again, overall, I'm pleased with our efforts and we took advantage of the great conditions. We'll be back here in a couple months for the Pac-12 championships so it's great to get that experience in and know what the facilities are all about."
The Women of Utah won't have a lot of time with a quick turnaround next week as they travel to Austin, Texas, for the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays (March 26-27) held at Mike A. Myers Stadium.