Utah Track & Field Wraps Up Weekend at Texas Relays
AUSTIN – The weekend was not short of great performances for the Utah track & field team at the 93rd running of the Texas Relays as the Utes wrapped up the meet with PRs and great performances alike at Mike A. Meyers Stadium.
"It was a productive meet," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We can't risk health with so much still in front of us and time to get better. Both hurdlers ran great. Ruby Jane was about as sound technically as she's ever been. Bailey continues to PR with a ton of room to improve. Our 800 gals focused on tactical racing, making solid moves, and gained experience they'll need at conference and beyond. The highlight of the meet was our prelim victory in the 4x400. We controlled that race and won going away in a very good early season mark. We certainly would have liked to race the final, but that experience will have to wait for another day. That unit has some big goals, but they know to reach them everyone has to be full strength. That wasn't the case today so we'll look forward to what is to come as we move into April."
Bailey Kealamakia had a fantastic run in the 400m hurdles, setting a new PR for the second-consecutive week and post a time of 1:03.55 for third in her heat. Like Kealamakia, Ruby Jane Mathewson nearly ran a perfect race and set a new PR as well – checking in at 1:02.28 for second in her heat. Lauren O'Banion ran a tough 200m race and clocked in at 25.62 to wrap up the day of racing Utah.
On day two, Utah's 4x400m relay team of Kelise Davis, O'Banion, Oneillia Fuller and Jackie Martin came out guns blazing despite having to a 45-minute delay that required them to leave the track and warm up once again when the race returned to schedule. Despite the delay, the Women of Utah posted the meet's top 4x400m relay time of 3:42.01 – which topped the season mark this year by nearly four seconds. O'Banion built a nice lead that allowed Fuller to push and post a 55.07 split on her leg of the race before Martin took it home with a commanding 25m lead and 54.54 split.
The final day of racing on Saturday saw Whitney Hessler record a top-eight time in the 800m race, clocking in at 2:09.04 – which was also good for third in her heat. The 4x400m squad was set to race in the finals Saturday but had to withdraw and prevent any future injuries with plenty of outdoor meets remaining.
Utah will have a split squad next weekend (April 2-3) with some heading to the newly renovated Hayward Field while others will remain at home and compete at the UVU Collegiate Invitational Friday and Saturday.