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Women of Utah Shine on Record-Breaking Day at Home

Apr 10, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY – Beautiful weather laid the foundation for the Utah track & field team Saturday afternoon at the McCarthy Family Track & Field Complex as it set several records and PRs in front of the home crowd.
"Unbelievable day across the board," said head coach Kyle Kepler post meet. "Our team loves their home facility and they really showed that today with school records and four facility records. I knew when we started the day with a school record in the 4x100m relay it might be a special day and our women did not disappoint. We competed well in every event we entered. PR's, all-time top-10 marks, and of course the event wins.  The weather gods and goddesses also provided us with an amazing day."
In the first race of the day out on the track, Utah's 4x100 crew of Lauren O'Banion, Jackie Martin, Maya LeBar and Kelise Davis shattered the school and facility record with time of 45.67. Martin has now ran the second leg on each of the top-3 4x100 teams in Utah history and possibly could've had a top time each year had the 2020 outdoor season not get cancelled due to COVID-19.

Karli Branch and Morgan Jensen ran their first ever 1500m outdoor race on Saturday and clocked in with times of 4:41.96 and 4:52.14, respectively, while Sara Leonard checked in at 4:54.44 right behind Jensen. Branch was just a second shy of winning her heat and ended up in second in her heat and fourth overall.
Ruby Jane Mathewson moved herself into fifth all-time at Utah in the 100m hurdles after she clocked in at 14.20 for a new PR as well. Later in the day, Bailey Kealamakia recorded a PR in the 400m hurdles for the fourth-consecutive week on Saturday. The Kaysville, Utah, product finished second overall with a new best time of 1:02.61.
"To be able to recognize 18 seniors from the 2020 and 2021 classes was also very special," Kepler mentioned. "They have all meant so much to our program and achieved at all new levels for Utah Track & Field/Cross Country. They definitely set a new standard for our future."
Joining in on the fun was O'Banion, who not only moved herself fifth all-time in the 400m but also set a new facility record with a mark of 55.14 – a record set back in 2017 by Alissa Atisme (55.49). Davis, who would've also broken the facility record had it not been for O'Banion, had the second-fastest time in the 400m and moved herself into sixth all-time behind O'Banion at 55.22.

Making her track & field debut, Donna Ntambue clocked the second-best time in the 100m with a blazing speed of 12.01 – which is third all-time in the Utah record books. Salt Lake City native Kaya Heideman ran a season-best 12.72 (wind legal) in the 100m as well.
Brooke Manson then broke the facility in the 800m race with a winning time of 2:06.98, which was just shy of her career-best (2:06.77) and toppled the facility record set by Ali Eisenbeiss back in 2014. Whitney Hessler took fourth-overall (2:09.21) while Anna Busatto claimed the sixth-fastest time Saturday (2:13.47) – which also crushed her previous PR. Emma Earl took second in her heat with a new personal best mark of 2:17.74 followed by Meghan Curtin in that same heat at 2:18.27. Sophie Ryan was just behind Curtin overall and registered at 2:19.20 while Claire Rusovick posted a mark of 2:22.80. In addition, Kaitlyn Mercer made outdoor debut racing in the 800m (2:27.92) and took second in her heat.
Rachel Whipple made her season-debut on Saturday and did not disappoint. She ran the first leg of the 4x400m alongside Martin, Annie Murdock and Davis, who edged out Utah's "B" squad of Mathewson, Skyler Blair, Jasie York and Brooklyn James (3:43.74), for the facility record with a time of 3:43.33. Unofficially, Martin and James both ran blazing speeds on their splits at 53.17 and 54.06, respectively, to close out the weekend.
"Lastly, THANK YOU to everyone who made this event happen," said Kepler. "My staff and our athletic department support staff poured their heart and souls into this meet for our women. You just don't get that everywhere and we are all grateful for that support."
Utah will hit the road once again next week to a very familiar spot as it returns to Las Vegas for the Silver State Classic next Saturday, April 17, at Myron Partridge Stadium.

  • Overall there were eight total facility records broken
    • Women's Triple Jump – Emily Wilson (Southern Utah) – 11.46m
    • Men's 5k – Tyson Green (Utah Valley) – 14:40.93
    • Women's 100m Hurdles – Kate Sorensen (Weber State) – 13.55
    • Women's 100m Dash – Emily Morgan-King (Weber State) – 11.57
    • Women's 400m Dash – Lauren O'Banion (Utah) – 55.14
    • Women's 800m – Brooke Manson (Utah) – 2:06.98
    • Women's 4x100m Relay – Utah – 45.67
    • Women's 4x400m Relay – Utah – 3:43.33