Tank Secures Spot in Eugene, Manson Advances to Quarterfinals
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – University of Utah distance runner Poppy Tank continue her special senior season on Friday at the NCAA West Regionals, claiming fourth in the 10k with a time of 33:39.22 inside E.B. Cushing Stadium and clinched her spot at the NCAA Championships.
"It was a very good day," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "Brooke ran in the first heat, which was very fast and led to her grabbing one of the six non-auto qualifying marks despite finishing sixth in her heat. She had a furious finish down the homestretch to secure that position and advance. Sarah and Whitney ran smart races and challenged their heats as well, but it just wasn't meant to be."
The Plymouth, Devon, England, native now owns the top-two finishes in the 10k at the NCAA West Regionals for Utah in the last 10-plus years. Tank just missed the NCAA Championships back in 2019 when she finished in 13th (34:08.80). She also becomes the first Ute to compete in the NCAA Championships since All-American Grayson Murphy (2018, steeplechase) and the first to qualify for the championships in the 10k since All-American Jill Molen did so in 1982 – the inaugural year the NCAA Championships were held on the women's side.
"Poppy rank a textbook qualifying race to earn a spot in the finals in two weeks," Kepler said postrace. "It was 82 degrees with 80% humidity and she conserved energy early in the race. As it developed, she continually moved up and made all the right moves. It most definitely is a great night to be a Ute!"
Brooke Manson kicked off the meet for Utah in the 800m race, clocking with a time of 2:06.53 and advanced to the quarterfinals on Saturday.
Sarah Newton and Whitney Hessler ran in separate heats but finished within 100th of a second from each other. Newton ran a time of 2:10.61 in the second heat while Hessler registered a time of 2:10.62 in the fourth heat.
The Women of Utah will now get a day off while the men compete on Friday before Manson takes the track in hopes of earning a spot to Hayward Field on Saturday, May 29, at 6:35 p.m. (MT). Tank will then look to qualify for her second event at the NCAA Championships when she steps on the start line for the 5k at 7:30 p.m. Utah's 4x400m squad closes things out in College Station as they look to earn a trip to Eugene as well.