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Tank Secures Spot in Eugene, Manson Advances to Quarterfinals

May 27, 2021
Photo Credit: Sam Craft

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."


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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.


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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.
 
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