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Tank Shines at NCAA West Regionals

May 29, 2021
Photo Credit: Sam Craft

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Poppy Tank became the second Utah track & field runner to qualify for the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in multiple events on Saturday when she took seventh in the 5k at the NCAA West Regionals held inside E.B. Cushing Stadium.
Jill Molen, an All-American, is the only other Ute to compete in multiple events at the championships – racing in both the 5k and 10k in the inaugural year the championships were held on the women's side in 1982. Tanks becomes the sixth Ute to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships; Brenda Alcorn qualified in 1989 and 1991 in the high jump.

"Poppy ran another terrific race," said head coach Kyle Kepler postrace. "She was patient, smart and tough throughout. That is a very challenging double that many not try and few get through in both events. To qualify in both is rare and a special opportunity in two weeks."
The Plymouth, Devon, England, ran with the front of the pack the entire race and qualified for her second event at the championships with a seventh-place finish (16:00.19).

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"Brooke's heat went out very fast and she fought hard through the line," Kepler mentioned. "She was very consistent all year and that along with another appearance at this meet will lead to some bigger results moving forward."

Earlier in the day, Brooke Manson ran her best to earn a spot to compete at Hayward Field but fell short with a mark of 2:07.20. After Tank made it 2-for-2 in the 5000m race, Utah's 4x400m relay squad posted a time of 3:42.55.

"I thought the 4x4 ran well," Kepler said. "That group set a goal of being at this meet back in September. They worked all year as a group to make it happen. Coach Colwell did a terrific job with developing both their individual talent and the required depth to get us there for the second time in school history. We want this to be the beginning of regular appearances and getting closer to advancing."
Just like the regionals, the championships in Eugene, Ore., will alternate days between the men and the women. Tank will make her return to Hayward Field and take her first crack at the 10k on Thursday, June 10, before racing in the 5k on Saturday, June 12.