Woolnough Leads Women of Utah in Outdoor Opener at Trojan Invitational
LOS ANGELES – The Utah track & field team had a great start to the outdoor season at the Trojan Invitational on Saturday with an event win on top of several school marks and personal bests marks.
"I thought we had some very strong performances, particularly for the opening meet" head coach Kyle Kepler said post meet. "Going 1-2 in the 1500m with a pair of two all-time top-5 marks early on got us rolling. I thought Kelise and Megan had a solid race in the 100m on top of the 800m crew that all set new PRs across the board led by Simone's top-3 all-time mark. Skyler also ran well in her return. Overall, a very good day with plenty of room for improvement."
Cara Woolnough didn't need much time to warm up into the outdoor season and raced out to an event victory in the 1500m with a mark of 4:21.29 – which moved her into fifth all-time in the school record books and pass Carla Pittelkow's mark of 4:22.03 (aa) that was set back in 1982.
Keelah Barger wasn't far behind Woolnough in the 1500m for second with a time of 4:25.38, which entered her into the school's outdoor record book at 10th. Brooke Manson crushed her previous PR with a new personal best time of 4:32.45 for sixth overall while Karli Branch took ninth (4:48.00). In her outdoor debut, Maddie Reed posted a time of 5:01.36 to round out the group of Utes competing in the 1500m.
Over in the 100m hurdles, Ruby Jane Mathewson was the first Ute to cross the finish line at 14.55 while Bailey Kealamakia posted a mark of 14.89 (+3.2) - which was a new PR for the sophomore. Later on in the 400m hurdles, Skyler Blair was the first finisher among four Utes competing with a time of 1:00.65 for third overall. Rachel Whipple set a new PR for herself after crossing at 1:01.94 to win the second heat. Kealamakia (1:02.71) and Mathewson (1:03.06) came in one after the other for seventh and eighth place, respectively.
Back on the straightaway, Kelise Davis was the fastest Ute in the 100m dash with a mark of 12.32 (+1.4) followed by freshman Megan Rose crossing the finish line at 12.38 (+1.4) while Makenna McCloy clocked in at 12.69 (+1.4). McCloy's time barely bested her previous PR by .01 in the 100m dash that she set last year (12.70).
Plourde wasted no time racing in her first meet as a Ute and posted the third-fastest time in program history to take second overall (2:05.53) in the 800m dash. Jasie York (2:10.01) and Sophie Ryan (2:10.97) crossed the finish line nearly side-by-side for fifth and sixth, respectively, while Emma Earl rounded out the quartet of top-10 finishers at 2:13.33. The quartet of Plourde, York, Ryan and Earl all posted new personal best marks.
McCloy was the fastest sprinter for Utah in the 200m dash, checking in with a time of 26.14 (+0.7) while Rose won her heat with a mark of 26.38 (+1.0). Utah's 4x400m relay team closed things out at the Trojan Invitational, clocking in with a time of 3:46.92.
Utah will get a couple weeks rest before it heads to the Central Valley in California for the West Coast Relays hosted by Fresno State on Friday, April 1, at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.
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