Ashley Patterson paced Utah in three events.
Jan. 12, 2008
PROVO, Utah - The Utah women's track and field team finished its first meet of the season strong, including wins from Ashley Patterson in the 300 meters and a team victory in the 4x322-meter relay.
"We really had a nice day," head coach Kyle Kepler said. "A lot of veteran kids performed better than a year ago and have stepped up and grown. Our kids stepped up and did a nice job today. I am impressed and was excited for an opening meet. All the teams are trying to see where they're at and where they need to go, and the girls competed hard and represented our team well. I am excited for the direction of where the team is headed and seeing our growth from a year ago.
"Ashley ran a fast time in the 300. Chelsea won that meet a year ago, and Ashley ran a faster time this year. Chelsea ran well also, considering she was sick. We are fortunate she was able to run one race."
"We trailed the Weber State team the whole way, then Ashley got the baton and exploded down the backstretch," Kepler said. "Their time is about five seconds faster than what we ran a year ago."
Patterson was also a solid performer in the triple jump with a leap of 37-4 ½, finishing third. Kapler finished fifth in the 60-meter hurdles, running 9.23 in both the preliminaries and the finals.
Utah was also strong in the mile run, with Alyssa Abbott leading the pack with a third-place finish in 5:08.82. Chelsea DiGrazia was fourth in 5:08.92, while Janett Ern was sixth in 5:20.91. Kellie Anderson, who competed unattached, finished seventh with a time of 5:22.40.
"Alyssa and Chelsea's times are in the top-10 all-time at Utah," Kepler said. "Both girls and Kellie ran personal bests in the race. Alyssa and Chelsea competed well considering they had done no speed work. They competed hard and ran solid races."
In the sprints, Liza Whitehead ran a 7.91 in the 60-meter dash in the preliminaries, then finishing fourth in 7.83 in the finals, which is the second-fastest time in school history.
"She was hurt last year and this is her initial campaign in indoor," Kepler said. "This is a great start for her."
Other notable finishes included Mandie Rowell's 11-5 ¾ clearance in the pole vault, tying her for third.
The Utes return to action at Utah State in Logan on Friday, Jan. 18.