Utes Head Coach Kyle Kepler
"That was a nice effort by that group. Patterson got us off to a good start and Amanda Feigt had one of the best relays legs of her career. The NCAA Regional qualifying mark is 3:42 and that will be the goal for this group in the coming weeks," commented head coach Kyle Kepler.
Feigt and Shapard also bettered their 400m hurdle regional-qualifying marks. Feigt ran 60.37 to finish fifth in the invitational section, while Shapard ran a personal best time of 59.67 to win the open section of the event. True freshman Chelsey Kaplar ran 62.00 for a two-second lifetime improvement and a third-place finish in the open competition.
Other top performances at UCLA
Whitney Wellington-12.15, 5th in invitational section, second on all-time school performance list
Jennifer Cutrer-12.41, 3rd in open section, all-time top ten performance list.
Jennifer Cutrer-14.27, 4th in invitational section 200m
Patterson (24.97) and Wellington (24.98) were 2nd and 3rd in the open event 400m
Patterson (56.58) 5th in open section and .01 off of her PR.
"We had a solid meet on Friday at UCLA. However, I was disappointed at the way we came out on Saturday. Some of our athletes were not mentally prepared the way they need to be. That's just not acceptable and it will be stressed at practice this week and for the rest of the season.
"Fortunately, as the day progressed, we did become more focused and performed much better. One of our strengths in my time here at Utah has been our mental preparation and readiness, especially in the bigger meets. So my coaching staff and I will make sure we reiterate those points and that our team comes to practice with a purpose each day," stated Kepler.
Mt SAC Relays
The Utah distance crew competed at the prestigious Mt Sac Relays in the Distance Carnival on Friday afternoon and evening. A trio of Utes ran the 1500 meter run with Alyssa Abbott (4:34.96) and Chelsea DiGrazia (4:37.59) setting lifetime bests. They finished second and third, respectively, in their heats. Stephanie Skoryeko finished sixth in the same heat and ran a seasonal best time of 4:42.78.
Lauren Endersen and Kellie Anderson took part in the 10,000 meter run. Endersen, running for the first time at the 25-lap distance, ran a very solid and even-paced race. She finished 19th overall in 36:40.43 which ranks her eighth on the all-time Utah performance list. Anderson ran 37:21.98 to finish 26th just missing her lifetime best by five seconds.
"Our distance crew really had a nice weekend. Lauren and Kellie work as hard as anyone we have and it's nice to see them get rewarded with solid performances. The 1500m gals had to make their own race and led portions to push the pace. It's exciting to see them compete like that. Those types of races will pay even bigger dividends in the future," explained Kepler.
UCLA and Long Beach State
The throwers competed Friday at UCLA as part of the JJK Invitational and then on Saturday at the Long Beach State Invitational. They had some very good performances led by Sarah Cardinal who placed fourth at the Long Beach Invite in the hammer throw (153-02), sixth in the discus (147-02), and 10th in the shot put (40-09.50). Cardinal also placed eighth in the discus at UCLA with a throw of 137-01. Becky Riddle had a great weekend as well as she placed eighth in the hammer throw (145-08) and 12th in the discus (131-01) at the Long Beach Invite. Other performers at UCLA were Mandie Rowell, who placed sixth in the javelin with a distance of 11-05.75, and not far behind was Laryssa Simpson who placed 11th (10-11.75).
"It was great they we could take advantage of the way those two meets set up and get some extra competition in. There were some nice performances by all the women. Chasity (Toilolo) had a breakthrough in the shot put, while Sarah and Becky are getting close in the discus and hammer," commented Kepler.
Mark Falmo Invitational
Sarah McFee led the performance list for the Utes at the Mark Faldmo Invitational as she won the triple jump with a lifetime best 36-8.5 leap. Her performance was also good enough to make the all-time top ten Utah performance list. Jessica Suddaby finished 4th in the 400 meter hurdles in a season's best time of 64.58.
"Overall I think we had a very productive weekend. We split the group up to take advantage of weather conditions and competition for our event groups. For the most part they all did a nice job and made some improvements from the first couple of meets. As we go into the back half of our regular season schedule it is important that we continue to improve while starting to see some consistency in all the event groups," said Kepler
The Utes had 22 more personal best performances and 15 all-time top ten Utah marks during this weekends meets. That makes 71 personal best performances and 31 new all-time top ten U of U marks during the first three weekends of the outdoor season.
Next weekend the Utes host their lone home meet of the outdoor season (Utah Spring Twilight) on Saturday, April 21st. The hammer throw begins at 2 p.m., at the Guardsman Way Athletic Field. The rest of the meet begins at 4 p.m. and will be held at Tally Stevens Track Complex (800S 1400E) located three blocks south of Rice-Eccles Stadium.