Mandie Rowell regionally qualified in the pole vault today. (credit: Trevor Brown, Jr./MWC )
May 11, 2007
SAN DIEGO - Freshman Jennifer Neddo set the tone this afternoon as the University of Utah track and field team turned in a very solid effort at the Mountain West Conference championship here at the San Diego State Sports Deck this afternoon.
After eight scored events, the Utes are in fifth with 21.5 points. Brigham Young (101 points) is the leader.
"Our team had a real nice day this afternoon," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "We fought hard and I give a lot of credit to our student-athletes because they came out swinging. Jennifer Neddo set the pace today with three great attempts in the very first event (high jump) of the day. From there, the team took the ball and just kept rolling with it.
"It was exciting. Our program grew a lot today but now we have to come back tomorrow and fight for every point!"
The Utes had four athletes score this afternoon. Neddo set the tone, chalking up a seventh-place finish in the first event of the day, the high jump. She had three solid jumps and garnered one point on a 5-3 effort. Becky Riddle and Mandie Rowell also chalked up scoring performances. Riddle tallied five points with her fifth-place, 172-2 mark in the hammer throw. Rowell bagged 1.5 points in the pole vault with a leap of 12-5 ½. Not only did she up the Ute point total, but she regionally qualified for the NCAA Regional meet in the event.
Amanda Feigt, fresh off of her championship effort in the heptathlon, also scored today. She scored five points in taking fourth in the long jump, 19-7. She has single-handedly scored 15 points for the Utes thus far.
More points are up for grabs as the event continues tomorrow with six other Utes qualifying for finals in their respective events.
Noteworthy tidbits about two of the preliminary times; Shapard turned in the fastest time in the 400m hurdle preliminary while Abbott's 2:09.95 is a regional qualifying mark.
The final day of the MWC Championships is tomorrow afternoon. The first event is slated for noon (PDT) with the women's shot put. The women's 4x100m relay finals is the first running event, penciled in for a 12:40 p.m. (PDT) start.