Senior Brianna LeRoy leads Utes at Pac-12 Conference Championships.
May 13, 2012
EUGENE, Ore.- At the inaugural Pac-12 Conference Championships, the University of Utah women’s track and field team tied for tenth place with 21 points. Senior Brianna LeRoy led the way capturing nine points for the Utes.
“We are very pleased with how things went this week,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “Everybody competed hard and I applaud them on their effort. This was the first group to compete at the Pac-12 Championships and they did a terrific job. We all learned a lot and will be able to apply those things next year at this meet.”
Destanae Howerton-Davis got the Utes off to a great start in the first event of the day. Howerton-Davis qualified for the finals in the women’s discus beating her previous PR by over seven feet recording a mark of 161-2 feet. Her performance earned eighth place and gave the Utes one team point setting the tone for day.
In the final round of the 1500m, junior Amanda Mergaert ran close to her season-best performance, clocking a time of 4:22.88. Coming down the final 100m stretch of the race, Mergaert was in ninth, however she was able to pass two runners on that stretch to finish seventh overall and give the team two points.
Senior Brianna LeRoy continued to showcase her veteran experience for the Utes. LeRoy cleared the mark of 5-8.50 feet in the high jump. Her mark finished third place giving the team six points. Throughout the meet, LeRoy earned the Utes nine points and became the first Utah athlete to earn Pac-12 All-Conference honors for her performance in the high jump. The only senior competing at the conference meet for the Utes, LeRoy left her mark in school history becoming the first athlete to earn team points and all-conference honors.
The 800m featured Rosalie Griffin setting a new PR in back-to-back days. Coming off a great performance on Saturday, Griffin continued that momentum into the final round on Sunday capturing seventh with a time of 2:08.80 earning the Utes one team point.
Junior Stephanie Jolley represented the Utes in the 400m hurdle finals after qualifying on Saturday. Jolley crossed the line in a time of 59.47 for seventh earning the team one point.
Freshman Susannah Hurst made her first appearance at an outdoor conference championship meet in the women’s 5000m. Slowly moving up throughout the race, Hurst finished in a time of 17:18.34 earning 18th overall.
Closing out the day for the Utes was the 4x400m relay. Lauryn McKay, Alyssa Johnson, Ali Eisenbeiss, and Jolley ran in the first heat earning second place with a combined time of 3:41.12. Overall the relay finished seventh edging out the University of California who finished eighth with a time of 3:42.51.
The Utes as a team finished the meet with 21 points tied for tenth with the University of California. The overall winner was Oregon with 200.50 points.
“We are very pleased with how this turned out for the first time around,” Kepler said. “Coming into the meet, we had been predicted to only score nine points. It is a great feeling to go out and place higher than that as well as beat Oregon State and tie with California. Those two schools have long been established in this conference and for us to come in and compete like we did, I am very pleased and proud of our group.”
The next meet on the Utes schedule is the first and second round of the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas beginning May 24. The list of qualifying athletes will be announced later this week.