Cynthia Sanchez has made large contributions to the Utes this season.
Feb. 9, 2011
SALT LAKE CITY- The University of Utah track & field team gears up for competition at the Flotrack Husky Classic this weekend, which will be hosted by the University of Washington. The event will be held at the Dempsey Indoor Track in Seattle, Wash., and is scheduled to start on Friday at 6 p.m. PT.
"Everyone gears up for this meet," said Utah head coach Kyle Kepler. "The competition will come from across the country, especially in the distance events. The larger track (307m) and strong competition always leads to a number of NCAA qualifying performances."
In the distance events, Amanda Mergaert will lead the way. This season, Mergaert set a new school-record in the mile with a time of 4:46.40 (altitude adjusted). Mergaert's time currently ranks 33rd in the nation, according to tfrrs.org. Senior Alyssa Abbott made her season debut at last weekend's Bronco Open, posting a first place finish in the 3000m. Abbott's return brings leadership and experience to a very young distance group. Lucy Yates is coming off a strong performance in the 400m at the Bronco Open. Yates, who qualified for nationals, last year, looks to prove she is still among the nation's elite in the 800m.
Sophomore Angela Kaplar has had a strong start to the 2011 season. Last weekend, Kaplar broke the school-record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.58. Junior Brianna LeRoy is coming off a career-best performance at the Mountain States Games, where she finished first overall in the pentathlon with 3,643 points.
Utah's Alyssa Johnson has finished in the top 10 of every event this season. Johnson finished second last week in the 400m at the Bronco Open. At the Mountain States Games, Johnson showed her speed in the 200m where she claimed fourth overall. This weekend, Johnson will compete in her primary event, which is the 400m.
Competing in the high jump for the Utes will be Langley Iverson. This season Iverson has already qualified for the NCAA Championships with jump of 6-0.75 at the Cherry & Silver Invitational. Her mark broke the MWC record and currently ranks fourth in the nation according to tfrrs.org.
Anneli Stahl and Cynthia Sanchez will lead the way for the Utes in the weight throw. At the Mountain States Games, Stahl posted a first place finish with a personal-best mark of 59-1.25. Sanchez finished second at the meet with a personal-record throw of 58-2.50. Both have finished in the top 10 at every competition this season. In the shot put, Nikkie Rudder has finished in the top five at every meet with a personal-best performance (46-7.25) at the Mountain States Games.
"We have to continue to focus on ourselves, but understand that the level of competition this week will be more challenging," stated Kepler. "You might get fifth or sixth in your heat and still run, throw, or jump a lifetime best. We can't back off in practice. We still have work to get done this week with the MWC Championships starting in two weeks."