Former Ute Nicki Hugie, seen here running for Utah, raced in the Boston Marathon yesterday.
April 17, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY - Yesterday's running of the 111th Boston Marathon had a little bit of a Crimson and White flavor to it.
Former Ute distance runners Nicki Hugie and Ashlee Warnick qualified for and ran in the prestigious race yesterday afternoon. Nicki Hugie ran the race in 3:15:24, clocking an impressive 7:27 per-mile average. She finished 2,623rd overall, and was the 211th female finisher. Former teammate and friend, Warnick raced it in 3:49:12, recording an 8:45 per-mile rate. Warnick was the 10,309th overall finisher and ranked 2780th among all female runners.
"I'm really proud of Nicki," said her former coach, Utah's cross country mentor Kyle Kepler. "This was a 16-minute personal best time in less-than-ideal running conditions. Nicki did a nice job of following the race plan we set up as well as listening to her body throughout the race. She is a full-time graduate student at the University of Washington so running in the rain really wasn't anything different for her. She had a strong finish and I think she really feels like she can continue to grow and get better with age at the marathon distance. It's exciting to see her run so well."
Kepler continues about another one of his former athletes in Warnick. "The fact that Ashlee was even able to finish this race was really impressive. She had been struggling with a leg injury that limited her training over the last five weeks. Boston is just one of those opportunities that you never know if you're going to get a second chance so she went for it and did a nice job, all things considered. There is no doubt in my mind that if she was able to train the way she wanted to that she would have been side by side with Nicki."
Along with the former athletes, Utah's compliance director Chris Rogers also ran in the world-renown distance race. Rogers raced it in 2:45:32 (a 6:19 per-mile average) and took 215th overall. He checked in at 195th among all male runners.
"This is an outstanding effort for Chris, especially considering the conditions at the time of the race (40 degrees, rain, 10-20mph head wind)," said Kepler who trains with Rogers. "The course was especially tough just after the Newton Hills (miles 16-19) because of the strong head winds coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Overall, I believe Chris was pretty happy with his effort as he should be."
The race boasted around 20,000 runners at the start and is a 26-mile, 385-yard journey from Hopkinton, Mass., to Boston.