Senior Brooke LoBue looks to improve on her second place MWC finish from a year ago.
May 13, 2003
The University of Utah outdoor track and field team will head to Albuquerque, N.M., for the 2003 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Championships kick off on Wednesday, May 14 with the heptathlon. The heptathletes compete through Thursday, May 15. Friday, May 16 and Saturday May 17 will feature the rest of the competitions. Hosted by New Mexico, the meet will include athletes from all of the Mountain West Conference outdoor track and field teams.
Follow the Utes with the Mountain West Conference Championship Tracker: MWC Championship Tracker
QUOTING HEAD COACH LISA ARCHER:
"We've been very good in the hammer throw, pole vault, 800 meters and high jump this season and are looking for wins in these events. We have the possibility of placing fifth, which is a place higher than last year. We're also excited for some other potential athletes to set NCAA regional qualifying marks. There is definitely a lot of team spirit and that will push us a lot this weekend."
As of May 7, 67 personal records have been set this season. There have been 52 top 10 performances, along with two new school records. Ten student-athletes have already set NCAA regional qualifying marks or times, including two separate event times by one athlete.
The Utes competed at the Weber State Twilight Invitational on Wednesday, May 7. Hosted by Weber State University, the meet featured athletes from Utah, Utah State and Brigham Young. The Utes had another great meet winning five events, while setting three personal records and improving on two Utah top ten times.
Leading the way for Utah were Katie Decker, Alexandria Nash, Vanessa Mortensen, Julie Osguthorpe and Nellie Hammons, who all notched first place finishes in their respected events. Decker won the high jump with a height of 5' 7.00". Nash posted a triple jump of 37' 8.00" for first place. Mortensen grabbed the hammer throw with a distance of 184' 1.00". Osguthorpe won the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:20.44. Osguthorpe's time is a new personal record for the veteran distance runner and moves her up to 10th on Utah's all-time list. Finally, Hammons won the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.82.
UTES ON THE MOVE:
Sophomore Nellie Hammons has emerged into the one of the conferences' most dominating athletes. She shattered her school record in the 800 meters at the Cardinal Invitational on May 2 with a time of 2:07.91. That time ranks the South Weber, Utah, native first in the conference and is an NCAA regional qualifying time. The sophomore has come on strong wining the 800 in four out of eight meets. Hammons also ranks fourth in the conference in the 1,500 meters. After conversion, her time in the 1,500 of 4:31.27 (4:26.07 conversion) is another regional qualifier.
Senior Brooke LoBue has been one of the conferences' top pole vaulters for nearly two seasons. This year, LoBue improved on her own school record by clearing 13' 0.24" at the BYU Invitational on May 2. The jump gave the senior her fourth win in five tries. The performance was an improvement on her NCAA regional qualifying mark set earlier in the season. Last year, LoBue was a major point scorer for Utah at the outdoor conference championships, where she wrapped up second place. She will look to continue her conference success this weekend.
Freshman Vanessa Mortensen has had an outstanding rookie year for the Utes, posting several notable marks in the hammer throw. Her personal best mark of 57.48 meters, set at the Hornet Invitational on March 29, has remained atop the conference for six straight weeks and is an NCAA regional qualifying mark. Though just a freshman, Mortensen will be another key contributor to Utah's success at the MWC Championships.
Junior Jeff Davidson has emerged into a leader for the men's team. During the 2003 outdoor season, Davidson has set impressive marks in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. His 9:13.42 time at the Baldy Castillo Invitational was not only a personal record for the Burley, Idaho, native but also an NCAA regional qualifying mark. For his performance at the Baldy Castillo Invitational, Davidson was awarded Utah's only MWC Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week honor of the year. Davidson got his third NCAA regional qualifying mark at the Oregon Invitational after setting another personal best in the steeplechase with 9:07.66. The performance earned Davidson second place at the Invitational and fifth on the Utah all-time list.
Those Utes, who have set NCAA qualifying marks, will head to Palo Alto, Calif., for the NCAA Regional Meet. Competition for the meet will start on Friday, May 30 and will continue through Saturday, May 31.
As of May 7, the following Utes have set NCAA qualifying marks.
Nellie Hammons 800m, 1,500m Brooke LoBue Pole Vault Trisha Wagner Pole Vault Vanessa Mortensen Hammer Throw Jen Jackman 400m Hurdles Katie Decker High Jump Aubry Startin High Jump Colby Frazier 1,500m Nephi Tyler 1,500m Jeff Davidson 3,000m Steeplechase