Utah will send 11 athletes to the Mountain Region Championships in Northridge, Calif., this week.
May 24, 2004
Those Utes who have set NCAA regional qualifying marks will travel to Northridge, Calif., to kick off the 2004 NCAA Western Regional Meet. Hosted by Cal State Northridge, the meet will be held at Matador Track. Competition will begin on Friday, May 28, and continue through Saturday, May 29. Utah will send a total of eleven athletes to the meet. The top five in each event will automatically advance to the NCAA finals.
Name Event West Region Mark/Time Ranking Katie Decker High Jump 10th Natasha Eldridge Hammer Throw 18th Amanda Feigt Long Jump 13th Jennie Haertel 1,500m 26th Tracy Hamblin Pole Vault 23rd Nellie Hammons 800m 13th Jen Jackman 400 hurdles 11th Vanessa Mortensen Hammer Throw 7th Aubry Startin High Jump 16th Name Event West Region Mark/Time Ranking Delfino Arevalo * 5,000m 21st Nephi Tyler 1,500m 17th
*Arevalo also has a qualifying time in the 10,000 meters, but the event is uncontested at the region level. He will compete in the event at the NCAA finals. He currently has the 16th-fastest time in the nation in the 10,000.
FOLLOW THE MEET:
Complete results for the NCAA Western Regional Championships will be posted at www.ncaa.org.
PREVIEWING THE COMPETITION:
The Utes will have their hands full, competing against several teams ranked in the top 25. On the women's side, UCLA is ranked third, USC is sixth, Stanford is eighth, Brigham Young is ranked 11th, Arizona State is 15th, Arizona is 18th, Rice is 23rd and Nevada is 25th according to Trackshark's Women's Top 50 power rankings. On the men's side UCLA is ranked third, Arizona State is sixth, Oregon is eighth, USC is 14th, Arizona is 15th, Stanford is 17th, Brigham Young is 19th and Rice is 24th.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Lisa Archer:
"We are very excited about taking 11 qualifiers to compete in the regional, and about the possibility of having two-to-four of those qualifiers advance to the NCAA finals.
"Our conference is one of the most competitive in the nation. This is proven by the fact we have 11 athletes qualified for the West regional despite finishing fifth at the league championships.
"Some of our athletes have already competed in a regional or in the NCAA finals. Their experience will not only help them, but will help our first-time competitors.
UTES ON THE RUN:
Junior Jen Jackman was one of Utah's best performers at the MWC Outdoor Championships. Jackman finished second in the 400-meter hurdles (59.92) and sixth in the 100-meter hurdles (14.53). She contributed a total of 11 of Utah's 62 points. She has been Utah's best hurdler all year, and will look for a big week in Northridge, Calif.
Sophomore Vanessa Mortensen was the runner up in the hammer at the MWC Outdoor Championships earlier this month. Mortensen had an impressive meet, setting a new personal record and a school record with 59.59 meters. The mark is also a new Danish National record-Mortensen hails from Fredensborg, Denmark.
After an impressive fourth place finish (4:33.24) in the 1,500 meters at the MWC Outdoor Championships, Jennie Haertel proved that she's for real. Haertel is one of two freshmen that Utah will send to the regional meet. Haertel currently ranks 10th in the nation for juniors (athletes 19 and under) in the 1,500.
Next up for those Utes who qualify, are the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday, June 9 in Austin, Texas. The four-day meet will continue through Saturday, June 12.