Jen Jackman is one of nine Utes competing at the NCAA West Regional this weekend.
May 28, 2003
The University of Utah outdoor track and field team will head to Palo Alto, Calif., for the first-ever NCAA West Regional Meet. Competition for the meet will kick off on Friday, May 30 and last through Saturday, May 31. Utah, which had ten athletes set regional qualifying marks, will send nine athletes to compete at Stanford this weekend.
The top five finishers at the regional meet in each individual event and top three relay teams will earn a berth to the NCAA Track and Field Championships being held at Sacramento State in Sacramento, Calif.
The West region consists of 42 Division I institutions from the following states: Arizona, California Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. There are four regional meets scheduled for this weekend. Other regional meets will be hosted at George Mason (East), Ohio State (Mideast), and Nebraska (Midwest).
The Following Utes have set NCAA qualifying marks
Nellie Hammons * 800m (2:07.91) -- 1,500m (4:31.27) Brooke LoBue Pole Vault (13-00 1/4) Trisha Wagner Pole Vault (12-00) Vanessa Mortensen Hammer Throw (188-07.00) Jen Jackman 400m Hurdles (1:01.28) Katie Decker High Jump (5-08.00) Aubry Startin High Jump (5-07.00) Colby Frazier 1,500m (3:47.52) Nephi Tyler 1,500m (3:49.36) Jeff Davidson 3,000m Steeplechase (9:07.66)
*Will only compete in 800m
QUOTING HEAD COACH Lisa Archer:
"We are ecstatic to have ten athletes who have qualified for the regional meet," states Archer. "We're looking for strong showings this weekend from our athletes."
Nephi Tyler, who qualified in the 1,500 meters, will be unable to compete this weekend due to a foot injury he sustained during practice.
The University of Utah track and field team finished competition for the 2003 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. The women finished fifth with a total of 73.50 points, while the men finished sixth with seven points.
Leading the way for Utah were Vanessa Mortensen and Brooke LoBue, who both emerged as conference champions in their respected events. Only a freshman, Mortensen won the hammer throw with an impressive NCAA regional qualifying mark of 185-06.00. LoBue won the pole vault with a NCAA regional qualifying mark of 12-11.75.
UTES ON THE MOVE:
Senior Brooke LoBue proved to be the conference's best pole vaulter by grabbing first place the MWC Outdoor Championships on May 16. This year LoBue improved on her own school record by clearing 13- 00 1/4 at the BYU Invitational. That mark ranks 24th nationally and ninth in the West region. LoBue has won the pole vault five out of six tries this season.
Freshman Vanessa Mortensen has had an outstanding rookie year for the Utes. She has dominated the hammer throw in 2003. Her personal best, 188-07.00 feet set at the Hornet Invitational, has remained atop the MWC for the eight weeks. The mark also ranks 14th in the region and 37th in the nation. This freshmen sensation earned first place in the conference outdoor championships with 185-06.00.
Sophomore Nellie Hammons shattered her school record in the 800 meters at the Cardinal Invitational with a time of 2:07.91. That time ranks 41st nationally, fourth in the West region and first in the conference. Hammons also ranks fourth in the conference in the 1,500 meters. Hammons finished third in the 800 meters at the 2003 MWC Outdoor Championships with 2:08.37.
High jumpers Katie Decker and Aubrey Startin look to improve on their second-place tie at the MWC Outdoor Championships. Decker and Startin, both juniors, jumped 5-07.00 feet at the Championships. Decker's mark of 5-08.00 from earlier in the season currently ranks 12th in the region and third in the league.
Those Utes, who qualify this weekend, will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., June 11-14.