"We really want to develop the potential that exists at this university," said Kepler. "We have a tremendous coaching staff in place that is excited and enthusiastic about the 2006 season.
"We have numerous athletes returning with outstanding credentials at the conference, regional, and national levels. We have a great senior class that will provide invaluable leadership to our underclassmen. We also have a good core of younger athletes who are still developing in their events."
Mortensen returns with remarkable experience in the throws. She holds the school record in the hammer throw, was a regional qualifier, and finished 14th at the 2005 NCAA championships.
Roby and Riddle are also big competitors in the throws events with Roby owning the second-best school mark in the discus.
"Those gals possess a vast amount of talent," remarked coach Kepler. "We are looking for them to get big points at the conference and regional level, as well as getting to the NCAA Championships."
Mortensen and sophomore Liddy Steele will handle the javelin duties. Steele competed in the pole vault as a freshman and will add the javelin to her list of events this year.
Newcomer Chasity Toilolo figures to add depth to the throwers while sophomore Cirbie Lee returns from injury to provide leadership and depth here.
The sprinters and hurdlers look to be another strong group for the team this year. Fresques, Feigt and junior Jen Cutrer return with the most experience and will be the leaders of this group.
Fresques, who only has outdoor eligibility remaining, "looks to be in amazing shape and will be attempting to impact several different areas," praised Kepler. "She's very talented in the 400m hurdles and will be looking to get the NCAA regional qualifying mark in this event. She will also be a big part of the 4x400 relay."
Cutrer brings a lot experience leadership as well. She returns for her third year after taking fifth in the 100m hurdles at the conference outdoor championship.
Feigt is a very well-rounded athlete who will compete in several individual events in addition to competing in the multi-events this year. She qualified for regionals last year, and was named the MWC player of the year in soccer this past fall. In addition to sprinting and hurdling, she will anchor the long jump and be the strongpoint in both the triple jump and indoor heptathlon. Her personal best marks in the triple jump and 400m are just off the NCAA regional qualifying mark.
Senior high-jumper Nicole Mancinelli will compliment Feight and lead a bevy of freshmen in the jumps. Newcomer Haley McAllister will take on long-jumping duties while freshmen Ashley Patterson and Sarah McFee will also help out with the triple jumping.
Not only do the upperclassmen offer some great talent, but the underclassmen show some potential as well. Freshman sprinter Ashley Patterson has versatility, and will run anything from the 200m to the 800m, as well as provide depth in the triple jump.
Junior Candice Mannion adds experience to the sprinters while McAllister will also be looked upon to contribute.
Another group capable of big contributions this year will be the pole vaulters. A trio of returners in Trisha Wagner, Mandie Rowell and Susan Atwater are experienced competitors and are potential scorers for the Utah while Steele is coming off of a successful freshman campaign and should figure in the mix. After coming off a great cross country season, Chelsea DiGrazia will look to have another breakout season on the track.
"She will see anything from the 800m to the 5,000m," commented coach Kepler. "She's another versatile athlete and we are excited to see what we can accomplish with her."
Kepler will also turn to seniors Nicki Hugie and Ashley Warnick in the distance events, both of whom were consistent contributors during the cross country season.
Janett Ern, a freshman from Germany, will also be a big talent at the 800m and the coaches are looking for big things from her as well.
The 2006 season begins on Jan. 13 with the BYU Open indoor meet while the outdoor season launches on March 31 with the BYU Invitational. The conference championship meets are on Feb. 23 and May 10.