Feb. 24, 2012
NAMPA, Idaho - Utah State track and field seniors Sonia Grabowska, Joe Canavan and Daniel Howell each won an event title for Utah State on Friday, day two of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships at Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho.
Grabowska cleared 3.83m (12-06.75) to win her second-straight indoor pole vaulting title, while Canavan threw a season-best 17.25m (56-07.25) to capture his second shot put title as he also won the event in 2010. Howell won his first 5,000m indoor title with a time of 14:34.45 and will try to defend his 3,000m title from 2011 Saturday, the final day of the WAC Indoor Championships.
As a team, USU's women remain in first-place with 70 points followed by New Mexico State at 48 points and Fresno State at 38 points. The Aggie men collected 64 points which is good enough for second-place behind Idaho 77, while Louisiana Tech garnered one point on day two.
Nine other Utah State student-athletes were named first-team all-WAC for placing in the top three of their respective event. Taking second-place were seniors Philip Noble (heptathlon) and Damian Szade (long jump) along with junior Amber Thompson (pole vault), sophomore Bryce Hall (shot put) as well as the men and women's distance medley relay teams.
The men's medley crossed the finish line with the second-fastest time (9:56.92) in Aggie history as the team consisted of seniors Aaron Clements and Chio Lopez along with junior Tyler Killpack and sophomore Devin Lang. This was the first time since 2006 that the Aggie men did not win the distance medley relay with the Vandals capture the race that season. The women's medley team consisted of senior Jessie Chugg, junior Stephanie Burt, sophomore Hannah Williams and freshman Krista Whittle.
Freshman Rachel Orr and sophomore Chari Hawkins rounded out the first-team all-WAC honors as they each soared over 1.68m (5-06.00) to tie for third-place in the high jump.
"We put ourselves in a really good position on the women's side to make a run for the title," said Utah State veteran head coach Gregg Gensel. "If we do what we have done to get here, we should have a good shot of winning. On the men's we kind of dug ourselves into a hole with not taking care of business. We still did a good job, but Idaho did a really good job. We need to step it up tomorrow, and I think we have the ability to do that. We will regroup and focus on competing in the final day of the championships and make a run for titles."
Collecting second-team all-WAC honors by placing fourth were seniors Kim Quinn in the 5,000m and Rachelle St. Jeor in the pole vault along with junior Jon Goble in the heptathlon. Sophomore Kyle McKenna led a 4-5-6 Aggie finish in the 5,000m as they also collected second-team all-WAC accolades. Senior Lindsey Spencer placed fifth in the weight throw along with freshman Mariah Thompson and senior Katelyn Heiner finishing sixth in the high jump and long jump, respectively, to round out the second-team all-WAC honorees for Utah State.
USU also had nine women and nine men qualify for the final rounds in their respective running events that will be held on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. (MT). The rest of the field events will kick at approximately 11 a.m. with the men's high jump and the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships are set to conclude with the men and women's 4x400 meter relay at 3:30 p.m.
Live results for the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships are available through www.utahstateaggies.com as well as http://wac.org/ift/2012/index.htm. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.wacsports.com for more information.
Those who qualify will return to Nampa, Idaho on March 8-11 for the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships. The field for the championships will be announced on March 5 by the NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field Committee. The Aggies will also be in action on March 3 at some last chance meet that have yet to be determined.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
UTAH STATE RESULTS 2012 WAC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS NAMPA, IDAHO FEBRUARY 24, 2012
WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES: 1. Utah State 70 2. New Mexico State 48 3. Fresno State 38 4. Hawai'i 36 4. Idaho 36 6. Nevada 29 7. Louisiana Tech 15
MEN'S TEAM SCORES: 1. Idaho 77 2. Utah State 64 3. Louisiana Tech 1
WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 60m prelim. - 6. Bailee Whitworth, 7.63q
800m prelim. - 7. Kylie Hirschi, 2:12.13q
High Jump - T-3. Rachel Orr, J1.68m (5-06.00); T-3. Chari Hawkins, J1.68m (5-06.00); 6. Mariah Thompson, 1.65m (5-05.00); 10. Bri Campbell, J1.60m (5-03.00); 11. Madison Jensen, 1.55m (5-01.00); 12. Jen Schiess, J1.55m (5-01.00)
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