Feb. 25, 2012
NAMPA, Idaho - Utah State's women track and field team collected 144 points to win the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships at Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho Saturday, while the USU men took second-place.
The win marks the first ever WAC track and field title for the Aggie women as well as it being the first conference indoor title since the USU women won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor title in 1994. Idaho's women came in second-place with 110 points followed by New Mexico State (94), Louisiana Tech (89), Nevada (86), Fresno State (71) and Hawai'i (67).
Utah State's men came back from an early hole to pressure Idaho for the men's title as only one point separated the two going into the 4x400 meter relay, the final event of the championship. In the end, Idaho was able to out leg the Aggies to take first-place in the relay race and claim the WAC title with 217.5 points. Utah State ended up with 212.5 points followed by Louisiana Tech with 77.
USU's men and women's team were the only team to have an athlete score in each event during the three-day championship.
During Saturday's action, Utah State tallied five event champions as part of 21 first-team all-WAC honorees. USU also had 19 student-athletes garner second-team all-WAC honors on the final day. Aggie veteran head coach Gregg Gensel was awarded his eighth women's Coach of the Year award and 34th overall Coach of the Year award at Utah State.
"I think the women's victory was accomplished by a combination of things," Gensel said. "We have a complete track and field team, and you can tell that by the fact that we had an athlete score in every event on both the men and women's sides. With the amount of women's teams in the championship, that was very impressive."
In 2011, the Aggie women were extremely disappointed when they saw their lead vanish only to lose by one point to Louisiana Tech. "The ladies had a goal coming into this championship that they wanted to try to win the indoor title after losing by one point last year and they have been working very hard all year to accomplish that," said Gensel. "I am proud of what they accomplished."
Freshman Nic Bowens finished second in both the 60m and 200m to garner the honor of being voted the 2012 WAC Men's Freshman of the Year. "Nic deserves this freshman of the year award. He has done well all season, and he knew his fellow teammate (Silas Pimentel) was sick coming into the championships and Nic really stepped up his game."
Winning the WAC individual title in their respective events were seniors Katelyn Heiner (400m), Chio Lopez (mile) and Daniel Howell, (3,000m) along with sophomore Bryce Hall (weight throw). The women's 4x400 meter relay team also finished in first-place. The team consisted of Heiner, juniors Bailee Whitworth and Aubrie Haymore along with sophomore Kylie Hirschi.
For Howell, this is his second title at the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships as he won the 5,000m on Friday. It is also his second-straight WAC indoor 3,000m, title while Lopez won his second WAC mile title as he also won in 2009. For Heiner, Hall and the women's 4x400 meter relay this marks their first WAC indoor event title. With the time of 3:43.59, the women's 4x400 meter relay team ranks at No. 5 in Utah State history.
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.
USU WOMEN'S AWARDS:
WAC Coach of the Year: Gregg Gensel
First-Team All-WAC (place - event ) Stephanie Burt (2nd - distance medley) Brittany Bushman (2nd - distance medley) Jessie Chugg (2nd - distance medley) Sonia Grabowska (1st - pole vault) Chari Hawkins (1st - pentathlon / T-3rd - high jump) Aubrie Haymore (1st - 4x400m relay) Katelyn Heiner (1st - 400m / 1st - 4x400m relay) Kylie Hirschi (1st - 4x400m relay / 3rd - 800m) Sam Nielson (3rd - triple jump) Rachel Orr (T-3rd - high jump) Amber Thompson (2nd - pole vault) Bailee Whitworth (1st - 4x400m relay / 2nd - 200m) Hannah Williams (2nd - distance medley)
Second-Team All-WAC (place - event ) Stephanie Burt (5th - mile) Chari Hawkins (4th - 60m hurdles) Aubrie Haymore (4th - 400m) Katelyn Heiner (6th - long jump) Spela Hus (4th - shot put) Kim Quinn (4th - 3,000m / 4th - 5,000m) Lindsey Spencer (5th - weight throw) Rachelle St. Jeor (4th - pole vault) Julia Stewart (4th - triple jump) Mariah Thompson (6th - high jump) Hannah Williams (6th - mile)
USU MEN'S AWARDS:
WAC Freshman of the Year: Nic Bowens
First-Team All-WAC (place - event ) AJ Boully (2nd - 4x400m relay / 3rd - 60m hurdles) Nic Bowens (2nd - 60m / 2nd - 200m / 2nd - 4x400m relay) Joe Canavan (1st - shot put / 3rd - weight throw) Aaron Clements (2nd - distance medley) Eric Follett (2nd - high jump) Bryce Hall (1st - weight throw / 2nd - shot put) Kenny Hamlett (2nd - triple jump) Daniel Howell (1st - 3,000m / 1st - 5,000m) John Johnson (T-3rd - pole vault) Devin Lang (2nd - mile / 2nd - distance medley) Chio Lopez (1st - mile / 2nd - distance medley) Tyler Killpack (2nd - 800m / 2nd - distance medley / 2nd - 4x400m relay) Silas Pimentel (2nd - 4x400m relay / 3rd - 60m) Philip Noble (2nd - heptathlon) Damian Szade (2nd - long jump / 3rd - triple jump)
Second-Team All-WAC (place - event ) Nick Bolinder (5th - 3,000m / 6th - 5,000m) Aaron Clements (5th - mile) Jon Goble (4th - heptathlon / 5th - 60m hurdles / T-5th - high jump) Kenny Hamlett (4th - high jump) Travis Johnson (4th - triple jump) Devin Lang (5th - 800m) Xavier Martin (6th - 60m) Brian McKenna (5th - 5,000m) Kyle McKenna (4th - 3,000m / 4th - 5,000m) Philip Noble (6th - pole vault) Silas Pimentel (4th - 200m) Reagan Ward (6th - triple jump)
UTAH STATE RESULTS 2012 WAC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS NAMPA, IDAHO FEBRUARY 25, 2012
WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES: 1. Utah State 144 2. Idaho 110 3. New Mexico State 94 4. Louisiana Tech 89 5. Nevada 86 6. Fresno State 71 7. Hawai'i 67
MEN'S TEAM SCORES: 1. Idaho 217.5 2. Utah State 212.5 3. Louisiana Tech 77
SATURDAY'S WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 60m - 7. Bailee Whitworth, 7.72
60m Hurdles - 4. Chari Hawkins, 8.80
200m - 2. Bailee Whitworth, 24.16
800m - 3. Kylie Hirschi, 2:10.78
3,000m - 1. Daniel Howell, 8:14.79; 4. Kyle McKenna, 8:32.64; 5. Nick Bolinder, 8:39.55; 7. Chris Martinez, 8:44.78; 8. Aaron Clements, 8:53.15; 9. Devin Lang, 8:55.25; 10. Austin Neuner, 8:55.93; 11. Chio Lopez, 9:00.49; 12. Eric Shellhorn, 9:00.96
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