Aggie Men Win WAC Indoor Championship, Women Second
Feb. 27, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State Men's track and field team won the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, while the Aggie women finished in second-place, their best finish since joining the WAC in 2005.
The men won the Indoor Championship in 2008 and in 2009 they took second place. This weekend they were able to re-take the title with 154 points by beating defending WAC Champion Boise State who finished second with 144.5 points.
After finishing in fourth-place for three consecutive years, the Aggie women battled to claim second-place with 104.5 points at this year's championship meet. Louisiana Tech won its third-straight WAC Championship with 175 points, while the Aggies topped third-place finisher Idaho, who had 102 points.
It was the USU women's top WAC finish in the Aggies' five years in the conference and was Utah State's best finish at an indoor conference meet since winning the 1994 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship.
"We told the kids going into today that it was going to be a battle and that we were still in it," said USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel, who earned his fourth WAC Track and Field Coach of the Year award and his 25th top coaching honor as Aggie head coach. "Our athletes came up big today. They knew the task at hand, and they went out there and did it."
The men took four individual titles and the women had one event winner in the third day of the championship.
Sophomore Kim Quinn earned the women's High Point Performer Award with 20 points for winning the 3,000m clocking in at 10:16.71 on Saturday. Quinn also won the 5,000m on Friday (17:32.23). She was also named the WAC Women's Track Performer of the Year.
"Kim is such a hard worker, and she did a great job. I am really happy she was recognized by the conference for that. Kim and her teammates all worked really hard this weekend and as a team they did some great things," Gensel said of the Aggie women's monumental finish.
Tabbing one of today's fours titles for the men was junior Mike Pyrtle, winning the 60m with a time of 6.80. Pyrtle, in his first season at Utah State, later tabbed a third-place finish in the 200m with a time of 21.62.
Junior Joe Canvan won the shot put with a distance of 17.64m (57-10.50).
Also finishing well for the men was sophomore Daniel Howell who finished in second in the 3,000m with a time of 8:23.40. Fellow sophomore Brian McKenna followed in third-place in the 3,000m clocking in at 8:24.05.
Despite winning only one event, several Aggie women had strong performances in the final day of competition. Senior Ashlee Cannon finished third in the 60m hurdles with a new season-best time of 8.58.
Aggie women took second and third in the mile with senior Erin Stratton clocking in at 4:56.64 and sophomore Jessie Chugg at 5:03.04, respectively. Senior Elaine Connolly took third in the 800m with a new season-best time of 2:15.55.
Following the championships, the Aggies that qualify will head to the NCAA Indoor National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday and Saturday, March 12-13.
WAC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
400m - 8. Aubrie Haymore, 57.20.
3,000m - 1. Kim Quinn, 10:16.71; 3. Erin Stratton, 10:24.08; 4. Ruth Hilton, 10:25.59; 9. Alex Litzsinger, 10:35.07; 14. Jessie Chugg, 10:41.58; 18. Marissa Floodman, 10:52.36; 22. Steph Burt, 11:03.31
Pole Vault - 6. Amber Thompson, 3.70m (12-01.50)
Triple Jump - 8. Julia Stewart, 11.40m (37-05.00)
FINAL TEAM SCORES (Women)
60m hurdles - 3. Dylan Nielson, 8.09
200m - 3. Mike Pyrtle, 21.62
3000m - 2. Daniel Howell, 8:23.40; 3. Brian McKenna, 8:24.05; 4. Steve Strickland, 8:32.79; 7. Nick Bolinder, 8:44.43; 10. Aaron Clements, 9:01.02; 11. Kyle Moffit, 9:01.82; 12. Hunter Nelson, 9:02.86; 14. Devin Pierson, 9:06.46; 15. Eric Larson, 9:13.80
FINAL TEAM SCORES (Men)