Feb. 26, 2011
NAMPA, Idaho - Both the men's and the women's titles came down to the final event at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Jackson Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho. When the dust had settled from the 4x400m relays, the results had a mirrored image from a year ago, as the Utah State men's team emerged as co-WAC champions, the Aggies' second-straight conference title, while the USU women repeated as runners-up.
Six men's individual titles for the Utah State men led the Aggies to the title, while the women finished second, getting eight top three finishers in the final day. The USU men tied host Boise State with 177 points each, marking the first time in the history of the WAC that two teams have shared the indoor conference championship. The Aggie women were one point behind five-time champion Louisiana Tech, 133-132.
"They battled hard. They just kept crawling back into it and gave us a chance to win in the end. The women's title came down to the last event and we just missed it by one point," USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. "We had a lot of good performances on the men and women's side."
It was the Aggie men's second-straight WAC indoor title and their third WAC indoor championship in the last four years. Overall, USU has now won five of the last seven combined indoor and outdoor track and field titles, winning the 2008, 2010 and 2011 indoor championships while also collecting the 2009 and 2010 outdoor titles.
The women finished as runner-up for the second year in a row, as Louisiana Tech won its fifth-straight WAC indoor championship and sixth in the last seven years. This season the Aggie women closed the gap with the Lady Techsters, as last season's point differential was 71.5 points.
Senior Armahd Lewis was named Men's Co-Track Athlete of the meet while Tanner Hunt was named the Freshman of the Year and USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel collected Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time in seven years.
Behind USU and BSU on the men's side, Louisiana Tech was third with 94 points while Idaho was fourth with 69 points.
On the women's side, Louisiana Tech won with 133 points, USU was second with 132 points, followed by Nevada in third with 88 points. Boise State was fourth with 80 points, while New Mexico State was fifth (68.5 points), followed by Fresno State in sixth (67 points), Hawai'i in seventh (48.50 points) and Idaho was eighth (44 points).
Senior Clint Silcock won his third-straight Western Athletic Conference title as he cleared 7-02.25 (2.19m). Silcock is the only Aggie who automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas on March 11-12. Joining Silcock in the top six of the high jump were sophomore Eric Follett in third with a career-best jump of 6-10.25 (2.09m) and sophomore Kenny Hamlett in sixth (6-02.25 [1.89m]).
Senior Armahd Lewis won two titles Saturday, winning the 60m dash in a career-best 6.77 and improving from No. 5 to No. 4 on USU's career top 10 list in the event. Lewis also broke the tape in the 200m, winning in a time of 21.46. Freshman Parker Bluth earned a pair of second-team all-WAC honors by finishing fourth in both the 60m (career-high 6.95) and 200m (21.91).
Senior Eric Larson won the mile title in a career-best 4:09.32 time, improving from No. 8 to No. 7 on the Aggies' career top 10 list. Larson was one of four USU men to earn team points and all-WAC honors in the event as senior Hunter Nelson (4:14.46), junior Aaron Clements (4:14.59) and junior Chio Lopez (4:16.17) were fourth through sixth, respectively, all collecting second-team all-WAC honors.
In the 800m, senior James Allred won his second-straight WAC title in the event, breaking the tape in 1:53.24, just ahead of fellow senior Jason Holt (1:53.86).
Junior Daniel Howell was Utah State's sixth title collector, winning the 3,000m in an 8:26.54 time. Freshman Kyle McKenna was fourth (8:32.3) to earn second-team all-conference honors.
While the women did not have title winners, the Aggies collected eight top three finishers, all earning first-team all-WAC honors, as well as several new marks in the USU records.
Senior Lindsey Spencer and junior Spela Hus were second and third, respectively, in the shot put with marks of 48-08.25 (14.84m) and 47-00.75 (14.34m). Spencer's mark is the third-best in the Aggie record books, while Saturday's distance by Hus is just shy of her career-best mark of 14.42m, that got bumped down to No. 4.
Freshman Hannah Williams was third in the mile with a 4:59.69 time, good for No. 10 on USU's top 10 list.
In the final event of the meet, the USU 4x400m relay team of sophomores Hollie Bosworth and Aubrie Haymore along with Hirshci and Heiner was third in a time of 3:44.82, No. 6 on the Aggies' top 10 list.
Other all-WAC accolade winners for the USU men were three first-team honorees, including the 4x400m relay team of Bluth, Lewis, Allred and freshman Tanner Hunt, finishing second in a season-best time of 3:14.16, the fourth-fastest time in school history. Hunt also finished third in the 400m (season-best 47.99). Junior John Johnson was second in the pole vault (16-01.25 (4.91m).
Four other Aggie men earned second-team all-WAC accolades, including freshman Jacob Peterson earned a pair of second-team honors with two season-bests times, placing fifth in the 800m (1:54.87) and sixth in the 60m hurdles (8.43). Sophomore Spencer Hall was fourth in the weight throw (57-05.50 [17.51m]), while junior Max Hansen was fifth in the pole vault (15-01.50 [4.61m]) on a judge's decision, and fellow junior Damian Szade was sixth in the triple jump (45-04.50 [13.83m]).
Three USU women collected second-team honors, as senior Alexis Meyer was sixth in the 800m (2:16.64), while senior Alicia Wilkins (5:02.84) and sophomore Stephanie Burt (5:05.63) were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the mile.
Those athletes that qualify will be competing in the NCAA National Championships, in College Station, Texas on March 11-12. Clint Silcock is the lone Aggie who has already qualified when he cleared 2.24m in the high jump at the New Mexico Classic on Feb. 4, for an automatic qualifying mark. The championship field will be announced on March 7.
UTAH STATE RESULTS FEB. 26, 2011 WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS NAMPA, IDAHO
Team Scores: 1. Louisiana Tech, 133 2. UTAH STATE, 132 3. Nevada, 88 4. Boise State, 80 5. New Mexico State, 68.50 6. Fresno State, 67 7. Hawai'i, 48.50 8. Idaho, 44
60m - none
200m - none
3000m - 2. Ruth Hilton, 9:54.73; 3. Kim Quinn, 9:55.61; 9. Alex Litzsinger, 10:08.69; 12. Hannah Williams, 10:18.97; 15. Marissa Floodman, 10:26.36; 17. Alicia Wilkins, 10:31.02; 29. Stephanie Burt, 10:58.39
Team Scores: T1. UTAH STATE, 177 T1. Boise State, 177 3. Louisiana Tech, 94 4. Idaho, 69
Co-Men's Track Athlete of the Meet - Armahd Lewis
Freshman of the Year - Tanner Hunt
Coach of the Year - Gregg Gensel
400m - 3. Tanner Hunt, 47.99
3000m - 1. Daniel Howell, 8:26.54; 4. Kyle McKenna, 8:32.30; 7. Brian McKenna, 8:33.43; 9. Steve Atkinson, 8:48.25; 10. Eric Larson, 8:49.80; 11. Chio Lopez, 8:53.51; 13. Hunter Nelson, 9:01.20; 14. Devin Lang, 9:07.12; Aaron Clements, DNF
Weight Throw - 4. Spencer Hall, 17.51m (57-05.50)
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