Aggie Men Finish Second, Women Fourth At WAC Indoor Championships
Feb. 28, 2009
BOISE, Idaho - Utah State men's and women's track and field teams finished action Saturday at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships with a second-place overall finish for the men and the women claimed fourth. The Aggie men captured event titles in the high jump, mile, 60m hurdles, 400m and junior Erin Stratton took the titles in the mile and 3,000m for the women.
"Our kids did great today. Time and time again and event after event today they could have given up, but they kept clawing away," USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. "We'd get the lead, then Boise would get it back, but we just kept gunning. I'm just really, really proud of them today and the tremendous effort they showed. Our distance crew really ran well this weekend."
Utah State's men finished in second-place with 145.5 points, close behind host Boise State with 150 points. Idaho was third with 121.50 points while Louisiana Tech was fourth with 104 points.
On the women's side, USU had 92.5 points finishing fourth behind Louisiana Tech's 120 points to win its second-straight and fourth WAC indoor title in the last five years. Idaho (114 pts.) and Boise State (112 pts.) were second and third, respectively. Hawai'i was fifth (72.5 pts), followed by Nevada (57 pts.), Fresno State (48 pts.) and New Mexico State (47 pts.).
"This was one of the first times that we've had a complete team effort on the women's side and we scored a lot more points this year than we did last year, but we still finished fourth, but we're getting better and getting closer. We're more competitive, so you've got to like that. They were in it, we just need a little more depth," Gensel said.
Stratton won the women's mile, breaking the tape in 4:55.42. Stratton also captured the 3,000m crown clocking in at 10:07.55, running the sixth-best time in USU history and a new personal best time.
The Aggies swept both the men's and women's mile as sophomore Chio Lopez took the title for the men running a new personal best at 4:12.73. That time is now No. 9 in USU history. Lopez also finished second in the 3,000m at 8:34.32.
"Chio is a great runner, he performed really well in winning the mile and then finishing second in the 3,000 meters later, and he just did a great job. Erin, you can't say enough good things about her, she's just one heck of a competitor and she's really tough," Gensel said.
For the Aggie men, sophomore Clint Silcock won the high jump title clearing 7-01.00 (2.16m), which is an NCAA provisional qualifying mark and is a new PR. as well as the third-best in Utah State history. Senior John Strang took third in the event clearing 6-08.75 (2.05m).
"Like we showed yesterday, we're one of the best distance schools in the conference and I think we solidified that some more today by performing as well as we did in the distance events," Gensel said.
Taking another event title for the men was junior Dylan Nielson in the 60m hurdles, setting a new PR and the third-best USU time at 8.03. Senior Keith Williams finished in third with a time of 8.17, which ties for the seventh fastest in USU history.
In the 800m, sophomore James Allred came in second-place clocking in at a personal best 1:53.75.
Utah State took second-place in the men's 4x400 relay clocking in at 3:14.80 and a new Utah State sixth-best time.
In the men's weight throw freshman Bryce Hall set a new PR with a distance of 57-02.75. (17.44m) finishing in seventh-place.
Sophomore Max Hanson took fifth-place in the pole vault clearing 15-01.00 (4.60m) and senior Palmer Hawkins came in sixth at 14-07.25 (4.45m).
In the triple jump senior Blake Hadfield took fourth with a new season best of 49-01.50 (14.97m). Strang finished in fifth at 44-04.00 (13.51m).
In addition to Stratton's two titles, USU's women took fourth in 800m, third the 4x400 relay, and sixth in both the 60m hurdles and shot put.
In women's action, junior Ashlee Cannon placed sixth in the 60m hurdles at 8.67, one of six top-six finishes for the Aggie women.
Senior Allsion Taylor finished sixth in the mile at 5:00.00 and freshman Jessie Chugg followed in sixth-place at 5:03.47.
In the 4x400 relay USU finished in 3:47.37 taking third-place. That time is 10th-best in USU history.
In the 400m senior Katie Thatcher finished at 56.71 in seventh-place setting a new PR, while sophomore Katelyn Jensen finished eighth in 56.73. In the triple jump freshman Julia Stewart placed 13th with a distance of 36-00.00 (10.97m).
"We also got great performances across the board from our triple jumpers, our pole vaulters, everyone just did a great job. We did everything humanly possible health-wise to perform, but Boise State just did a better job on the men's side and on the women's side, Idaho did a great job too. I'm really excited and proud of everyone's performance and their efforts," Gensel said.
Those Aggie individuals that qualify will compete at the NCAA National Indoor Championships, March 12-14 hosted by Texas A&M at College Station, Texas.
Utah State Track & Field WAC Indoor Championships February 28 - Nampa, Idaho USU Results