USU Men's Track Team Wins Indoor WAC Championship, Women Fourth
March 1, 2008
NAMPA, Idaho - Utah State men's track and field team won the team championship, while the women's team finished fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships Saturday in Nampa, Idaho.
"We have great athletes who want to win," said USU head coach Gregg Gensel. "We did a good job of setting ourselves up in the preliminaries. We went after it today and got it done."
Junior Nick Karren was named the WAC Indoor Track Athlete of the Year as he won the 60m hurdles (8.05) and the 400m (47.61). Karren's time in the 60m hurdles moves him into third-place on USU's men's indoor top 10 list and is also his season-best. He moves into seventh-place in the men's indoor top 10 list with his time in the 400m.
Freshman Silas Pimentel received a "well deserved" Freshman of the Year award, according to Gensel, as Pimentel came in second in both the 60m (6.92) and 200m (season-best tying 21.48) dashes. This is the second year in a row that an Aggie has won the Men's Freshman of the Year Award.
Utah State ended with 179 points, ahead of Boise State's 154 points and third-place Idaho at 118 while Louisiana Tech tallied 66 points for fourth.
The USU men received a combined 37 points from their finishes in the mile and 3,000m runs. Sophomore Steve Strickland won the 3,000m with a time of 8:28.45, junior Seth Wold placed fourth with a time of 8:36.92, freshman Hunter Nelson finished in 8:40.00 to put him in fifth-place and sophomore Jared Glenn recorded his season best as he came in sixth-place with a 8:42.93. Sophomore Jason Holt and freshman Eric Larson posted their season-bests in the mile with times of 4:13.11 and 4:13.58, junior Seth Wold's time of 4:16.47 put him in fourth-place and freshman Chio Lopez finished in fifth-place with a time of 4:16.72.
"We knew that if the distance runners didn't do what they needed to do then we weren't going to have a chance to win and they came out with flying colors. We didn't win every event, but we scored big points in all of the events," Gensel said. "We were very solid, and won the distance medley. There isn't a better way to say we have the best distance runners then by winning the distance medley."
Strickland's time in the 3,000m moves him into eighth-place in the men's indoor top 10 list and is also his season best. Holt's time in the mile moves him into 10th-place in the men's indoor top 10 list.
The men's 4x400 relay team also took first-place. The relay team (junior Brandon Waller, junior Keith Williams, senior Brett Knighton and Karren) finished with a time of 3:13.33, which is their season best.
On the women's side, sophomore Erin Stratton won the mile with a time of 5:00.77 and senior Amy Egan placed second and third in the 3,000m and 800m with times of 10:14.33 and 2:14.52. Stratton's time moves her into ninth-place in the women's indoor top 10 list. Egan's time in the 3,000m is her season best.
Other men who recorded their season bests include heptathlon winner junior John Strang's fourth-place finish in the 60m (7.00) and sixth-place finish in the 60m Hurdles (8.30), senior Lamar Brown's eighth-place finish in the 60m (7.04), Knighton's fourth-place finish in the 400m (48.56), Waller's time of 48.70 in the 400m, freshman James Allred's third-place finish in the 800m (1:54.52), freshman Andrew Niccoli's time of 1:54.74 in the 800m and 8:51.30 in the 3,000m, sophomore Heath Wing's time of 1:57.54 in the 800m, freshman Daniel Cruz's distance of 45-06.25 in the weight throw, junior David Loomis's height of 15-01.00 in the pole vault and freshman Charles Hopkins's fifth-place finish in the pole vault (14-07.25).
Nine other Aggie women recorded season bests at the championships. Freshman Katelyn Jensen, sophomore Elaine Connolly and junior Katie Thatcher recorded their season bests in the 400m with times of 56.26, 56.57 and 56.79, respectively. Senior Stacie Lifferth posted her season best in the mile with a time of 5:03.14 along with freshman Alicia Holt's time of 5:11.36. Stratton, Holt, and freshman Justine Baugh recorded their season bests in the 3,000m with times of 10:37.02, 10:47.68 and 11:23.15, respectively.
"We have a very young women's team so we just don't have the depth that we need yet. For some of them this is a learning experience," Gensel said. "Sometimes you have to learn and then keep moving on. They had a chance to do very well and they ended up fourth by only a half a point, which I knew was a possibility, but I thought they did awesome."
Louisiana Tech won the women's team championships with 122 points, narrowly edging Hawai'i with 121, while Idaho was third with 86 points, a half point ahead of USU's 85.5 points. The Aggies were followed by fifth-place Boise State with 85 points.
The USU women's 4x400 relay team, which includes Thatcher, Jensen, Connolly and freshman Camille Fehlberg, also posted a season best with a time of 3:49.86.
The Aggie track and field teams will compete Saturday, March 8 in the Last Chance Meet at Seattle, Wash. for a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. March 14-15 hosted by the University of Arkansas.
Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships
200m: 6. Maria Halton, 25.04
800m: 3. Amy Egan, 2:14.52
High Jump: 6. Jennifer Scheiss, 5-03.25 (1.61m); 7. Aimee Saugageau, 5-02.25J (1.61m); 8. Tara Pickett, 5-01.25 (1.56m)
Triple Jump: 14. Aimee Sauvageau 33-03.25 (10.14m)
Shot Put: 15. Brooke McNaughton, 40-02.25 (12.25m)
200m: 2. Silas Pimentel, 21.48; 5. Nick Karren, 21.98
Weight Throw: 12. Tyler Ellis, 47-00.25 (14.33m); 13. Daniel Cruz, 45-06.25 (13.87m)
Triple Jump: 4. Blake Hadfield 49-03.75 (15.03m)