March 14, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Utah State's three track and field athletes competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships finished action well Saturday. Senior John Strang earned All-American honors in the heptathlon while sophomore Clint Silcock collected All-American accolades in the high jump tying for ninth-place. Sophomore Sonia Grabowska also competed well in the pole vault, finishing 15th.
"One of the things that you come here for is to compete against the best and to be an All-American as a result is an even bigger accomplishment," USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. "Even if you can't win All-American, you want to compete the best you can and all three of our athletes did that and to get two of the three of them All-American is fantastic."
Strang finished in eighth overall in the heptathlon with a new PR, Utah State school record and improving on his Western Athletic Conference record of 5,532 points. Strang finished in eighth in the 60m hurdles tying his season best at 8.25 following up with a 12th-place finish in the pole vault clearing 14-01.25 (4.30m). In the final heptathlon event, the 1,000m, Strang finished in a new season best time of 2:50.51.
"John was on a mission this week," Gensel said. "This guy has progressed from a walk-on high jumper to successful on the track and in the classroom. He's going to graduate this summer. He's not done, he wants to get All-American in the outdoor season in the decathlon. He's going to work hard for that."
Strang and Silcock are Utah State's first All-Americans since Brett Guyman earned the honor in 2002 for his performance in the 400m hurdles. They are the first duo to earn All-American honors together since 1998 when Shane Bingham (mile) and Mark Calvin (pole vault) both garnered the accolade at the 1998 Indoor National Championships.
They become the 22nd and 23rd USU male All-Americans, while Strang is the first in multi-events, either the heptathlon indoor or the decathlon outdoor. Silcock is the second Aggie high jumper, joining Dave Hoffman in 2001.
Silcock tied for ninth-place clearing 6-10.25 (2.09m). There was a four-way tie at 6-10.25 and Washington State's Trent Arrivery cleared the bar on his first attempt moving him to eighth place. Silcock cleared the height on his second attempt leaving him in a three-way tie for ninth with Connecticut's Marquis Thomas and Oklahoma's Paul Gill. Silcock collected All-American honors after being in the top eight American finishers.
Silcock's season best in the high jump was 7-02.50 (2.20m) he set at the Cougar Invitational January 31.
Sophomore Sonia Grabowska placed 15th in the pole vault clearing 12-11.50 (3.95m). Sonia Grabowska currently holds the best Utah State pole vault height at 13-09.50 (4.20m) she set at the USU hosted Wilson Motor Invitational January 17.
Strang, Silcock, Grabowska and the Aggies will begin their outdoor season at the Willie Williams Invitational hosted by the university of Arizona in Tucson, Az March 20-21.
Utah State Track & Field NCAA Indoor National Championships College Station, Texas March 14, 2009
Utah State Results
Men Heptathlon Cont.
60m hurdles - 8. John Strang, 8.25
Pole Vault - 12. John Strang, 14-01.25 (4.30m)
1,000m - 9. John Strang, 2:50.51
Heptathlon Final 8. John Strang, 5,532 pts.
High Jump - T9. Clint Silcock, 6-10.25 (2.09m)
Women Pole Vault - 15. Sonia Grabwsoka, 12-11.50 (3.95m)
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