Utah State Track And Field Claims Five WAC Titles On Third Day Of Outdoor Track & Field Championships
May 10, 2012
MOSCOW, Idaho - Utah State's track and field team won five event championships on Thursday, day three of the four day 2012 Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of Idaho at the Dan O'Brien Track & Field Complex in Moscow, Idaho.
Winning their respective events were seniors Sonia Grabowska, Kim Quinn and Daniel Howell, along with sophomores Bryce Hall and Kyle McKenna. It is the first individual Western Athletic Conference outdoor title for all five athletes.
Grabowska won the pole vault while clearing 3.96m (12-1175), making it the third WAC pole vaulting title overall as she also won top honors in the event during the WAC Indoor Championships in 2011 and 2012. Quinn clocked in at 35:50.09 to win the 10,000m for her third overall WAC individual title as she won the 3,000m and 5,000m at the 2010 WAC Indoor Championships.
Hall threw a personal-best 52.34m, (171-09) to win the discus event and claim his second WAC event championship as he also won the weight throw title at the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships. Howell won the 3,000m steeplechase with a time of 9:04.52 to become a four-time WAC Champion as he also won the indoor 3,000m title in 2011 and 2012, as well as the 2012 indoor 5,000m title. McKenna crossed the finish line at 30:51.82 to win the 10,000m to claim his first WAC championship title after being the runner-up in the 10,000m at the 2011 WAC Outdoor Championships.
Overall on the day, USU had student-athletes place in the top-three of 10 events to garner first-team all-WAC honors, while seven Aggies placed fourth, fifth or sixth in their event to be named second-team all-WAC.
"With a few finals and preliminaries today and a lot of the finals tomorrow you want to do as well as you can with your opportunities, to put yourselves in a position to do well. I believe we accomplished that today," Aggie veteran head coach Gregg Gensel said. "We have been solid in the events that we needed to be and have done well in some of the other events. I am excited to see what we do with our opportunities tomorrow on the final day."
Idaho's men and women lead all teams at the championships with point totals of 93 and 51.5, respectively, heading into the final day. Fresno State's women are in second-place with 45 points followed by USU (43), Hawai'i (40.5), New Mexico State (40), Nevada (31) and Louisiana Tech (22). On the men's side, Utah State is in second-place with 73 points, while Fresno State is third with 48 points and Louisiana Tech sits in fourth-place with three points.
Utah State also qualified runners in 15 events to move on to the final section of their respective events on Friday, the final day of competition at the Dan O'Brien Track & Field Complex.
Highlighting the preliminary races were finishes by junior Bailee Whitworth and freshman Nic Bowens. Whitworth clocked in with a personal-best time of 11.84 in the 100m to tie Kim Barnes (1993) for the sixth-best time in school history, while also running a personal-best in the 200m (24.03) to move up to No. 7 all-time. Bowens also used a personal-best time of 11.47 in the 100m to enter a five-way tie for fifth-place in USU history, joining Brandon Boone (1998), Dwayne Foster (2001), Rod McNeal (2005) and Mike Pyrtle (2010).
The 2012 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships will conclude Friday with action in the field events set to get under way at 11 a.m. (MT) and running events starting at 4 p.m. Championship details, including a meet schedule are available at www.wacsports.com. Live results will be available for fans to follow each event by clicking on the "live results" link onwww.utahstateaggies.com or by going to http://wac.org/public/otf/2012/index.htm.
The Aggie women are trying to sweep the 2012 track and field championships as they won the WAC Indoor Championships earlier this year. If they can accomplish the feat, it would be the fifth-straight year that the conference indoor and outdoor titles were won by the same team after Louisiana Tech won both team championships form 2008-11.
USU's indoor title was the first WAC Track and Field Championship for the USU women as well as the first conference indoor title since winning the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title in 1994. The Utah State men are set to defend their 2011 WAC Outdoor Championship as they have won three straight titles and four over the past fiver years.
Those who qualify will continue their season at the first round of the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Austin, Texas on May 24-26. The finals for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held on June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
UTAH STATE RESULTS WAC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS MOSCOW, IDAHO MAY 10, 2012