Strang Nabs WAC Field And America First Credit Union USU Student-Athlete Of The Week Awards, Karren Collects WAC Track Honor
Feb. 2, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Senior John Strang was named the Western Athletic Conference men's field athlete of the week as well as the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete Of The Week for the period ending on Sunday, Jan. 31, while classmate Nick Karren was tabbed the WAC men's track athlete of the week. The WAC award is selected by the conference office, while the USU accolade is voted on by a statewide media panel.
This past weekend at the Washington State Cougar Invitational, Strang, a native of Hawthorne, N.J. (Hawthorne HS), won the men's heptathlon with an NCAA-provisional mark of 5,443 points. After taking first in the heptathlon 60m, long jump, high jump and sixth in shot put Friday, Strang continued strong Saturday capturing two more firsts in the 60m hurdles (8.41) and the pole vault clearing 13.09.25 (4.20m). Strang finished out the heptathlon with a fourth-place finish in the 1,000m run clocking in at 2:55.35. He set a provisional mark in the high jump, setting a lifetime best and NCAA provisional qualifying mark, clearing 7-00.25 (2.14m).
Karren, a Duchesne, Utah (Duchesne HS) native, won the 400m clocking in at 48.56 and setting a new Cougar Invitational meet record, breaking his own previous record that he set in 2008. Karren was also the anchor on the men's winning 4x400 relay team in 3:16.34, also setting a new meet record. The 4x400relay team won the title for the third meet in row.
This is Strang's first weekly WAC indoor honor for his career while it is Karren's third career award after winning it back-to-back weeks Jan. 21 and 28 of last season.
Strang collected his third career USU award, earning it twice last year (March 3 and May 5).
Karren and Strang will lead the USU men's and women's track and field teams into action on Saturday, Feb. 7 at the University of Washington Invitational at Seattle, Wash.
Nominees from other sports included:
MEN'S BASKETBALL - Sophomore forward Tai Wesley (Provo, Utah) helped Utah State notch a pair of WAC wins last week with a 72-61 victory against Nevada and a 83-77 overtime win at Fresno State. Against the Wolf Pack, Wesley scored a game-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and added six rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block. Against the Bulldogs, he scored 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. For the week, Wesley averaged 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals, and shot 66.7 percent from the field (16-24) and 66.7 percent from the free throw line (6-9).
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - Senior guard Danyelle Snelgro (Altadena, Calif.) averaged 13.0 points and 5.5 assists in a home loss to Hawai`i (63-61), and a road loss to Fresno State (68-59) last week. Against the Rainbow Wahine, Snelgro scored a team-high 16 points, to go along with six assists and four steals. In the loss to second-place Fresno State, Snelgro added 10 points along with three steals and five more assists.
GYMNASTICS - Junior Heather Heinrich (Littleton, Colo.) won three titles during the week, winning the all-around and tying for first on vault at Boise State as well as winning the vault at Southern Utah. Against the Broncos, she won the all-around with a 38.950, just .050 shy of her career-best of 39.000, as well as tying a career-high with a 9.850 to tie for first on the vault. At Southern Utah, Heinrich won the vault with a 9.800.
MEN'S TENNIS - Sophomore Bryan Marchant (Olympus, Utah) won his number three singles point in a quick 6-1, 6-1 win against Idaho State's Ross Dechant in Utah State's 6-1 victory against the Bengals. Marchant also partnered with teammate Jakob Asplund and the pair defeated Javier Royo and Ross Dechant, 8-2, in the Aggies first win of the season.
WOMEN'S TENNIS - Sophomore Hailey Swenson (North Salt Lake City, Utah) fell, 6-0, 6-3, to No. 43 McCall Jones in Utah State's 7-0 loss at Brigham Young Friday. Swenson partnered with teammate Bridgette Strickland and the pair fell, 8-1, in doubles play.
WOMEN'S TRACK - Utah State's 4x400 relay team of sophomores Heidi Hopkins (Lewisville, Texas) and Katelyn Jensen (Ogden, Utah), junior Elaine Connolly (Bountiful, Utah) and senior Katie Thatcher (Paradise, Utah) took the title at the Washington State Invitational last weekend breaking the tape at 3:51.16. The Aggies blew the competition away finishing the race more than seven seconds ahead of second place finisher, Sacramento State (3:58.41).
2008-09 Utah State Athlete of the Week Winners