May 7, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State's men and women's track and field teams will travel to Moscow, Idaho to compete at the Dan O'Brien Track & Field Complex for the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Tuesday through Friday, May 8-11, hosted by the University of Idaho. The Aggie women will be looking to sweep the 2012 track and field championships after winning the 2012 WAC Indoor title earlier this year, while the USU men are set to defend their 2011 WAC Outdoor Championship.
The Utah State women are trying to sweep the 2012 track and field championships. 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 from 2008-11.
USU's indoor title was the first WAC Track and Field Championship for the Aggie 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 five years.
The championships get underway on Tuesday at 2 p.m. (MT) with the women's heptathlon and men's decathlon, as the multi-events wrap up on Wednesday. Field event finals, along with running event preliminaries and finals begin on Thursday with the meet set to conclude Friday evening. 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 on www.utahstateaggies.com or by going to http://wac.org/public/otf/2012/index.htm.
"We always feel like we have a chance to win and obviously that is why we run the meet, to compete and prove that we can win it," said Aggie veteran head coach Gregg Gensel. "I think we are up to the task. Our women are motivated because they won indoors and I think that gave all of us some motivation to go after the title outdoors. Louisiana Tech is looking a lot better than they did in indoors and Idaho is going to be after us. The same can be said on the men's side, we just won three in a row so Idaho is throwing everything in the fire to come after us because they beat us in indoors and they still think they can beat in outdoors. So, we are going to see if we have something to say about that."
Returning to defend his 2011 WAC Outdoor 400m hurdles title is sophomore AJ Boully, while seniors Joe Canavan (shot put, 2010), Chio Lopez (5,000m, 2008) and Brian McKenna (10,000m, 2009) will look to win their second WAC Outdoor title. Sophomore Chari Hawkins won the heptathlon at the 2011 WAC Outdoor Championships while senior Ruth Hilton won the 3,000m steeplechase, however both athletes suffered injuries and have not competed during the outdoor season.
"We are going to have to have individuals step up into those roles," Gensel said. "Who those are, we will find out, that is why we run the meet. That is what I like about championships, it usually brings out the best in people and as they say, 'the cream rises to the top.' We have some athletes that will be poised to do that."
Senior thrower Lindsey Spencer highlighted the 2012 outdoor season as she set Utah State records in the discus and hammer events with marks of 54.48m (178-09) and 61.04m (200-03), respectively. Overall, USU won 42 event titles during the outdoor season, with the Aggie women capturing 25 and the men collecting 17.
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.
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