The Utah track and field team headed down south to the home of longtime rival BYU at the Clarence Robison invitational in Provo. Though the weather wasn’t cooperative, the Utah track team still put on a terrific performance.
“We had a really solid meet the past two days. We saw some great things from our athletes. They overcame some adversity and performed really well,” said head coach Kyle Kepler. “It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes as a coach you hope for adversity. You want to see your athletes struggle because they will eventually overcome and get better. Adversity is part of the process.”
Junior Alissa Atisme set an impressive standard, posting the third-fastest time in school history in the 400-meter race. Atisme won the 400-meter event with a time of 54.80 seconds.
“I feel like I did really well,” Atisme said of her impressive performance. “What surprised me is how well we handled the weather. Being in the Pac-12, we aren’t used to running in places that aren’t sunny and warm. Some of us weren’t prepared with the right clothing either. But we all came out and competed really well.”
Sophomore Mesa Weidle earned seventh place in the same event with a time of 58.25 seconds. Both would later run in the 200-meter event, with Atisme placing fourth and Weidle coming in 15th, with times of 24.22 and 25.67 seconds, respectively.
Redshirt senior Ali Eisenbeiss won the 800-meter event with a time of 2:10.82, while junior Grace Englund took third place in that event by posting a time of 2:12.21.
Two Utes placed in the top five in the 400-meter hurdle dash, with Christine Van Brocklin and sophomore Madison Lanford taking fourth and fifth places, respectively. Van Brocklin posted a time of 1:02.41, with Lanford finishing not far behind with a time of 1:02.96.
The 5,000-meter run featured two true freshmen for the Utes. Hannah Allred took ninth place with a time of 19:20.62, while Jade Mulvey placed 13th overall, finishing at 19:43.11.
The Utes will now travel to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the Drake Relays on Thursday. The meet will extend through Saturday. Kepler has high hopes for his team heading into this weekend’s event.
“[The Drake Relays] is a national meet, and it is great experience and exposure for us to go there and compete,” he said. “What we want to do there is win. The great thing about relays is you are competing against another runner as opposed to competing against the clock. We want to make a statement against some big teams at a national event and get ready for the Pac-12 Championships.”