It was an eventful weekend for the University of Utah track and field team that traveled to Idaho to compete in the Bronco Invitational. Senior Alissa Atisme had standout performances as she won two events and set a school record in a separate event.
Atisme set a school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.71 to give her a third place finish. She won the 200-meter with a time of 24.68, and she was also a part of the winning 4×400 meter relay, with her teammates: Jackie Martin, Caitlin Faust and Brooke Martin.
Going into the meet, Atisme didn’t know if this would be her last chance to run the 60-meter, so she wanted to try and break the record she had been trying to beat for the past four years.
“I don’t typically run the 60-meter dash anymore, just because I’ve transitioned to longer stuff, so I said to myself, ‘This might be the last time I ever get to run it in my whole life,'” Atisme said. “I was really excited to do it, and I mean I was really close in the trials and so the finals, I was like, ‘Okay, it’s the last chance I get, maybe ever.'”
Head coach Kyle Kepler said Atisme is a talented athlete and when she sets a goal, it is a combination of her work ethic, talent, drive and experience that leads her to accomplishing it. He also said the new assistant coach Chad Colwell has helped her improve.
“Certainly it’s not one of two things, it’s a combination of several different things that have all created an equation where it’s lead to some great results so far,” Kepler said.
Atisme wasn’t the only Ute to have success at the meet. Senior Rayne Helm Wheelock placed 10th in the 200-meter event and her time of 26.09 was a new personal best. She also competed with Atisme in the 60-meter, placing eighth and setting another personal best of 7.87 in the preliminaries.
Senior Rhianna Williams brought home the silver in the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.94, while Rachel Whipple got seventh place with a time of 58.75. Grace Englund was the first of five Utes to place in the 600-meter. Englund took second, Faust placed third, Sarah Newton took fourth, Jackie Martin finish fifth and Brooke Martin finished in sixth place.
In the 800-meter, Whitney Hessler took fourth place. Eight Utes finished in the top-15 in the mile run as well. Louise Mercer was the highest placing Ute in second. She was followed by Poppy Tank in third, Bella Williams in fourth, Hannah McInturff claimed eighth place, Jessica Sams took ninth and Trina Moreno rounded out the top-10.
Looking ahead, the Utes will travel to Seattle, Washington, to compete in the UW Invitational. The two-day meet gets underway on Friday, Jan. 26.