After a successful weekend with five top 10 finishes, the University of Utah Track and Field team will be splitting up to compete in three different meets this weekend. Two meets will be in Northern California while the third will be south of Salt Lake in Orem.
The team will split into three different groups. Groups will compete at the Stanford and San Francisco State Invitationals. The rest will stay here to compete in the Utah Valley Invitational. The three meets will be all day events March 30 and 31. The competition at Stanford will start at 9 a.m. on Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday. For those competing at SFSU, the races begin at 8 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.
Head coach Kyle Kepler will mainly be taking the distance crew to California, but they won’t be the only ones competing.
“This weekend, we are going to bring the distance runners back into the fold. It’s a huge distance [meet,] the ones out in the bay area particularly. But we’ll take 7 sprinter and jumper gals, a few kids will stay at home and get a rest. We’ll run a few more at Utah Valley,” Kepler said.
The team kicked off the outdoor season with strong showings at USC the opening weekend of the season and San Diego State last weekend. To head coach Kyle Kepler, the momentum the team has gained since the beginning of the season is still going strong.
“We opened up [outdoor season] a couple of weeks ago and had some really solid performances. At Aztec, we did a good job of keeping the momentum going, some of them in different events, but overall I think it is about staying focused and we are back to school and kinda getting back into a regular rhythm and I think that will help as well, kinda getting things going again and getting back into a normal schedule,” Kepler said.
Kepler says having the team back in class after spring break gives them a routine to go back to after a hectic practice schedule over spring break with days off and odd practice times.
According to Kepler, there will be 10 athletes competing at Stanford while another 15 will be at San Francisco State. The sprinting crews will be split between San Francisco State and Utah Valley.
Since there is no conference play in track other than the Pac-12 Championship on May 12 and 13, Kepler is making sure his team is focusing on the bigger goals of the season.
“We’re not like gymnastics where we go and take on one or two teams, we have a championship meet in the middle of May. But between now and then, our focus is improvement, trying to create marks that are competitive enough to advance to the NCAA Preliminary round,” Kepler said.
The team will host their lone home meet of the season Friday, April 6. All events in the Utah Spring Classic will take place at the McCarthy Track and Field. The next day, the Utes will head north to Ogden to compete in the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Weber State University. The times of both meets are to be announced.