Back on the road this weekend, the University of Utah’s track and field team is traveling to compete in two meets. Starting on Thursday, the team will compete in the Mt. SAC Relays on the campus of El Camino College due to construction on the home track of Mt. SAC. This meet will conclude on Friday. The following day, the team will head down to Long Beach to compete in the Long Beach State Invitational.
The team is coming off an impressive weekend in Logan, Utah, where the Utes had a number of second place and top 10 finishes. Mesa Weidle was even awarded the Pac-12 Women’s Track Athlete of the Week after finishing second in the 400-meter with a 57.28 timestamp.
After this weekend, the team will have four final opportunities to make sure it is ready for both Pac-12 and NCAA championship season. Head coach Kyle Kepler is looking forward to the setup of the Mt. SAC meet because it will give his team the preparation it needs for the conference championship setup in May. With the championships are so close, it is about both the quality of the competition as well as the quantity of races run.
“For a lot of these kids, it is a chance to work on and simulate prelims finals like what will happen at the conference meet, where you will have prelims on the first day and if you qualify, the second day will be the finals. It is just a chance to run back-to-back days and see how we respond and see how our strength is,” Kepler said.
Some of the members of the team will be doing double duty, competing in both the SAC Relays as well as the LBS Invitational. According to Kepler, the girls on the team won’t know which meet they will be competing in until the staff receives the heat sheets later in the week.
“Mt. SAC is more of a higher-end, distance-oriented meet because in the evenings the wind typically dies down and the temperatures are typically pretty nice,” Kepler said. “Long Beach will be the second meet that weekend so we will be able to get some kids some extra races in maybe not their primary event.”
Unlike some of the past meets this season, not all of one distance group will be attending the same meet.
“It’s a wild mix, we are chaos and we know it,” Kepler said. “It will kinda be a three-ring circus in terms of the logistics, but as a staff we will know in the next couple of days.”
All-American Grayson Murphy is expected to be back in competition this weekend. This will be Murphy’s second outdoor meet this season with her first being nearly a month ago at the Stanford Invitational.