Six runners cracked into the all-time top ten lists in school history this weekend as the Utes participated in the Husky Classic in Washington, the Don Kirby Invite in New Mexico and the New Balance Boise Team Invitational in Idaho.
Sarah Feeny, Poppy Tank and Bella Williams each participated in the Husky Classic’s 3,000-meter race where they all set new personal records. Feeny finished with a time of 9:11.46, Tank finished in 9:24.42 and Williams finished in 9:38.51. Feeny set the new school record as Tank moved into fourth place in school history and Williams beat her previous best time while remaining in tenth all-time in Utah history.
Jackie Martin, Maya Lebar and Whitney Hessler also moved into the top ten in school history in their respective races. Martin finished in 24.81 and Lebar finished in 24.96 in the 200-meter dash moving them into second and fourth place in Utah history. Hessler chipped in with a great effort to finish the day by finishing the 600-meter race in 1:31.90 and moved into second place all-time.
Their competition was an “awesome day and we are improving all across the board in a lot of events with a lot of different kids so I was really impressed,” said head coach Kyle Kepler. “There were some last-minute changes to the schedule so our gals ran at different times than originally scheduled and I was just really proud of how mentally tough they were and the effort they gave,” Kepler said.
On Saturday, the Utes showcased great speed again as Scarlet Dale won the 3,000-meter race with a 9:37.46. Trina Moreno and Emma Christensen came in fifth and sixth place in the 3,000-meter with 10:03.63 and 10:05.38 respectively. Sara Leonard and Astrid Lindgren captured the twelfth and seventeenth place, both beating their personal record times in the race.
Kennedy Powell finished third with a personal record of 5:02.39 in the mile run, while Megan Killian and Natalie Platil came in eighth and eighteenth in the race.
Utah placed six within the top twenty in the 400-meter with Brooke Manson leading the way for the Utes and Sarah Newton, Sadie Wassum and Kayla Rees crossing the finish line soon after. Cara Woolnough took second place in the 800-meter with Sophie Ryan and Anna Busatto coming in third and thirteenth in the race.
“Just a heck of a meet and our kids really stepped up here and performed at a really high level and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Kepler said. “The highlight for us is probably the 3,000-meter run. We had a bunch of PR’s, we had some kids just miss PR’s and I have to mention Astrid Lindgren. She’s been a kid that’s been with our program for a couple of years, works her tail off every day and she got a big result today running a huge lifetime best.”
“Our program took a huge step forward and there’s no doubt about that and I am so impressed with the kids’ efforts,” Kepler continued. “Not the times, not the outcome, just how they did it. The overall effort and the looks on their faces and how much it meant to them and just the way they support each other is just a joy to watch from a coaching standpoint.”
Utah will have the week off in preparation for the MPSF Indoor Championships on Feb. 22-23 in Seattle, Washington.