Utah took part in the 2019 MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships in Seattle, Washington over the weekend. A second place finish by a group of Utah freshman in the medley relay was the talk of the day on the first day of the championships, while Sarah Feeny breaking her own school record in the 3,000-meter race was the headliner for day two.
Sophie Ryan, Lauren O’Banion, Brooke Manson and Cara Woolnough composed the freshman medley relay group that finished with a season-best time of 11:26.09.
“It was an all-freshman squad and it was an awesome and great job by them. 11:26.09 and I think that is the fastest time we have ever ran here at the MPSF,” said head coach Kyle Kepler. “I am really impressed with those guys and they just gave a great effort and I am really proud of them.”
More freshmen made their mark on the day as Taylor Watson finished in third place in the 60-meter dash with a 7.68, narrowly missing out on a school record of which she is the current holder. Watson also ran in the 200-meter race, finishing with a time of 25.45. Maya Lebar, another freshman for the Utes, finished in third place in her section of the 200-meter with a time of 25.18.
Senior Raynee Helm-Wheelock also had a great day for Utah, finishing her heat in third place in the 60-meter dash with a PR of 7.72. This time also moved her into third place all-time in Utah history for the 60-meter race. Helm-Wheelock also competed in the 200-meter race later on in the day where she took second place in her section with a time of 26.01.
“That 7.72 was the school record up until about two or three years ago, so I was just really proud of her,” Kepler said. “She’s a senior and has been a staple for us in our program for a long time and she just kept developing and it’s great to see her with a PR in her final 60-meter race of her career.”
Eight Utes etched their way into the Utah all-time top-10 lists on day two of the MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Feeny led the way by topping her own school record by running 9:07.93 and capturing fourth place in the 3,000-meter race. Poppy Tank also earned a new PR and moved into third place in Utah history after finishing in 12th place in the 3,000-meter with a time of 9:16.22.
The mile run was also a strong race for the Utes as Feeny finished in fourth place in the race and moved into second place in Utah history with a 4:36.67. Ryan also cracked the top ten in Utah history in the mile race with a time of 4:51.71.
Jackie Martin led the Utes in the 400-meter race by taking eighth place with a time of 55.06. This time moves her into third place in Utah history for the event.
Sarah Newton placed second in the 800-meter race with a PR of 2:06.62. Newton also moved into second place in Utah’s history books with that performance. Manson finished 13th in the race with a time of 2:09.09 and moved into eighth place all-time at Utah.
As a team, Utah finished tied for 10th alongside the California Berkeley Golden Bears. The Utes had 23 team points and finished in a Pac-12 heavy top 10.
“I was just really pleased with everybody that competed, even if they didn’t score or set a PR, really the effort was there and I am really proud of this group,” said Kepler. “It was a huge step forward for our program and we want to continue to roll as we start to get ready for the outdoor season now.”
Utah will take part in the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama next weekend. Two Pac-12 schools (USC & Oregon) are in the top five teams nationally, following closely behind Arkansas who will be the weekend favorite.