Utes-At-A-Glance

3 Ute sports teams begin fall season in

national top 25

The U will begin the 2004 fall sports season with three teams ranked in the national top 25 of their respective sports.

The football team is currently No. 21 according to the ESPN/USA Today poll, and No. 20 in the Associated Press Poll.

Ute soccer is ranked as high as No. 15 by Soccer America, but is No. 24 in the official NSCAA poll.

The volleyball team rounds out the elite group with a No. 24 ranking in the USA Today/CSTV Poll.

“Obviously, these are only preseason rankings, but they speak to the respect that people throughout the country have for our student-athletes and coaches,” Utah Athletics Director Chris Hill said.

The University of Florida is the only other school to have teams ranked in the same three sports.

The soccer team will have the first opportunity to validate its ranking as they take on No. 14 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thursday.

The Utes will then return home to face Gonzaga on Sunday in a 1 p.m. game at Ute Field.

The volleyball team opens its season on Sept. 1 as they take the Crimson Court against UVSC at 1 p.m.

The Eccles name to be

pasted on yet another building

Spence Eccles, a 1956 graduate and longtime benefactor of the U, has been recognized once again for his generosity and determination.

The U announced its intention to name the U’s new indoor athletic training facility the Spence Eccles Field House as a show of appreciation for his $2 million donation, which led the funding effort and allowed the project to move forward ahead of schedule.

“Since his own days as an All-America student-athlete, [Eccles’] dedication to helping the Utes succeed in athletics has never wavered,” Hill said. “It’s fitting that this practice facility will bear the name of a former athlete himself, who enthusiastically devotes so much of his time, energy and support to the success of the Utes.”

The 75,000-square-foot facility will contain a full-size football field with goal posts, pitching mounds for the softball and baseball teams, equipment for the soccer and golf teams and a first-aid station.

“I’m thrilled to assist my alma mater and be a part of the leadership on this project that is essential to keep up the winning momentum of the Urban Meyer football program,” said Eccles, who was a skier.

Eccles is the chairperson of the Intermountain Banking Region of Wells Fargo & Co. and has donated generously to many different U programs and colleges.

Smith named to Wade

Trophy Watch List

U women’s basketball player Kim Smith was named to the Wade Trophy Watch list along with 30 other Division I players from around the country on Monday.

The Wade Trophy is given to the most valuable player in NCAA women’s basketball each year, and this is the second year that Smith has been put on the preseason watch list.

Smith has won the MWC Player of the Year award in each of the last two seasons, and was named a Women’s Wooden Award Preseason All-America team member earlier this summer.