Utah track sets the pace

In just its second meet of the 2006 season, the U indoor track and field team stormed into the Utah State Open, running away with eight individual victories.

Senior Ashlee Warnick won the mile (5:27), Jen Fresques won the 800-meter (2:19.79) and freshmen Haley McAllister and Ashley Peterson helped to win the 4×400-meter relay.

McAllister and Peterson were also successful jumpers for Utah. McAllister won the long jump, leaping 17 feet, 11.75 inches; Peterson finished first in the triple jump with 11.59 meters.

Senior Nicki Mancinelli also tied for first in the high jump, finishing with a 1.63-meter mark.

“It was an exciting meet with some good competition,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “We had some pretty strong victories from veterans like Vanessa Mortensen, and some of our young kids got some victories as well.”

Mortensen turned in her best throw of the season in the weight throw, heaving it 17.62 meters, as her teammate A.J. Roby followed right behind with a 16.33-meter mark.

The Utes showed vast improvements after competing at the Brigham Young Invitational on Jan. 13 and 14, at which Nicki Hugie was the only Ute to come away with an individual victory.

“The coaching staff and I are very pleased with the progress we made again this week,” Kepler said. “We are really looking forward to getting into the heart of our season and seeing how much more we can improve.”

The Utes will continue competition next Saturday when they head to the Athletes Invitational in Nampa, Idaho, and the Reno Pole Vault Summit in Nevada.

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