Utes send five to track regionals

By By James Boehly

By James Boehly

After a sixth-place finish at the Mountain West Conference championships, Utah’s track and field team will now turn its attention toward NCAA West Regionals.

The best the Utes have to offer will compete with the best athletes from the West Region located in Northridge, Calif. The top five finishers from each event will move on to the National Championships in mid-June in Des Moines, Iowa.

Representing the Utes will be Alyssa Abbott, Josefin Berg, Chelsea DiGrazia, Shayla Houlihan and Chelsea Shapard.

Together, the group has set a total of seven regional qualifying marks. This is the largest amount head coach Kyle Kepler has had in his entire career with the U.

Of the five athletes competing, Shapard and Abbott are the only two who have qualified for regionals in multiple events.

Shapard qualified in the 400-meter hurdles and the 800-meter run. Her time of 58.07 seconds in the 400 hurdles is a school record and is the 15th best time in the nation.

Shapard qualified for the NCAA Championships last year in the 400 hurdles and is looking to have a repeat performance.

Abbott has also qualified for regionals in the 800- as well as the 1,500-meter run. Her time of four minutes and 25.38 seconds in the 1,500 leads the MWC and is second on the all-time Utah record list.

For Abbott and Shapard, this is their second straight appearance at the West Regionals.

The lone thrower for Utah is junior Berg. Her toss of 199 1/3 feet in the hammer throw is second both in the conference and on Utah’s all-time record list.

The final two athletes representing Utah at the West regionals are DiGrazia and Houlihan, who have both put up impressive stats in their respective events. DiGrazia will compete in the 1,500 while Houlihan will participate in the steeplechase.

Although the Utes had two representatives from regionals make it to the NCAA Championships last year, these five athletes will look to do three better.[email protected]