Track and Field: Utah Prepares for UW Invitational

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

After a successful meet this past weekend in Idaho, the University of Utah track and field team will hit the road again. The Utes will travel to Seattle, Washington to compete in the University of Washington Invitational beginning on Friday, Jan. 26.

Senior Alissa Atisme is coming off her best meet of the season that included wins in the 200-meter and 4×400 relay, plus she set a school record in the 60-meter dash. Atisme believes that the team’s positive results from the races in Idaho will give Utah the boost it needs moving forward.

“The momentum, I think it’s going to give us the big push that we need. Obviously everybody wants to do well, but it’s easier when you have a little bit of success behind you,” Atisme said. “I’m just going to think about how well this [past] weekend went and have that be the reminder and the push that I need to make sure that this [coming] weekend and the rest of the season goes well.”

To get prepared for this upcoming invitational, head coach Kyle Kepler is letting the team have some much needed rest after participating in a meet that was draining.

“We understand that this might be a more challenging meet on the schedule so to back off, give more rest is always something we look into throughout the season,” Kepler said. “But at the same time, we aren’t going to back off that much. We have a long season ahead and more important meets ahead, but certainly any time you take a load off, just back off a little bit, it doesn’t take that much before the kids feel a little bit better and don’t feel quite as tired.”

Kepler can tell that there has been a boost in Utah’s confidence due to its most recent meet results, but he knows that the upcoming meet is going to be a little bit more difficult due to the caliber of the competition. This past week Utah was one of only three division one schools participating in the competition. Boise State and Sacramento State were the other participants.

“This week will be a much higher level meet, a lot more division one teams up and down the west coast and in the Mountain West region,” Kepler said. “So I think it will be a lot more challenging.” 

Even though he believes the competitors Utah will go up against will be tough competition, Kepler has faith in what his team can do.

“Last week gave us confidence that our training is going the way we want it to,” Kepler said. “Several kids ran lifetime bests or were close, and we had several kids running in events that were not their primary event in an effort to get on the track, get the feel of racing again. And this week, we are going to run a lot more kids in their primary events.”

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