Track and Field: Utes Breaking Records in MPSF Championships

By Sammy Mora, Sports Editor

The University of Utah track and field team wrapped up its indoor season this past weekend, competing in the MPSF Championships in Seattle, Washington. The team finished 12th overall with seven team points.

The weekend started out strong for the Utes when Alissa Atisme broke her own school record in the 60-meter dash. Atisme’s time of 7.67 broke her previous record by four-tenths of a second. She took 26th in the event overall. Atisme wasn’t the only Ute who competed in the 60-meter as Raynee Helm Wheelock took 35th place and broke her personal best.

Astime was motivated to make her last indoor meet her best.

“In Bosie, when the first time I broke it, I said this could be the last time I ever run it but I wasn’t sure. But this time, I knew this time was for sure the last time I [would] run it, so I didn’t want to leave with any kind of regrets or anything like I could do this better or that better, I just did it,” Astime said.

In the 5,000-meter, Louise Mercer led the team in the event as she finished in sixth place. Mercer also broke her personal best by four seconds, and her time in this race puts her fourth place in Utah’s history.

Jackie Martin led the Utes in the 200-meter event placing 50th, a new career best, and her finish now ranks in eighth place in school records. Wheelock also competed in this event as she placed 55th.

The distance medley team ended the day for the Utes. The team of Caitlin Faust, Atisme, Grace Englund and Hannah McInturff set a season best time of 11:35.29, good enough to finish in seventh.

At the end of the first day, the Utes were tied with Long Beach State in 12th place.

The team started the second day off strong in the 3,000-meter race, where four Utes competed. Poppy Tank was the first Ute to cross the finish line in ninth. With her time of 9:26.29, she beat her personal best by 13 seconds and her time puts her fifth all-time for the U.

Jessica Sams was next to cross the line in 15th. Close behind, Bela Williams took 16th. The final Ute to finish was Trina Moreno in 25th. Both Williams and Moreno recorded new personal bests in this race.

Faust led the team in the 800-meter event in 10th place — her best finish. The 12th spot was captured by Sarah Newton. Melissa Taggart rounded out the group by finishing 32nd.

McInturff was the lone Ute who competed in the mile event and she placed 26th.

The meet ended for the Utes with a strong performance by the 4×400 team consisting of Englund, Martin, Faust and Atisme. The team took seventh place and with its time moved up to third in Utah history.

Head coach Kyle Kepler was impressed with the way his athletes competed, especially in terms of personal bests.

“We had 15 races and we had lifetime or season bests in 11 of them. That’s a pretty high percentage to be performing at your best at the end of the indoor season for most of them,” Kepler said.

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