Utah Track and Field With Strong Performances in the Texas Relays

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University of Utah junior distance runner Sarah Newton (5) led the Utes in the final heat of the Women’s 800 Meter run in an NCAA Track and Field meet at the McCarthey Family Track and Field Complex in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday April 13, 2019.(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer

 

The University of Utah track and field team sent a part of their team to Austin, Texas to compete in the Texas Relays Tournament. Ten student-athletes were sent to compete in the 200m, 400m hurdles, 800m, 4x100m relay and the 4×400 relay race. The first events took place on March 25 and the competition finished on March 27. 

The first event the Utes competed in was the 400m hurdles, where Bailey Kealamakia ran a new PR, posting a time of 1:03.55. Ruby Jane Mathewson set her own PR with a time of 1:02.28 and came in second place in her heat. The next event was the 200m race where Lauren O’Banion ran a tough race by coming in with a time of 25.62. 

On the second day of the competition, the 4x400m relay race took place. The Utah team was made up of O’Banion, Kelise Davis, Jackie Martin and Oneillia Fuller. The team came in with a time of 3:42.01. O’Banion had a good lead that allowed Fuller to come in with a 55.07 split before Martin finished off the race. This team’s time topped the season’s record by four seconds which sent them to the finals of the event. 

On the last day of the competition, Whitney Hessler raced the 800m and posted a time of 2:09.04. This time gave Hessler a top-eight time in the event and third place in her heat. The 4x400m relay team was set to compete in the finals, but, due to injuries, they unfortunately withdrew from the race. 

“It was a productive meet,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “We can’t risk health with so much still in front of us and time to get better. Both hurdlers ran great. Ruby Jane was about as sound technically as she’s ever been. Bailey continues to PR with a ton of room to improve. Our 800 gals focused on tactical racing, making solid moves, and gained experience they’ll need at conference and beyond. The highlight of the meet was our prelim victory in the 4×400. We controlled that race and won going away in a very good early season mark. We certainly would have liked to race the final, but that experience will have to wait for another day. That unit has some big goals, but they know to reach them everyone has to be full strength.”

Overall, this squad from the track and field team competed well in this competition. Up next, the team will be competing next weekend as some will travel to Eugene, Oregon to race on Hayward Field and others will compete in the UVU Collegiate Invitational.  

 

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@DushEmily