Utah Track and Field Competes at NCAA West Regionals


Kiffer Creveling

The University of Utah and Weber State host the Spring Classic at the McCarthy track & field in Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, April 6, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Emily Dush, Sports Writer


The University of Utah track and field team had ten athletes compete in the NCAA West Regional, racing in the 800-meter, 5000, 10,000 and 4-x-400 relay events. Notably, the program has not had a team in the 4-x-400 since 2009. 

Day 1

The first day of regionals began with Poppy Tank coming in fourth place in the 10k event with a time of 33:39.22, claiming a spot in the NCAA Championships. Tank is the first student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Championship since 2018. 

Brooke Manson competed in the 800-meter where she came in with a time of 2:06.53, advancing her to the quarter finals of the event. Sarah Newton and Whitney Hessler both competed in the 100, though they were in different heats. Newton came in with a time of 2:10.61 while Hessler came in with a time of 2:10.62. The team’s 4-x-400 squad looked to earn a place in the Championships as well. 

Day 2

The next day, Tank qualified for the Championship, being only the second runner in the program to qualify in multiple events in the NCAA Championships, competing in the 5k and 10k events. 

“Poppy ran another terrific race,” said head coach Kyle Kepler following the race. “She was patient, smart and tough throughout. That is a very challenging double that many do not try and few get through in both events. To qualify in both is rare and a special opportunity in two weeks.”

Manson came up just short in qualifying for a spot in the Championship, but she gave it her all and recorded a time of 2:07.20. The Utah 4-x-400 relay team also came up short with a time of 3:42.55. 

“I thought the 4×4 ran well,” Kepler said. “That group set a goal of being at this meet back in September. They worked all year as a group to make it happen. Coach Colwell did a terrific job with developing both their individual talent for the second time in school history. We want this to be the beginning of regular appearances and getting closer to advancing.”

Tank will head to Oregon for the NCAA Championships where she will compete in the 5k and 10k races on June 10 and 12. 


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