Friday, February 20, 2015

As usual the Husky Classic provided our team with great opportunities to improve and succeed against some of the very best athletes from all over the country.  Overall, I thought we competed very hard...particularly on Saturday.  We had throwers in the finals of both events.  We had several PR's...particularly in the mile.  Our young group in the DMR ran hard and obtained some more experience...including Grace Englund who ran her first ever 800m race.  Sophomore Jessica Sams (pictured above) PR'd in both the 5K and 3K...her first time ever doing that double. 

Next is the MPSF Championships back in Seattle on Feb 27-28th. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Two Titles, One School Record

The ABQ proved to be a successful city for us this weekend.  Aiofe Hickey won the weight throw on Friday night narrowly missing a school record.  Later in the evening, sophomore Alissa Atisme took care of the record part as she crushed her own SR in the 200m by nearly half a second.

On Saturday red shirt freshman, Hannah McInturff, made her presence know on the Utah mile list with the fourth best performance ever going 4:50.92 (altitude converted) to win our second event of the weekend.

The sprint/jump/hurdle events were loaded with the presence of Texas, Texas Tech, and LSU at the meet.  However, our your group of gals in those event areas ran well and executed their races.  Three of our four throwers made the finals in the weight throw and shot put with the fourth just missing out.  Several of the distance runners had personal best performances despite competing in the altitude of New Mexico.

Overall, I thought we had a very solid meet.  We have some young gals showing great signs of improvement which only leads to improved confidence.  We will be in Seattle this weekend at one of the premier meets in the country (The Husky Classic).  The fields in every event will be very good and provide us with our biggest challenge of the year thus far.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 we go.  I will try to be a little more regular now that the indoor season is in full swing.  Click HERE to view my weekly press conference.  Click on the multimedia tab in the center of the page and it should bring up my recent pressors.

It's hard to believe January is almost over.  We've had three solid meets with different groups competing.  Overall, I like where we are headed and we will be expecting big things in October.

Since my press conferences are results oriented I will begin to discuss other topics related to our program and the recent changes within the NCAA structure (Autonomy Five) and what it means for us.  I may also spotlight a few other topics such as our terrific academic honors, all of our great resources, and of course our home meet information.

I hope your New Year is off to a great start.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Awards and Championship Races

Above:  Fifth year senior Rebekah Winterton receiving her award for outstanding community service at our recent home football game vs Oregon. 

Pac-12 Championships recap:  We certainly didn't finish as we would have liked (9th place) despite some health issues among our top runners.  However, the middle of our line up (two freshmen and a sophomore) continue to develop as a group.  Six teams in our league are currently ranked among the national top 30 with two more receiving votes.  The 2013 league champion finished just in front of us in 8th place this year.  We undoubtedly run in the toughest xc league in America...and we love it!  Our gals see it as a platform to improve and be the best they can be. What more can you ask for as a coach?!?!

Regional Preview:  This Friday afternoon in Albuquerque, NM we race at the NCAA Regional Championships.  If we can put it all together we believe we have a chance to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA meet.  It will require our absolute best effort of the year as the field is very deep from 3-10.  If we are unable to qualify as a team we also have two individuals who will be looking to secure individual qualifying spots (top four individual on a non qualifying team).  Fifth year senior, Rebekah Winterton (trying to make it to the NC meet in consecutive seasons) and true freshman Sarah Feeny will look to run among the leaders and earn their way to Terre Haute, IN.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moving Forward

We took a couple steps in the right direction this morning at Pre Nats.  While we would have liked to finish among top ten we got a terrific effort from all of our gals.  They competed hard and weren't afraid to be aggressive in a huge field of nearly 300 runners.  In some cases, maybe overly aggressive.  However, we got out and into the race and fought hard to hang on over the last third of the race.  Times were still pretty good considering a very soggy track that really created a battle of will over the last third of the race.  But it was the overall effort and mental toughness that was the difference today over two weeks ago.  This should provide us with the boost of confidence we need going into the championship part of the schedule.  Be sure to follow and support us!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deuces are Wild and Breaking in New Coaches

The cross country team has raced twice and finished second in both meets thus far.  The Utes were second to open the season at the Nevada Twilight.  Last Friday in our home meet the same nine gals combined for the runner up spot again.  We have not raced at "full strength" yet as I've chosen to hold out our top two runners as they had long track seasons.  However, they (Senior Rebekah Winterton, and Freshman Sarah Feeny) will likely see their first races in two weeks at Montana State.

Thus far we have been led by seniors Nikki Rietz and Lauren Mills along with true freshman Shaylen Crook.  They were 4-5-6 at Nevada and 6-7-8 at our home meet.  Behind them have been two freshmen (Dakota Grossman and Sadie Wassum) along with soph Jessica Sams. some of you may know we have a new sprint/hurdle/jumps/multi coach.  Pete Herber comes to our program from South Florida (and Iowa State before that).  I have known Pete for a long time and watched him "pay his dues" and develop into a terrific coach.  Pete coached two All Americans last year at South Florida.  Pete was an outstanding collegiate high jumper (lifetime best of 7-3.25) at Northern Iowa.  Yes...the same Northern Iowa that I attended.  The same Northern Iowa that Burke attended. We were teammates for a couple of years and the coaching tree in several sports at UNI extends all over the country.  Regardless, I felt Pete gave our program the best chance to continue moving forward in the Pac-12 and nationally.  He has coached almost every event and had success in those events at his previous schools.  I hope you will welcome Pete and his family (wife Dawn and kids Ellie and Tate) to our program.

Pete replaces Burke who has moved on to Tacoma, WA where he joins his fiancee, Tracy.  Tracy is a Utah alumnus who recently completed medical school and was fortunate to land a great job in Olympia, WA.  Burke will be coaching at DII St Martin's also located on Olympia.  I will dearly miss Burke as he was a huge asset to our program and me personally.  He always had great ideas and input and I know he will continue to be successful in his transition to the Great Northwest.

Be sure to check us out at Twitter and Facebook.  Pete is doing his best to takeover for Burke on that front which we all know will not be easy.  Burke was our social media czar.  Be patient and he will get it up and rolling regularly again.    

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Camp Wrap Up

Two wicked overnight thunderstorms, a brutal hill workout, a petting zoo, and some great team bonding activities comprised the final two days of our preseason camp.  We certainly still have a lot of work to do, but I like where we are at going into the season and feel like we have several runners on the verge of big breakouts.  Our first meet is in six days in Reno at the Nevada Twilight.