Those who had qualified earlier this season made the trip up to Seattle to compete in the Husky Invitational, did so the first time for UVU in their short Division I history.
Indoor track and field events are usually a great opportunity for teams and individuals to train and prepare themselves for the outdoor season.
“We want our athletes in peak shape,” said Coach Scott Houle. “Indoor is really hard to qualify for nationals and so we do our best to get our kids indoor for a training ground, to make sure when they hit outdoor, and in warm weather they’re able to start hitting some of their best times.”
Records are normally set during outdoor events where athletes compete faster and stronger, except for the five school records broken this winter.
Junior Zandrea Nelson posted a new school record in the 400 meters with the time 56.58 seconds. Her time is the fastest yet in the Great West Conference this season.
“She’s [Nelson] a great competitor and she definitely likes big competition. I think that’s where we get the best out of her.”
– Coach Scott Houle
“Obviously, running a 56 is a big milestone for her,” said Houle. “We definitely want to get her down in the 55’s [seconds] and I think she can achieve that. She’s a great competitor and she definitely likes big competition. I think that’s where we get the best out of her.”
Nelson was recognized for her efforts as she was named GWC Athlete of the Week as announced Feb. 16.
Allah Laryea-Akrong was also named GWC Athlete of the Week for his third place finish in the 200 meters at the Husky Invitational with a time of 21.63. His time in the 200 was also the fastest in the GWC this season. He would also go on to finish tied for fourth with a time of 6.89 in the 60 meters.
While at Boise State, Becky Reeves set a new school record in the weight throw at 54 feet, while Makira Kuan nearly broke the record in the high jump. Kuan’s jump of 5-5 gave her the win in the event.
This was Kuan’s second time winning the event as she did in the BYU Invitational earlier this season.
Houle is proud of what the team has done so far and said, “Our kids can run with any school in the country. Being able to go against Washington, Oregon, Alabama, and schools like that, and be able to place as high as we did, just shows that if given the opportunity, they can compete at that level.”
The team will compete this weekend in the GWC Championships in Bronx, N.Y., where they will continue to look for chances to represent at nationals the following week on March 4 and 5. The outdoor season starts the same days, when the team travels to Las Vegas for the UNLV invitational.