USU Track & Field Competes at WAC Indoor Championships Thursday-Saturday
Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013
Utah State's [University] men and women's track & field teams will compete in the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 21-23.
USU's women will defend their 2012 title, while the Aggie men will look to better their second-place finish from a year ago. Additionally, the WAC will have four new schools competing for its first championship title, including Seattle, Texas State, UT Arlington and UTSA. Idaho, New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech will also compete with Utah State and the new schools for the men and women's titles.
"We are in somewhat of a rebuilding year but I would expect us to be pretty decent, especially on the men's side,” said veteran Aggie head coach Gregg Gensel. “On our women's side, I think we have a lot of young athletes that will surprise some people at the conference championship. The bigger the league is, which it is much bigger now, the harder it is to win with just individuals. You need to have the whole realm of people and have everybody score. This goes for every team to win not just Utah State, is you have to hit it on all cylinders at the championship on the day that you need to do that and you need to have the depth to do that. Am I predicting that we will win or not win? No, but I think we will put our best foot forward."
This is the third time this season that USU will compete in Albuquerque where they also participated in the Cherry & Silver Invitational on Jan. 18-19, as well as the Don Kirby Elite Invitational on Feb. 8.
Action for the championships will begin Thursday at 11 a.m. (MT) with four of the seven events in the men's heptathlon, along with the women's pentathlon. On Friday, the men conclude the heptathlon beginning at 11 a.m. The first field event finals will start at 1:30 p.m. Friday, while the track finals start at 4 p.m. Saturday's action will kick off with the field events at 11 a.m., followed by the running events at 1 p.m. An awards ceremony will take place at the conclusion of the meet.
Juniors Bryce Hall and Kylie Hirschi are the only two returning individual WAC champions from 2012 as Hall won the men's weight throw and Hirschi was a member of the winning women's 4x400m relay team. Senior Alex Litzsinger was also on the winning distance medley relay team for the USU women in 2010. Furthermore, sophomore Nic Bowens was named the 2012 WAC Men's Freshman of the Year, while junior Silas Pimentel won the same honor in 2008.
Gensel and his coaching staff also garnered the 2012 WAC Women's Coach of the Year honor after leading the Aggie women to their first indoor title since 1994.
Following the 2013 edition of the WAC Indoor Championships, Utah State will send athletes to compete in the UW Final Qualifier on Friday, March 1, in Seattle, Wash. Athletes that qualify will then travel to Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark., to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships March 8-9.
Additional Aggie sports news is available at the Athletics website.