Track & Field: Utes open indoor season at “baseline meet” in Jackson’s Open

The Utah women’s track and field team kicks off the 2015-16 indoor track season with Jackson’s Open in Boise, Idaho on Dec. 12. The Ute women will compete in six field events — long jump, weight throw, pole vault, triple jump, high jump and shot put — and most of the events on the track, as well.

Utah returns four seniors, 10 juniors and nine sophomores as they gear up for the track season. Eleven freshmen join the Utes this year, and they are all eager to make contributions to the team.

“I am excited to get the indoor season started with our sprinters, jumpers and hurdlers,” said Utah head coach Kyle Kepler. “They haven’t had any competition, unlike the distance runners, and this is their first chance to find out where they are at and where their training has taken them to at this point of the year. This meet will also be a chance to take a look at our freshmen and see what we have, but more importantly, where we need to go.”

Participating in throws for the Utes this year are sisters Christine and Megan Glasmann. Megan, the older sibling, was ranked the No. 1 high school javelin thrower in the nation, winning the Utah 3A state championship in 2011, 2012 and 2013 during her time at Park City High School. Megan went to Stanford for her freshman year and took second in the javelin throw at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships.

Javelin throwing runs in the Glasmann family. Niki Glasmann, Christine and Megan’s mother, was an All-American javelin thrower at the University of Texas. Christine, who also attended Park City high school, will assist her sister with throws this season.

Competing on hurdles for Utah this season are Madison Landford and Christine Van Brocklin. Lanford, a sophomore out of Vancouver, Wash., prepares to compete in her first season with the Utes after redshirting last season. Junior Van Brocklin will try to capitalize on the momentum from her 2014 track season, where she finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the Utah Spring Classic. Her time of 14.32 seconds ranks eighth on Utah’s all time 100-meter hurdles times. Van Brocklin also finished 13th in the 400-meter hurdles at the Pac-12 Championships.

Leading the Utes in long jumps will be junior Courtney Jost. The native of Gig Harbor, Wash. came in tenth place in the triple jump at the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, with a jump of 37-11.25 feet. Jost is the only upperclassman jumping for Utah this season, as six freshmen join the jumping ranks.

Graduate senior Ali Eisenbeiss, senior Allison Aafedt, juniors Alissa Atisme, Grace Englund and Rhianna Williams, and sophomores Raynee Helm and Mesa Weidle, will all sprint for the Utes this season. Eisenbeiss recorded a personal best time of 2:05.84 in the 800-meter race at the Drake Relays in 2014, a time that stands in the Utah record books as the third best of all time. Eisenbiess will mentor and lead this group of sprinters as they look to have a breakout season.

For now, Kepler is excited to see where everyone is.

“We call this a baseline meet because we use it to find out where our baseline is, and it will help dictate what we do moving forward with training and everything else,” he said. “We will have plenty of good opportunities to compete this season, and this meet is just the first of many.”

The Utah cross country team, fresh off their first team appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Nationals, joins the Ute track and field team as distance runners. Sophomores Hannah McInturff and Sarah Feeny, standouts for the cross country team, will be key to the success of the distance portion of the track and field team.

The Jackson’s Open will start at 9 a.m. MST.