Track & field: Utes capture 16 top-10 finishes at Jackson Invitational

track 2 Emily Juchau

The Utah track & field team returns from the Jackson Invitational in Boise with two event titles and 16 top-10 performances. Head coach Kyle Kepler was pleased with his team’s performance over the weekend, seeing improvements throughout.

“We keep making strides forward and the kids are responding to the training and stepping it up as the competition level gets a little bit higher,” Kepler said.

The Utes clinched two top-three finishes in the 400-meter run. The team was led by junior Alisa Atisme, winner of the event, who set a personal record of 55.74. Kepler shared his praise for Atisme’s victory, saying he believed Atisme’s record is the fifth-fastest in school history. Atisme’s finish was followed by Allison Aafedt in third place in the competition with a time of 57.12.

track 1The Utes were also successful in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing with three of the top-10 spots. Christine Van Brocklin finished in third place with a time of 9.2 seconds, followed by Madison Landford in sixth place (9.56 seconds) and Lauren McCluskey in seventh place (9.61 seconds).

Van Brocklin would return to finish in fourth in her first-ever 800-meter race with a time of 2:15.14. Langford continued her day with a seventh-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.07, behind Atisme, who finished in fifth with a time of 7.92. But Landford wasn’t done yet, as she would go on to also finish fifth in the 200-meter dash (26.32) and 19th in shot put.

Dakota Grossman was the other event winner for the Utes, capturing the mile title by setting a personal best time of 5:05.88. Kepler believes Grossman “keeps making steps forwards” but that she can run faster despite the win and PR. Grossman agreed with Kepler’s expectations,

“I felt like I could have run faster,” Grossman said. “The atmosphere was definitely exciting — there was a lot more people there than normal.”

Utah will be back in action when primarily middle-distant runners will be competing in the Husky Classic this weekend in Seattle, Wash., while sprinters and jumpers will compete in Albuquerque, N.M. in the Don Kirby Elite.

“We will learn a lot more about our team this coming weekend,” Kepler said.