Grabowska wins pole vault; USU places 15 In top 10

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 11 2012 11:02 p.m. MST

Utah State track and field standout senior pole vaulter Sonia Grabowska won her second title of the season clearing 4.05m (13 feet, 03 1/2) at the Boise State Team Challenge in Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday at Jacksons Indoor Track.

Overall, USU had 15 student-athletes place in the top 10 and 11 Aggies set new personal-best marks at both the Boise State Team Challenge and at Washington's FloTrack Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.

Junior Jon Goble recorded a personal-best time in the 60m hurdles (8.50 seconds) to garner sixth-place, while senior Philip Noble and junior Jordan McMurray followed close behind taking seventh- and ninth-places with time of 8.56 and 8.87, respectively.

Junior David Cluff ran a 9:02.46 in the 3000m race to place 10th, while sophomore Kenny Hamlett tied his season-high of 1.84m (6-00 1/2) in the high jump to tie for sixth-place.

Rounding out the top 10 for the Aggie men was senior Damian Szade, who placed second in the long jump with a mark of 6.93m (22-09), while Noble placed eighth with a mark of 6.31m (20-08 1/2) in the same event. Noble also set a personal-best mark in the shot put (11.19m (36-08 1/2)) and in the 60m hurdles (8.50). Senior Xavier Martin recorded a new personal-best in the 60m dash, clocking in at 7.18 along with junior Jordan McMurray setting a personal-best mark in the shot put with a throw of 11.55m (37-10 3/4).

For the USU women, sophomore Sam Nielson and senior Julia Stewart led the way in Nampa, Idaho, with a third and fifth-place finish in the triple jump with leaps of 11.88m (38-11 3/4) and 11.56m (37-11 1/4), respectively. Stewart's time is a personal-best. Sophomore Haley Ence collected 10th place in the 800m with a time of 2:23.95, while junior Amber Thompson and senior Rachelle St. Jeor joined Grabowska in the pole vault clearing 3.60m (11-09 3/4). Thompson tied for seventh-place on a judges decision while St. Jeor took home 10th-place.

"We are pointed in the right direction to get ready for the conference meet and we have the next 10 days to tune things up," said Utah State veteran head coach Gregg Gensel. "We have been to Boise several times this year and many times in the past, so our veterans are familiar with everything and our newer athletes have seen how things work. It will be a new experience with Boise State not competing in the conference championships but it is what it is. We are going to try and take an advantage of anything we can."

At Washington's FloTrack Husky Classic, the Aggie distance runners collectively performed well as several athletes set new personal-best marks including senior Nick Bolinder who claimed the highest place for USU with a fifth-place finish in the 3,000m run (8:30.86). Sophomore Hannah Williams also set a personal-best time as she clocked in at 4:57.79 in the mile run to take home ninth place. Other Utah State runners to set personal-best marks in Seattle were junior Stephanie Burt (5:01.06), along with freshman Brittany Bushman (5:11.57) and Eric Shellhorn (4:18.70), all in the mile.

Utah State track and field teams will take the week of Feb. 13-18 off to train before returning to Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho, for the WAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 23-25 and the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-11. The Aggies will also compete in some last chance meets on March 3 that will be determined the week prior.

Fans can follow Utah State Athletics, including USU track & field and cross country, at http://twitter.com/USUAthletics.com or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

UTAH STATE RESULTS

BOISE STATE TEAM CHALLENGE

NAMPA, IDAHO

FEBRUARY 11, 2012

WOMEN:

60m H prelim. - 16. Cree Phillips-Taylor, 9.38q; 28. McKenzie Johnson, 10.06; 32. Kali Hamby, 11.33

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