TRACK AND FIELD: Utah State University track and field distance runner Kyle McKenna was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, for the week of March 19-25. This is the first WAC Athlete of the Week honor for McKenna.
McKenna, a sophomore from Farmington, Utah (Viewmont High School), won his first event of the 2012 outdoor season clocking in at 14:42.53 to win the 5,000 meters at UC Irvine's Spring Break Collegiate Invitational in Irvine, Calif., on March 23-24. McKenna's time leads the WAC and ranks 26th in the nation this season.
This marks the third time an Aggie has been named a WAC Outdoor Track and Field Athlete, as seniors Lindsey Spencer and Hunter Nelson were honored for the week of March 12-18. Additionally, three Aggies received the accolade during the 2012 indoor season including sophomores Chari Hawkins and Kylie Hirschi as well as senior Spela Hus.
USU track and field will return to action at the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational on Friday and Saturday, April 6-7 in Albuquerqe, N.M. Utah State will host its lone home meet of the season, the Mark Faldmo Invitational, on Friday and Saturday, April 20-21 at the Ralph Maughan Track Stadium.
WOMEN'S TENNIS: In the last of four matches in five days, the Utah State women's tennis team was on the road Tuesday, taking on in-state rival Weber State. They came away victorious, with a 5-2 win over the Wildcats. USU ended the long stretch with a 3-1 record.
The Aggies gained momentum early on in the match, with a sweep of the doubles competition. Junior Jaci West and freshman McKenzie Davis put up a fight, coming out ahead of Brittiny Moore and Ashley Tanner, (8-7). Senior Romina Nedakovic and junior Kristina Voytsekhovich defeated Michelle Warwick and Nittaya Phonharath, (8-4), while senior Julie Tukuafu and
freshman Kimberly Watts beat Thais Kurer and Carly Lloyd, (8-3).
The singles lineup saw a slight change Tuesday, with reigning WAC player of the week McKenzie Davis taking over the No. 1 position. It ended up being a tough transition as she fell to Moore in three sets, (1-6, 7-5, 6-4). In the No. 2 position, West got back on track with a win over Tanner, (6-3, 4-6, 6-4). Voytsekhovich took down Phonharath, (6-4, 6-0), while Nedakovic defeated Warwick, (6-4, 6-0). Senior Monica Abella beat Weber's Annika Karlsen, (6-4, 6-3), and Tukuafu suffered the only other loss of the match, falling to Kurer, (6-2, 6-4).
With the win, the Aggies improved to 8-6 on the season, while the Wildcats remain winless at 0-16. Next, the team will travel to Hawaii, April 5-7, where they will play three matches in three days, including Western Athletic Conference rivals Hawai'i and San Jose State. USU will also face Hawaii-Pacific.
SOFTBALL: Getting a big lead early in both games of a doubleheader, the BYU softball team rolled to a 8-2 win in game one and a 16-1 win in game two against UMKC on Tuesday night at Gail Miller Field.
In the first game, senior Stacie Toney went 2 for 2 with a double and a home run, driving in three runs. Sophomore Katie Manuma also homered for the Cougars, finishing the game going 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBI. Junior JC Clayton had two hits and scored two runs in the win over the Roos.
Starting pitcher Tori Almond picked up the victory, improving to 6-2 on the season. The sophomore went six innings, allowing one earned run on just two hits while striking out seven.
The Cougars jumped out of the gates early, stringing together three-straight singles to take an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. BYU added on when Toney doubled home senior Tiffany Messerschmidt and Clayton. Toney scored later in the inning on a wild pitch and, after reaching on an error, Manuma scored on a single from sophomore Ashlee Brawley to make the score 5-0.
Toney hit a solo home run to deep right field to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the third. UMKC got a run back in the top of the fourth inning to make it 6-1.
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