USU track: Page wins 800M preliminary on day two of 2013 WAC Indoor Championships
Freshman Briton Page led Utah State by winning the men's 800m preliminary (1:53.11) before joining fellow freshman Kalon Weston, along with sophomore Eric Shellhorn and senior Tyler Killpack to win the men's distance medley title (10:10.02) Friday on day two of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
USU had seven men and five women tab first-team all-WAC honors by placing in the top three of their respective events, while two men and three women garnered second-team all-WAC honors after finishing fourth through sixth.
As a team, the Aggie men sit in second place with 43 points behind UT Arlington with 61 points. UTSA is in third place (42) followed by Idaho (19), Texas State (17), Seattle (10) and Louisiana Tech (2). On the women's side, Texas State holds the top spot heading into the final day with 74 points, followed by UTSA (52), New Mexico State (36), Utah State (32), Idaho (29.5), UT Arlington (22.5), Louisiana Tech (22) and Seattle (4).
"We did great today. In most of the preliminary races we moved people through to the finals that we thought we could. In the events that were finals, we did what we needed to and a good example of that was our distance medley relays," USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. "It just shows that the athletes were prepared, went out and laid it on the line. It was kind of an unknown situation heading into the championships with so many new teams in the conference, but we did good things today as a team."
Seniors Alex Litzsinger and Stephanie Burt, as well as freshmen Mikkell Minnoch and Tylee Newman, clocked the fourth-fastest time (11:57.22) in school history to claim second place in the women's distance medley relay.
Sophomore Rachel Orr cleared a personal-best height in the women's high jump as she placed second on a judge's decision with a leap of 1.77m (5-09.75). With the mark, Orr now ranks third in school history for the event. Junior Keeley Eldredge also had a career day as she threw a personal-best 17.96m (58-11.25) in the weight throw to place fourth, as she also narrowed the gap between her and former USU All-American Krista Larson, who holds the school record in the event with a toss of 18.09m (59-04.25).
Senior Jon Goble tallied a personal-best 5,129 points to claim second place in the men's heptathlon. Goble won the pole vaulting portion of the heptathlon with a personal-best height of 4.95m (16-02.75), while also placing second in the 60m hurdles (8.42) and eighth in the 1,000m (3:04.52). Fellow senior Sam Hawkins won the 1,000m with a personal-best time of 2:44.38 to move up to eighth place in the heptathlon with career-best point total of 4,334. Furthermore, Goble went on to finish sixth in the preliminaries of the 60m hurdles and will race in the finals Saturday.
Junior Kyle McKenna placed second in the men's 5,000m (15:02.65), while sophomores Chris Martinez and Tom Derr finished fifth and sixth, with times of 15:29.47 and 15:36.95, respectively. In the women's 5,000m, sophomore Ashley Robison placed fifth with a time of 18:05.36.
Sophomore Nic Bowens and senior Will Henry finished third and fourth in the men's 60m dash preliminaries with times of 6.73 (6.726) and 6.73 (6.727), respectively, while junior Silas Pimentel crossed the finish line close behind in sixth place (6.77) as all three move on to Saturday's final. With the time of 6.73, Bowens and Henry enter into a tie with former Aggie Brandon Boone for the third-fastest time in school history. Bowens and Pimentel also qualified for the 200m dash final with times of 21.40 and 21.43, which was good enough for fifth and sixth places, respectively.
Other USU women to qualify in their respective event and move on to Saturday's finals included freshman Kaitlyn Wilcox with a personal-best time of 56.47 in the 400m, which was good enough for eighth place in the preliminary round. In the mile race, Litzsinger and Newman placed second and fourth with times of 5:02.20 and 5:02.34, respectively, and will move on to the final portion of the race Saturday.
Other Utah State men to qualify for the final in their respective event tomorrow included freshman Cole Lambourne in the 400m (second, 48.10), Page in the 800m (first, 1:53.11), Shellhorn in the mile (fifth, 4:18.09) and Killpack in the 800m (third, 1:53.32).
Action for the final day of the championships will kick off at 11 a.m. (MT) Saturday with the field events, while the running events commence at 1 p.m. The meet is set to end after the men and women's 4x400m relay races at 3:20 and 3:30 p.m., respectively.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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