In rainy and cold conditions, Utah State track and field captured three event titles Friday, in the first day of the USU Mark Faldmo Invitational at Ralph Maughan Track Stadium in Logan, Utah.
Winning events for the Aggies were sophomore Melanie Heslop in the women's hammer throw with a mark of 51.40m (168-08), junior Kyle McKenna in the men's 5,000m (15:07.35) and senior Tanner Clark in the men's javelin with a toss of 52.55m (172-05). Also winning events on day one of the competition was Kodi Kleven (unnattached) in the women's 5,000m (17:06.47), as well as former Aggie great James Parker who won the hammer throw with a throw of 61.33m (201-02).
Parker is the most decorated athlete in Utah State history earning All-American track honors a school-record nine times. As a professional, Parker won three consecutive USA hammer throw titles from 2003-05, was the 2004 USA Indoor weight throw champion and was the silver medalist in the hammer throw at the 2003 Pan Am Games. His personal-best of 79.20 meters in the hammer throw ranks seventh all-time in the United States.
"I was very pleased with our performances on the first day, especially due to the rainy and cold conditions that tested our student-athletes' mental toughness," Utah State head coach Gregg Gensel said. "We had some really good marks for the first day, highlighted by three titles and a great showing by Aggie legend James Parker. It is not every day that you have a former Olympian at your meet competing."
Also placing in the top-six finishers for USU was freshman Collin Butterfield in the men's javelin with a throw of 49.39m (162-00), along with freshmen Jacqueline Winterton, Karlee Deeter, Sydney Blaser and Nikki Woodring who led the Aggie women with a 2-3-4-5 finish in the 5,000m with times of 18:05.97, 19:35.86, 19:55.91 and 20:07.68, respectively.
Action will continue Saturday at Ralph Maughan Track Stadium with the field events starting at 10 a.m. MT and the running events beginning at 11:45 a.m. The meet is set to conclude with the women's and men's 4x400m relay at approximately 3:15 p.m. All results will be posted on USU's website.
Utah State also had athletes competing at the 55th Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on Friday, although due to the late starting of some events, results will be posted online on Saturday, April 20.
5000m – 1. Kodi Kleven (unattached), 17:06.47; 2. Jacqueline Winterton (Utah State), 18:05.97; 3. Karlee Deeter (Utah State), 19:35.86; 4. Sydney Blaser (Utah State), 19:55.91; 5. Nikki Woodring (Utah State), 20:07.68; Lecy Skousen (Utah State), DNF
Hammer Throw – 1. Melanie Heslop (Utah State), 51.40m (168-08); 2. Britlie Silvester (Weber State), 50.34m (165-02); 3. Meaghan Heffelfinger (BYU), 50.16m (164-07), 9. Julia Klingler (Utah State), 40.73m (133-07)
5000m – 1. Kyle McKenna (Utah State), 15:07.35; Kade Jensen (Utah State), DNF; Jacob Barton (Utah State), DNF; Chris Martinez (Utah State), DNF
Hammer Throw – 1. James Parker (unattached), 61.33m (201-02); 2. Matt O Farrell (Idaho State), 51.37m (168-06); 3. Mike O Farrell (Idaho State), 50.80m (166-08); 7. Kevin Allen (Utah State), 48.07m (157-08)
Javelin – 1. Tanner Clark (Utah State), 52.55m (172-05); 2. Jon Goble (unattached), 51.90m (170-03) 3. Justin Watts (Weber State), 50.28m (164-11); 4. Collin Butterfield (Utah State), 49.39m (162-00); 7. Sam Hawkins (Utah State), 35.04m (114-11); 8. Dan Mosman (Utah State), 32.76 (107-06)
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.