USU track: Killpack wins men's 800m, Newman named WAC Women's Freshman of the Year

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, May 11 2013 10:46 p.m. MDT

ARLINGTON, Texas — Utah State men's track and field senior Tyler Killpack won the men's 800m with a time of 1:51.44, while distance runner Tylee Newman was named the Western Athletic Conference Women's Freshman of the Year on Saturday, the final day of the 2013 WAC Outdoor Championships in Arlington, Texas. Newman placed second in the 1,500m with a time of 4:27.75.

USU had 20 first-team all-WAC honorees, as well as 17 athletes named second-team all-WAC. As a team, the Aggie men placed second with 143 points, and the women finished in seventh place with 63 points. Texas State won the men's and women's team titles.

"I am very pleased with the way we performed," USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. "I think the athletes achieved some pretty high marks. The men were ranked third going into the tournament and they nearly won it — it came down to the last event. Depth wise, we hung in there with the other schools and to go from third at indoors to a close second; I am pretty excited about that. Our women did really well also with personal-best marks and some really outstanding finishes. Tylee Newman was one of those as she was recognized as the Freshman of the Year. We will now wait to see how many athletes we get into the first round of the NCAA Championships and from there we will see what we can accomplish going forward."

After being named the 2013 WAC Women's Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Newman said it was a great feeling and honor.

"It is pretty exciting that they recognize a freshman, set aside from everybody else," she said. "I feel pretty honored to have gotten it and I didn't really expect it. I was really hoping for a gold medal but I feel like I did my very best and I am happy with how it ended up. I couldn't have done this without my teammates and coaches. I am really blessed to be on this Utah State team."

Junior Bryce Hall started the final day of competition out strong for the Aggies as he placed second in the men's hammer throw with a personal-best throw of 58.72m (192-08), while fellow junior Kaylee Hartshorn followed suit and tabbed a third-place finish in the women's javelin with a mark of 42.48m (139-04). Hall went on to place third in the discus with a distance of 51.17m (167-10), while freshman Kevin Allen finished in fifth place in the same event with a toss of 49.93m (163-10). Freshman Skyler Duke rounded out the top-six finishers in the field events with a bronze medal performance in the high jump as he cleared 2.09m (6-10.25).

In the women's running events, junior Kylie Hirschi and sophomore Laycee Elliott garnered fifth and sixth places in the 400m hurdles with times of 1:02.08 and 1:02.81, respectively. Sophomore Chari Hawkins also placed sixth in the 100m hurdles (14.08), as did senior Alex Lizsinger in the 5,000m (17:41.03).

On the men's side of the track, freshmen Briton Page and Spencer Russell tabbed second- and fourth-place finishes in the 800m with times of 1:51.67 and 1:55.13, respectively. Junior Kyle McKenna came from behind in the last 50 yards to win the silver medal in the 5,000m with a time of 15:10.56, while freshman Cole Lambourne also came from behind to take the bronze medal in the 400m with a personal-best time of 47.13.

Senior Will Henry clocked a time of 10.41 to place fourth in the 100m and a time of 21.48 to finish sixth in the 200m. With the 100m time, Henry now ranks tied for third place in school history with former Aggie great Armahd Lewis. Sophomore Nic Bowens also performed well in the 100m and 200m dashes as he recorded times of 10.52 and 21.37 to place sixth and fifth, respectively. The men's 4x100m relay team that consisted of Bowens, Henry, Lambourne and freshman Jacob Bautista Jr., placed third with a time of 40.73. Rounding out the top-six finishes on Saturday was the men's 4x400m relay that consisted of Mosman, Killpack, Page and Lambourne, as they placed sixth with a time of 3:15.03.

Athletes will now wait to see who is included in their respective events at the first round of the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, on Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25. Since the NCAA does not have the combined events compete at the first round, Hawkins will wait to see if her school record of 5,441 points in the women's heptathlon will be enough to get her to the finals of the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., on Wednesday through Saturday, June 5-8.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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