AUSTIN, Texas — Utah State's men's and women's track and field teams will send eight athletes in 12 events to compete in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships at the Mike A. Myers Track & Field Stadium Thursday through Saturday.

Representing USU in the first round will be senior distance runner Daniel Howell (3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m), along with fellow seniors Sonia Grabowska (pole vault) and Lindsey Spencer (hammer and discus).

Freshmen Nic Bowens (100m and 200m) and Devin Wright (javelin), sophomores AJ Boully(400m hurdles) and Bryce Hall (discus and hammer) and junior Bailee Whitworth (200m) will also compete for the Aggies.

"We are grateful that we got as many athletes into the first round of the NCAA Championships as we did," said USU veteran head coach Gregg Gensel. "It is exciting for them and they are very deserving for the hard work they have put in. For the seniors, this is a great chance to go out and compete one more time as an Aggie. For those who are returning next year, it proves how hard they work and the quality of athletes that we have here at Utah State.

"We are excited to see how well they do at the NCAA level."

Grabowska has won five straight pole vaulting event titles including her first Western Athletic Conference Outdoor title, while Spencer has continued her historic season by setting the school records in the hammer (61.99m, 203-04) and discus (54.48m, 178-09) and winning the WAC Outdoor title in the hammer.

Howell went undefeated at the WAC Indoor and Outdoor Championships in 2012, claiming titles in the indoor 3,000m and 5,000m as well as the outdoor 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m races.

Hall has shown consistency and poise as he has led the Aggie men's throwers all year with solid performances, capped off with WAC individual titles in the indoor weight throw and outdoor discus. For Bowens, Whitworth and Wright, this will be their first trip to the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Utah State's women are coming off a sweep of the 2012 WAC Track & Field Championships as they won their first WAC Indoor title in February and their first WAC Outdoor title on May 11.

Field events kick off the action each day at the first round of the NCAA Championships at 10 a.m. MT, while the running events will begin later in the afternoon. For championship information, including an event schedule, fans can visit

The finals for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be held on June 6-9 at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

NCAA 2012 First Round NCAA Championships

Utah State Qualifiers


(Event - Year - Name - Time/Distance - West Region Ranking)

100m - FR - Nic Bowens - 10.47 - 45

200m - FR - Nic Bowens - 21.07 - 46

400h - SO - AJ Boully - 51.67 - 30

3,000sc - SR - Daniel Howell - 8:48.25 - 10

5,000m - SR - Daniel Howell - 14:12.41 - 74

Hammer - SO - Bryce Hall - 58.39m (191-07) - 50

Discus - SO - Bryce Hall - 52.34m (171-09) - 50

Javelin - FR - Devin Wright - 63.61m (208-08) - 50


(Event - Year - Name - Time/Distance - West Region Ranking)

200m - JR - Bailee Whitworth - 24.03 - 80

Pole Vault - SR - Sonia Grabowska - 4.12m (13-06.25) - 23

Hammer - SR - Lindsey Spencer - 61.99m (203-04)* - 10

Discus - SR - Lindsey Spencer - 54.48m (178-09)* - 12

* = Utah State Track and Field Record

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