Trailblazers, Thunderbirds earn podium spots at conference meet – St George News


Utah Tech’s Averie Perriton negotiates the water hazard during the running of the 3,000-meter , in which she finished seventh, at the Western Athletic Conference meet in Orem, Utah, may 9, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Western Athletic Conference, St. George News

ST. GEORGE —Utah Tech women’s program records fell left and right during the Western Athletic Conference championships in Orem, Utah, last Thursday-Saturday.

Utah Tech 400-meter hurdler Megan Jenkins (third from right) smiles from her third-place spot on the podium at the Western Athletic Conference meet in Orem, Utah, May 11, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Western Athletic Conference, St. George News

And Southern Utah University made its mark as well with three individual champions standing atop the podium: Travis Feeny (10,000 meters), Jaedyn Carpenter (400 meters) and Morgan Blackburn (discus).

The Trailblazers’ top finish of the meet came Saturday in the 400-meter hurdles from sophomore Megan Jenkins, whose 58.85-second performance broke her own , which was set Thursday in the prelims. Jenkins placed third in the event.

The Utah Tech quartet of  Rashawnna Gibson, Whitney Christiansen, Brittany Kuhn and Kelly Denninghoff finished seventh in a program- time of 46.45, trimming off 0.08 seconds off the previous top time set at last year’s WAC Outdoor Championships. Finishing just ahead of the Blazers were the T-bird foursome of Maya Benjamin, Iana-Michovani Graham, Shante Myrie and Secret Mceuen, who claimed fifth in a program- of 45.36.

Utah Tech junior Lexi Larsen finished fifth in the 1,500 meters, clocking a program record time of 4:35.62 to score four team points.

The Trailblazers’ final points came in the last event as the 4×400-meter team of Christiansen, Addi Wyatt, Denninghoff and Jenkins took eighth in a program-best time of 3:49.18.

Christiansen set a new program record in the prelims of the 400 meters with a time of 56.54 to take off 0.07 seconds from her previous record time set earlier this season.

Blackburn’s winning performance (165-11.75) in the discus was the Thunderbird women’s lone individual WAC title.

Utah Valley won the women’s title with 177 points followed by Grand Canyon (118), UT Arlington (117.5 pts.), UTRGV (105) and Abilene Christian (83). The remainder of the field was rounded out by Tarleton State (61), Southern Utah (60), Stephen F. Austin (41), California Baptist (23), Utah Tech (20) and Seattle U (13).

Southern Utah University’s Jaedyn Carpenter won the  400-meter dash at the Western Athletic Conference track and field championships May 11, 2024, in Orem, Utah, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University Athletics, St. George News

The SUU men were the conference runners-up with 125 points, finishing behind champion Grand Canyon.

“It has been a very long year of competition for our men’s and women’s teams,” SUU coach Eric Houle said in a news release. “So, having the individual and team successes we had this weekend was a great way to cap off a very successful year.”

Carpenter led the way in winning the 400 in 45.95 seconds, followed by Dylan Gibson (3rd, 46.38). Feeny not only won the 10,000 meters on Friday but added a second-place finish in the 5,000 on Saturday, coming home in 14:33.35. Click here to see the finish of the 10,000.

Kaden Allen had a pair of bronze medal performances in both the discus (166-9.5) and the 800 (1:51.08).

Both Utah Tech and SUU will attempt to qualify for nationals at the DI West Regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas, May 22-25.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.





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