LOGAN – A record 22 Utah State Track and Field athletes will be competing in the NCAA West Preliminary Championships later this week. Thirteen men and nine women will compete at Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, Calif this Thursday through Saturday.
Of the 48 athletes competing in each event, only the top 12 will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Finals, which will be held June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.
Some of those Aggie competitors are feeling optimistic about their chances. USU’s Sindri Gudmundsson, a sophomore from Kopavogur, Iceland, is the No. 1 ranked spot in the javelin competition. He holds the school record with an 80.49 meter throw earlier this season.
“I’m pretty positive that if I perform like I’ve been doing all season I’ll be able to go to finals,” Gudmundsson said.
Gudmundsson went to preliminary competition a year ago, but was recovering from surgery.
“I didn’t know how many throws I would be able to take,” he said, “but now I can just kind of go and have fun and actually just do what I have been doing all season.”
Mia Estes, a senior competing in javelin, qualified last year but had to sit out due to injury. Knowing this is her final chance she said she wants to leave it all on the runway.
“Due to my UCL tear I actually didn’t get to compete,” she said “but this year I would say it is different than any other because I’m more confident. I have my sights set on kill this year, where before I was intimidated because it was a big meet.”
Aggie senior David Hirschmann will be competing in both the shotput and discuss competition. He said the margin between a qualifying spot and a 25th-ranked spot is small. He said he will determine his own success by whether or not he knows he gave it his all.
“It is so close in these 10 or 11 spots,” he said. “If I throw well, it’s really possible that I could make it.”
Tylee Newman-Skinner, a senior long distance runner from Idaho, said she qualified for the West preliminaries a year ago, and that it was “the cherry on top” of a good season. This year, she said, it is about getting to the next level.
“In cross country we qualified for nationals and doing that in cross country has set the expectations really high for the whole distance team and the track team,” she said. “Our expectations are higher and this meet is just part of the season.”
The complete list of Aggie competitors can be found at this link.