Women’s track and field team set to compete in last meet before WAC championships

Camila Hamilton, a sophomore exercise science major, from Tucson, Arizona, Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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The Utah Tech women’s track and field team traveled to Northern Arizona University Feb. 3 to compete in its last meet before heading to the Western Athletic Conference championships Feb. 24.

Ron Mann Classic

NAU held the first Annual Ron Mann Classic last year where 27 teams competed. This year is the first year the Trailblazers will be in attendance.

The Trailblazers are set to compete in nine events at this indoor meet. Eight are running events and the other is a field event.

The build-up

The Trailblazers traveled to Provo to compete in the BYU Cougar Collegiate Indoor Invitational Jan. 14 and posted five top 10 results and three top five results on the second day of the meet. The team also posted times in multiple events, which currently hold program history’s best times.

After finishing up a strong meet in Provo, the team traveled to Arizona to compete in the NAU Lumberjack Team Challenge the next weekend. The team had another strong finish at this meet where they broke multiple records in three different events.

Megan Jenkins, a freshman biology major from Cedaredge, Colorado, set the school record in the 400-meters with a time of 59.58, which also placed her third in the event.

Three other Trailblazers set more records in the 800-meters setting first, second and third best times in school history.

What is next?

The Trailblazers will start the meet off with the 400-meters race where Jenkins and four other teammates will compete.

Jenkins said she will go into this meet just like her previous ones, as she continually strives to get a personal best. Knowing the time of her last 400 meters, Jenkins aspires to beat this goal at the Ron Mann Classic this weekend.

“If I don’t achieve that, I really hope to grow my mental toughness during this meet,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins stays motivated by staying in the zone; she likes to prepare the morning of track meets like every other day by eating the same breakfast and doing the same routine. Then right before her event, she mentally motivates herself, and she goes out and does her best.

Jenkins said she tells herself, “The best I can do is all I can do.”

In the one field event the team is competing in, Kylie Bishop, a sophomore criminal justice major from San Tan Valley, Arizona, set her goal high. Bishop plans to jump 5’3” and hopefully 5’5” at this meet.

Bishop said she prepares for the day of her meet by eating a good breakfast and “zone-in mentally.”

“I need to focus on and listen to music to help get me into the zone,” Bishop said.

As the motivation starts early in Bishop’s day, she keeps it going by working on staying calm, relaxed, focused and confident in her skills and abilities.

Bishop said she makes the corrections she needs to as the meet continues and afterward seeks to keep her positive mindset rather than dwell on any negatives that might have happened.

“Afterward, I just try to keep a positive mindset and focus on the positives of the day,” Bishop said.

2023 WAC Indoor Conference Championships

After the completion of the NAU Ron Mann Classic, the team will compete in the WAC Indoor Conference Championships Feb. 24.

Head coach Derrick Atkins said the team will go into the championships continuing to improve on what the team has been building so far this season.

“At the end of the day, the WAC is pretty tough in track and field,” Atkins said. “It could be a battle out there to get every point that we can get.”

Atkins said the team is a good hard working team that is very motivated, and as a coach, he is ready to see the results.

The team will conclude the indoor season at the championships then will begin to prepare for the next step in the outdoor season.