ALBUQUERQUE – Utah track & field’s Simone Plourde saved her best for the final lap in the 3000m race, passing several runners to finish fourth-overall at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships with a mark of 9:00.93 (aa) Saturday evening inside the Albuquerque Convention Center.
“It’s been a work in progress training for the last two years at Utah,” Plourde said afterwards. “Being patient and gradually increasing my mileage has paid off and its been so rewarding to see it come to fruition this season! Stoked for outdoors and what’s to come!”
Plourde’s fourth-place finish passes teammate Emily Venters and Amanda Mergaert (2012-13, Mile) for the program’s best finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Meanwhile, Plourde also becomes the fifth Woman of Utah to earn All-American honors for indoors.
“Terrific effort!” exclaimed head coach Kyle Kepler said. “She ran smart and stayed out of trouble. That allowed her to use her big finishing kick to go from eighth to fourth on the final lap. A Very Impressive effort for an athlete
The Montreal, Canada, native kept pace in the middle of the pack through the first 1000m before things dropping back a little in the top-eight. Plourde continued to hang tough with the front group through the next 1000m before buying her time to make her kick in the final 200m.
“A heck of a way to finish what is likely the best indoor season in school history,” Kepler noted. “A 21st-place team finish at the NCAA meet along with two First-Team All-Americans is pretty special. I can’t say we didn’t get a little inspiration this morning from the ski team. What an awesome day to be a Ute. Congrats to Fredrik and his staff on winning another NCAA title.”
Utah’s nine points at the NCAA Indoor Championships behind fourth and fifth-place finishes from Plourde and Venters is the most in program history and highest among teams from the state of Utah at the championships meet. It also picked up its first Top-25 finish ever at the championships – finishing 21st on the women’s side.
UTAH TECH INVITATIONAL
Down in St. George, the rest of the squad had a great start to the outdoor season picking up a handful of event victories – including Shana Van Elderen winning her second-straight event title in as many days. The freshman’s fourth jump of the day landed her the victory…
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