Rebels Take Second At Mountain West Indoors|
Feb. 25, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV Track & Field finished second overall at the 2017 Mountain West Indoor Championships, which matched the program's best finish since the Conference held its inaugural competition in 2000. The Rebels finished the three-day competition with 99.0 points, a mere 3.5 points behind the Colorado State Rams and their haul of 102.5.
"I am so extremely proud of this group of young women," said Wade. "They fought hard and kept their focus on getting this team in position to do something big. The energy was intense all the way to the end, and I'm so excited for what's to come."
The top-three finishers entered the final day of competition in fourth (CSU/25.50 points), sixth (UNLV/22) and 11th (San Diego State/12), respectively. The Rams took control of Saturday's action after the high jump and never looked back, although the Scarlet & Gray managed to get in striking distance down the stretch by shaving 19 points (21.5 to 2.5) off its deficit in a span of six events. CSU pushed its lead to 5.5 points after the 3000m, a race it notched three points of a sixth-place finish by one of its student-athletes.
It would all come down to the 4x400m relay, the meet's final event. UNLV's foursome of Drea Austin, Nylia Hudspeth, Micayla Coquia and Najia Hudspeth ran a season-best time of 3:42.52 to take second and eight points; however, the Ram's quartet finished one spot behind in third, which was worth six points.
By virtue of her team's effort, UNLV head coach Yvonne Wade earned MW Coach of the Year honors.
"This award really goes to my entire coaching staff. They all worked very hard and had all of our student-athletes step up and make a difference."
Besides the 4x400m relay, UNLV also got second-place showings from Kaysee Pilgrim in the high jump (5-10.75/1.80m) and Ayana Gales in the triple jump (40-6.25/12.35m), a distance that ranks as the third-best indoor performance by a Rebel.
Mandy Chitwood placed third in the 800 with a time of 2:07.48, a personal-best effort and the fourth-best all-time indoor performance for the event.
Destiny Smith-Barnett and Kaysha Love picked up points for the Rebels in both the 60m and 200m. The former was third in the 60m (7.38) and fourth in the 200m (23.90 PB) while the latter was fourth (7.53) and seventh (24.22 PB), respectively.
In addition to running the relay, three of the Rebels also ran in individual events. Austin was third in the 200m (23.89) while the Hudspeths were fourth (Najia/54.63 PB) and seventh (Nylia/55.80) in the 400m.
Vanessa Sierra threw a distance of 44-11.75 (13.71m) in the shot put for eighth.
During the first two days of competition, the Rebels got a second-place finish from Stella Clemens in the pentathlon that was followed up by a win in the long jump by Gales. Jaela Williams also produced points in the long jump with a fifth-place display.
By virtue of UNLV's higher finish than its in-state rival Nevada, Reno, the Rebels earn three points towards the standings for the Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and Barrick Gold. The all-encompassing athletic and academic competition between the Silver State's two NCAA Division I programs has been claimed by the Scarlet & Gray each of the previous four seasons dating back to its inception. Currently, UNR has a 15-9 lead over UNLV with the awarding of three points to the former for its sweep in men's basketball as well as six points for the latter's sweep in women's basketball and its finish in indoor track & field.