(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – The women’s track and field team heads to San Diego this weekend for the SDSU Aztec Invitational to kick off the 2013 outdoor season.
“We have several athletes who are really excited for the outdoor season, because they haven’t opened up yet with their primary events,” head coach Patrick Shane said. “They have trained all year and are ready to compete. Outdoor is a long season, and we are focusing on finding the right pace in order to be at our best toward the end of the season.”
Official events athletes have yet to compete in include the discus, hammer throw, javelin, 400-meter hurdles, 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 10,000 meters.
The only returning All-American from last year’s outdoor season is senior javelin thrower Allyson Anderson Wardell, who threw for 44.28 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She is also a two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection in 2010 and 2011.
Deezbaa Whaley, a recent returned missionary, is the team’s top performer in the weight throw and the hammer throw. Prior to her mission, Whaley had personal best throws of 52.04m in the hammer throw and 17.68m in the weight throw. Whaley currently sits fourth on the BYU all-time indoor record board in the weight throw.
Two other athletes poised to make a difference during the outdoor season are senior sprinter Natalie Stewart and freshman pole vaulter Anginae Monteverde.
Stewart, who sat all of last year due to an ACL injury, competed during the indoor season and made steady improvements during each race. She finished the indoor season with a 13th-place finish in 56.02 during the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships.
“This past Monday, I saw the old Natalie in our workout,” Shane said. “She is finally letting go of all the pain she felt in the past.”
Monteverde, a transfer from the University of Oregon, sat out the indoor season due to an ankle injury. According to Shane, Monteverde should be ready to compete in the next few weeks.
Kelsey Brown, who earned second-team All-America honors in the 800 meters during the indoor season, will not begin the outdoor season until the Stanford Invitational.
Results from the invitational can be found at FlashWest.com.