ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While the 2018 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships opened with the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon, it was the final race of the day that stole the show.
In the men’s distance medley relay, the top two teams, New Mexico and Utah State, ran arguably two of the best races ever in the NCAA following an altitude adjustment. The recorded times of 9:33.41 by New Mexico and 9:34.61 by Utah State convert to the two fastest times in NCAA history.
The men’s team of seniors Jordan Beutler, Brady Martin, Clay Lambourne and Dillon Maggard recorded the fastest time in school history, even before an altitude adjustment, by nearly nine seconds. The Aggies, who placed second in the event, also recorded the fifth-fastest time in MW history prior to the adjustment.
“It was really, really special,” said distance coach Artie Gulden. “All four of them are seniors. They broke the school record by a lot and are sitting at number two in the country right now. They all ran tough, and by qualifying for NCAAs they’ll all be All-Americans. To have four seniors do it is really special.”
The altitude-adjusted time will be used to determine seeding for the NCAA National Indoor Championships, and Utah State’s time will be the second-fastest in the nation entering the event.
On the women’s side, the team of sophomore Josie Givens, freshman Jordan Brandt, junior Shannon Maloney, and senior Kelsey Yamauchi-Richins placed eighth with a time of 11:57.70.
Opening things off in the pentathlon, freshman Talie Bonds recorded a personal best in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing tied for first in the event in 8.68 seconds. Sophomore Niki Xydona finished the first round in 10th place, while junior Alyssa Hirschi advanced in 14th. After the high jump, all three USU multi-eventers recorded season bests, led by Bonds with a leap of 1.66m (5-5.25) to tie for third. After two events, Bonds recorded 1,784 points, good for second.
In the third event, the shot put, Hirschi used a season-best throw of 10.46m (34-4.00) to jump from 11th to eighth, while Bonds moved to fifth with a throw of 10.12m (33-2.50). Xydona recorded a season-best 5.47m (17-11.50) in the long jump to place sixth. After the long jump, Bonds still led the way for the Aggies, as her 2,864 points were good for seventh.
In the final event, the 800m, Hirschi was the top Aggie, finishing sixth in 2:24.64, while Xydona and Bonds finished 12th and 13 in 2:36.33 and 2:36.75, respectively.
Overall, Hirschi and Bonds tied for ninth with 3,475 points, a career-high score for Bonds, while Xydona ended the event in 11th with 3,463 points, tying her career best.
Overall, Utah State’s men ended the day in second place with eight points, while the women are tied for ninth with one point.
Action continues at the MW Indoor Championships on Friday with the men’s heptathlon at 10 a.m., and field events beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Fans can follow Utah State’s track & field programs at twitter.com/USUTF_XC or on Facebook at USUTrack. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
<strong>Mountain West Indoor Championships</strong>
<strong>February 22, 2018</strong>
<strong>Albuquerque Convention Center</strong>
<strong>Utah State’s Women’s Results:</strong>
Pentathlon 60m Hurldes: T1. Talie Bonds, 8.68; 10. Niki Xydona, 9.09; 14. Alyssa Hirschi, 9.29.
Pentathlon High Jump: T3. Talie Bonds, 1.66m (5-5.25); T5. Alyssa Hirschi, 1.63m (5-4.25); T5. Niki Xydona, 1.63m (5-4.25).
Pentathlon Shot Put: 5. Alyssa Hirschi, 10.46m (34-4.00); 10. Talie Bonds, 10.12m (33-2.50); 13. Niki Xydona, 9.45m (31-0.00).
Pentathlon Long Jump: 6. Niki Xydona, 5.47m (17-11.50); 16. Talie Bonds, 4.94m (16-2.50); 17. Alyssa Hirschi, 4.90m (16-1.00).
Pentathlon 800m: 6. Alyssa Hirschi, 2:24.64; 12. Niki Xyodna, 2:36.33; 13. Talie Bonds, 2:36.75.
Pentathlon (Final): T9. Alyssa Hirschi, 3,475 points; T9. Talie Bonds, 3.475 points; 11. Niki Xydona, 3,463 points.
DMR: 8. Utah State (Josie Givens, Jordan Brandt, Shannan Maloney, Kelsey Yamauchi-Richins), 11:57.70.
<strong>Utah State’s Men’s Results:</strong>
DMR: 2. Utah State (Jordan Beutler, Brady Martin, Clay Lambourne, Dillon Maggard), 9:34.61*