WAC TRACK & FIELD
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@ STARBULLETIN.COM
Fresno State's Alan Floresca, Utah State's Logan Moore and Fresno State's Robert Calzadilla ran in a qualifying heat of the 100 meters yesterday at Cooke Field.
Aggies' Hulbert snags early lead
The Utah State senior leads the WAC heptathlon at UH's Cooke Field
A few years ago, Lacy Hulbert's activity of choice was dance. Yesterday, the Utah State senior muscled the shot put well enough for first place after the first day of the heptathlon at the Western Athletic Conference track and field championship meet at the University of Hawaii.
Hulbert, the WAC's reigning indoor champion in the pentathlon, led after the first four of seven events yesterday with 3,323 points. Hawaii freshman Annett Wichmann, who was second indoors, was second with a school record for the first day of the pentathlon of 3,208.
"I was actually a jumper my first two years at Utah State and I felt like I wasn't contributing enough, so I said, 'Well, let's tack on six more events,'" Hulbert said. "I didn't throw a shot put until last year. It's not my strength for sure."
But Hulbert's throw of 38-9 1/2 was third among the nine competitors yesterday.
"She's a great athlete and she's just getting better and better," Utah State coach Gregg Gensel said.
Combining an adequate effort in her weak event with stellar marks in her strong ones -- 14.38 to win the 100 hurdles and 5-8 3/4 to take the high jump -- gave Hulbert the lead with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters left today.
Hulbert also won the 200 meters in 25.60.
Wichmann is competing with the point system as much as with Hulbert. Her magic number is 5,000; she needs to hit it to become a provisional qualifier for the NCAA championships. Wichman broke her previous first-day mark of 3,193.
"To (average) 600 points in those events tomorrow shouldn't be a problem," UH coach Carmyn James said. "She's off to a great start."
Wichmann won the shot put with 45-8 1/2 (the school record for the shot in the heptathlon) and was second to Hulbert in the hurdles (14.81).
UH junior Mallory Gilbert was in fifth with a personal first-day best of 2,689. She was second to Hulbert in the high jump (5-734) with Wichmann third (5-5 1/4).
Wichmann said UH hosting the WAC meet is a plus for her and her teammates. The individual and relay events begin tomorrow.
"I like it because we don't have to travel, we know the facilities, and hopefully we will have some more visitors here to watch," Wichmann said.
Most of the spectators yesterday were fellow athletes and officials. But some parents made the trip, including Wichmann's; Hannelore and Dieter came all the way from Germany.
Wichmann said the javelin and 800 meters, contested today along with the long jump -- are two of her favorite events, so catching Hulbert is possible.
"Anything can happen," she said. "But she's very good all around."
Robert Calzadilla of Fresno State, competing in just his second decathlon, led the men's multi event with 3,415 points after five of 10 events.
Reigning WAC indoor heptathlon champion Keron Francis dropped out during the high jump when he aggravated a hamstring injury.
"Losing Keron hurts the competition because he's a great athlete, but it does leave an opening," Calzadilla said.
TRACK & FIELD
At Cooke Field
1. Robert Cslzadilla, Fresno St., 3415. 2. Logan Moore, Utah St., 3407. 3. Ryan Lang, Idaho, 3349. 4. Evan Young, Fresno St., 3339. 5. Ian Snook, Idaho, 3285. 6. Marcus Luckstead, Idaho, 3252. 7. Alan Floresca, Fresno St., 2639.
Heptathlon: 1. Lacey Hulbert, Utah St., 3323. 2. Annett Wichmann, Hawaii, 3208. 3. Amber Metoyer, La. Tech, 3021. 4. Ashley Land, Nevada, 2702. 5. Mallory Gilbert, Hawaii, 2689. 6. Aimee Sauvageau, Utah St., 2668. 7. Tonisha Henson, Fresno St., 2626. 8. Megan Radel, Idaho, 2532. 9. Cristy Woodruff, Nex Mexico St., 2464.