Orem, UT - Scott Houle couldn-t have asked for a better second season as the head track coach at Utah Valley State. This year the second year coach saw his team set a handful of school records, personal best marks along with meet and track records.
-Every kid that ran for us last year or this year tied their personal record or a set a new one,- Houle said. -We saw great improvement from top to bottom. The number of school records set was overwhelming.-
Between the indoor and outdoor seasons, Wolverine athletes set 17 school records in various events.
Joe Bendoski and Kari Snow each broke three records during the two seasons. The biggest school record broken was at the Pomona Pitzer Invitational when Michael Vick broke the school, track and meet record in the 10,000 meter race by running a time of 31:30.56.
-We didn-t think we would set as many school records as we did,- Houle said.
The key to the successful season was simple. The Wolverine coaches had its returning athletes lead and compete for top finishes all season while the first year athletes also stepped in gave the Wolverines solid contributions on the track.
The core of this year-s team was Bendoski, Snow, Mark Lott, Chris Fogt, Tawny Judkins, Mariama Salifu and Clifton Palmer.
-They really did a good job in being consistent for us,- Houle said.
Two athletes that showed great improvement were Judkins and Fogt. Judkins set school marks in the long jump (18-10.75) and was on the 400 meter relay team that set a school record too. She also was a top finisher in the spring events.
Fogt always finished in the top three in the sprint events. During the indoor season he set a school record in the 300m.
-Tawny improved dramatically,- Houle said. -She was the biggest pleasure because of her drastic improvements. Fogt did the same thing Tawny did.-
Newcomers such as Karinne Bentley, Chase Englestead, Tim Rowberry, Bekah Poppinga and Tiera Zaugg all came in and gave the Wolverines a lift during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Houle said that Bentley ran faster in the 1500 than he expected and that he was pleased with how Englestead came back after three months from his LDS mission to become the top Wolverine athlete in the 3000 men-s steeplechase.
Next year looks to be just as solid since Houle loses only six guys and no girls.
-We have good recruits coming in who will give us points in areas we haven-t had,- Houle said. -They are pretty darn good athletes.No longer can kids come in here and automatically have a spot. They are going to have to work to gain the opportunity to compete for a top spot.-