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Utah Utes campus briefs

SOFTBALL: Sophomore third baseman Whitney Holm was 2-for-3 at the plate but the University of Utah softball team dropped 4-0 decision to Baylor on Friday in the second day of the Cathedral City Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Park in Cathedral City, Calif.

Utah (7-6) managed four hits and had five runners in scoring position but, unfortunately, could not push a run across the plate against the Bears.

Hannah Clements and Tori Medina both hit singles for the Utes as well.

Ashley Smuda got the start and allowed only one hit to the Bears through three innings but would eventually take her second loss of the season after allowing four earned runs with two strikeouts and one walk. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native is now 7-2 this season.

Baylor improved to 7-4 by scoring a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings.

The Utes conclude their Cathedral City Classic schedule with a doubleheader today beginning at 4 p.m. MT against Long Beach State, followed by a 9 p.m. game against UC Davis.

WOMEN'S INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD: The University of Utah track and field team completed the second day of the Mountain West Conference Championships on Friday at Albuquerque, N.M.

Utah's distance medley team comprised of Amanda Mergaert, Chelsey Kaplar, Lucy Yates and Alyssa Abbott set a new school record and won their first conference title with a time of 11:38.59.

The distance medley team put the cap on the night for the Utes with their school-record breaking finish. The performance ranks second in MWC Championship history and is third in the all-time MWC record book. The BYU Cougars, who have won all but two distance medley relay races in conference history, placed second (11:50.02), while New Mexico's foursome finished third (12:05.64).

In the long jump, Brianna LeRoy had a clearance of 18-6, a new lifetime best, for seventh place overall. Her previous personal best mark was 18-41/2.

Freshman Alyssa Johnson had a qualifying time in the 400-meter dash after finishing the race with a lifetime best of 55.60 to earn fourth place in her heat. Freshman Ashley Mosley finished the race in 56.80 for eighth place. Johnson and Mosley will both compete in the finals today.

In the 800-meter run, sophomore Lucy Yates had a qualifying time of 2:12.63 to earn fourth place.

Senior Whitney Wellington competed in the 60-meter dash preliminaries on Friday with a time of 7.79 for 14th place.

Sarah Grimm earned all-conference honors with a third-place finish in the weight throw with a mark of 57-101/4.

Freshman Theresa Waybright finished 11th overall in the pole vault after a clearance of 11-113/4.

"In conference meets, you have things that go your way and things that don't," said Utah head coach Kyle Kepler. "We ended the night the best way we possibly could with the distance medley. Our 400-meter and 800-meter kids ran really well today. I thought Theresa competed well in the pole vault. Whitney ran a solid race and competed well in a loaded field. We kept gaining momentum throughout the meet.

"In the distance medley, Amanda got us the lead and Chelsey Kaplar was kind of thrown in there last minute. She (Chelsey) is a senior and had a lot of strength. Lucy handed off right behind BYU and did what she needed to do to keep it a close race. Alyssa ran off the shoulder of BYU for the first three laps and then never looked back. We only missed the provisional qualifying mark by two seconds. It was a great way to end the day: a freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior winning that big race."

BASEBALL: Behind three home runs, including a grand slam from C.J. Cron, the Utah baseball team opened its four-game series with Sam Houston State with a 12-4 win on Friday evening at Huntsville, Texas.

Devin Walker got the Utes on the board in the first inning with a three-run homer before Utah took a 7-0 lead in the fifth inning off a Cron's grand slam.

Austin Shackelford also homered for the Utes. Michael Beltran led Utah at the plate, going 4-for-6 on the night.

Jordan Whatcott picked up his first win of the season, striking out five and giving up four runs over 51/3 innings. Reliever Brock Duke was stellar over 32/3 innings, striking out four and allowing no hits.

"We had chances for more runs but I'll take it," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "We played pretty good tonight and made marked improvement from last week. It was cold and windy and we hung in there and didn't allow that to hurt us."

The Utes and Bearkats tangle again today with a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. MT.

SKIING: Zoe Roy's fourth-place finish at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association Championships led the Utes on the first day of competition at Colorado Springs, Colo. Utah stands fifth after day one.

Roy crossed the line fourth in the women's 5-kilometer classic with a time of 16:56.9. It was her best finish of the year. The men's Nordic team was also strong behind top-10 finishes from Miles Havlick and Didrik Smith. Havlick had his third top-six run of the year, finishing sixth the 10-km classic in 30:15.8. Smith tied his best finish of the season with a ninth-place run in 30:26.3.

In the alpine team's giant slalom races, Eva Huckova placed seventh, her 10th top-eight finish of the season. She had a time of 1:58.18.

Nick Cohee was the men's alpine leader with an 11th-place run in 1:57.98.

The meet continues today with the men's 20K and the women's 15K mass start freestyle races and the slalom night races.