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USU track: Giles McDonnell named Mountain Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year

Utah State sprints/hurdles coach Giles McDonnell has been named the Mountain Region Men’s Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year, it was announced Monday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

It is the first career Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year honor for McDonnell.

Under the guidance of McDonnell, who is in his first year with the Aggies, Utah State is sending a 4x400-meter relay team to the finals of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which are being held June 8-11, at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

In addition to that, senior sprinter Parker Bluth qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Finals in three events (100m, 200m and 4x400m). According to available records, he is the first Utah State athlete to qualify for the Outdoor Finals in more than two events.

Bluth qualified for the finals in the 200m by winning his heat with a time of 20.73 at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas. He qualified in the 100m with a time of 10.33 and ran the first leg on Utah State’s 4x400m relay team that finished first in its heat and fourth overall with a school-record time of 3:04.48.

Besides Bluth, the record-setting 4x400m relay team consisted of sophomore Brady Martin, senior Cole Lambourne and junior AJ Boully, along with senior Tanner Hunt, who was an alternate at the West Prelims.

Prior to qualifying in the 4x400m, Boully punched his ticket to the Outdoor Finals when he won his heat in the 400m hurdles and placed fifth overall with a time of 51.00.

At the 2016 Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships, McDonnell coached the men’s 4x400m relay team to a first-place finish (3:11.08), while Boully won gold in the 400m hurdles (51.14). Bluth and fellow senior Nic Bowens placed first and second, respectively, in the 100m with times of 10.20 and 20.28, and Lambourne took second in the 400m (47.54). The men’s 4x100m relay team finished second with a time of 40.09.

During the indoor season, the men’s 4x400m relay team placed first at the MW Indoor Championships with a time of 3:09.48, while Bluth won the 200m (20.79) and took second in the 60m (6.71). Martin captured the crown in the 400m (46.26), followed by Boully in second (46.95) and Lambourne in fourth (47.29).