|School record falls, three more Vandals advance|
AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Idaho had another solid day at the NCAA West Preliminary track and field meet on Friday, as one school record fell and three more Vandals qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Jeremy Klas cleared an outdoor career-best and school-record 17-2.75 (5.25) on his first attempt at the meet, which was key in his 12th-place finish at the event. Five other athletes cleared the same height, but Klas took the final qualifying spot based on fewer misses.
Senior James Rogan earned his second-consecutive NCAA bid in the men's hammer throw after finishing fourth in the event with a toss of 214-11 (65.52m), while fellow senior Beau Whitney punched his first career ticket with a throw of 202-11 (61.84m) and an 11th-place finish.
"They both competed very well," Idaho throws coach Julie Taylor said. "Beau did what he needed to do right from the beginning and it was exciting because he went into finals in 12th place and got bumped to 13th for a couple rounds and he really stepped up on his fifth throw to move up.
"James knew he was going to finals after his first throw and it was kind of a working meet. We made some adjustments as the competition went on and he did really well and I think he's set up for a strong national meet."
Klas is the first Idaho athlete to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the men's pole vault since Dave Martindale won the 1952 national title in the event. Whitney joined Rogan and 1980 qualifier Steve Saras as the third Vandal to qualify for the national meet in the hammer. With one more day of preliminary qualification, six Vandals have earned spots at the NCAA meet.
"I set goals for the throwers at the beginning of the year and one of those was to have four people at NCAAs and we're already there with a couple more still to compete," Taylor said. "They've all stepped up and competed so well."
Also on Friday, senior Mykael Bothum threw 144-9 (44.12m) and finished 37th in the women's discus throw, junior Ulrike Hartz ran a 25.03 and finished 47th in the women's 200m, senior Allix Lee-Painter ran a 10:26.55 and finished 14th in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, and senior Christie Gordon barely missed qualifying for the quarterfinals in the women's 100m hurdles, as she ran a 13.73 and finished 25th.
Three Idaho athletes will compete on the final day of the meet Saturday. The men's discus starts at 10 a.m. for Whitney, who will try to earn his second NCAA spot, while sophomore Gabby Midles competes in the women's hammer throw at 1 p.m. and Lee-Painter runs the women's 5,000m at 6:45 p.m.