This Week in Vandal Track & Field:
NCAA Championships (June 6-9) Des Moines, Iowa
Mike Marshall (Men's Javelin)
Thursday, June 7 (12:30 p.m. PT)
Idaho advances a men’s student-athlete to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships for the fifth year in a row in junior Mike Marshall. The Vandal men have now been represented at the outdoor NCAA Championship meet in 17 of the last 18 seasons. During that span, 25 different Vandal men have qualified a total of 44 times and earned a combined 22 All-America honors. Marshall will compete in the men’s javelin throw final on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (PT).
Idaho has done pretty well throughout history at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Half of the team’s qualifiers since 1995 have earned All-America accolades. With 16 different events represented during that span, Idaho has sent a diverse group of athletes to the national finals. In the men’s javelin specifically, Idaho has now had four different qualifiers a total of seven times. Oscar Duncan leads the team with three berths and three All-America honors in 1996 (11th), 1997 (11th) and 1998 (15th). Donald Johnson is Idaho’s highest finisher in the event with a third-place finish in 1937 and a fourth-place slot in 1936, while Craig Christianson took 18th in 1983.
A Quick Recap
Idaho sent 13 total competitors - seven men and six women - to the NCAA West Preliminary two weeks ago at Austin, Texas. At the meet, Idaho produced one NCAA Championships qualifier in junior Mike Marshall (men’s javelin) and five total top-25 finishes. Seven of the team’s competitors finished at or above their seeded positions, highlighted by senior Andrew Blaser, who took 14th in the men’s 110m hurdles with a career-best all-conditions time of 13.84. His time was above the allowable wind reading, but would have been second-fastest in school history.
Marshall Takes Another Step
Mike Marshall’s journey from walk-on to conference champion to NCAA qualifier took another step two weeks ago when the junior added NCAA Finalist to his athletic résumé. With his 12th-place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary in the javelin with a mark of 222-11 (67.96m), Marshall becomes Idaho’s first NCAA finalist in the event since school-record-holder Oscar Duncan in 1998. Marshall, who has a career-best of 230-6 from this year, is gunning for Duncan’s all-time Idaho standard of 238-6, which the three-time All-American set in 1996.
Idaho track and field has broken at least one outdoor school record in 16 of the last 17 seasons before this year. A record has yet to fall in 2012, but not for lack of trying. Idaho men have made 13 all-time top-10 entries this season, while the Vandal women have added 15 to the books. Most impressive about the 28 total top-10 marks is the fact that they’ve come from 19 different individuals and one relay group. Nine of those individuals and three of four members in the women’s 4x100m relay are first-time entrants into the record book. Junior Mike Marshall, who currently ranks third all-time at Idaho in the javelin, is the team’s last hope for a record-setter this year. With a career best of 230-6, he needs to catch Oscar Duncan’s 1996 heave of 238-6 to re-write Vandal history.
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