|Track adds three throwers|
Idaho head track and field coach Julie Taylor, who oversees the Vandal throws program, said she’s very excited about the addition of Adara Winder of Bonney Lake, Wash., and teammates Tayler Feinauer and Kaylie Van Loo of Hillsboro, Ore.
“I’m really pleased that we were able to get all three of them as Vandals,” Taylor said. “Each of them is very accomplished and they all come in at a high level, as far as being able to compete right away. They’re also all very good athletes – all of them at one point did multiple sports and they haven’t totally focused on track and field year-round, so I think they all still have a lot of potential for improvement.”
Winder was a three-time Washington 3A state shot put champion at Bonney Lake High School She won the 2010 crown as a sophomore at 40-9.25, then tossed 44-4.75 to win in 2011 as a junior and posted a career-best mark of 45-9.25 to repeat again as champion in 2012. She was the 2012 Washington state runner-up in the discus throw with a toss of 126-7 and holds a career-best mark of 129-10 from the West Central District Championships.
In the 2012 season, she won 12 of 13 shot put competitions and nine of her 13 discus throw competitions during the year. As a junior, she claimed shot put wins in 11 of her 12 appearances. At one point, she had a 13-meet winning streak in the shot put spanning her junior and senior seasons.
“She’s obviously had great success, but she actually hasn’t had much time in the weight room, so as she gets stronger and continues to develop technically, she’s going to be a very good thrower for us,” Taylor said. “She’s very good in the shot put, but I think we can also get her started in the weight throw and that can be a strong event for her, so we’re really excited to see what she can do.”
Winder ranks 39th nationally among American high school girls in the shot put and third among all throwers in the state of Washington, while her discus mark ranks 14th in the state at all classifications. She also participated in volleyball and basketball for the Panthers.
Feinauer is a three-time Oregon state qualifier in the javelin throw for Glencoe High School. She took sixth at the 2012 Oregon 6A State Championships in the event as a senior. She hit 130-0 at the state meet and holds a career-best mark of 145-6, which she achieved in a runner-up finish at the Pacific Conference Championships.
As a senior in javelin, Feinauer cracked the 130-foot barrier five times in 10 competitions and finished her season ranked eighth among all Oregon javelin throwers and 24th among American high school girls in the event.
“Tayler is going to be a huge plus for us because she’s competed in a very good state in Oregon and she’s a multi-sport athlete who only puts a couple months into the javelin every season,” Taylor said. “I think a full year focusing on the javelin is going to make her a lot better. I like her focus and the way she approaches things, so I think she’ll fit in with our group really well.”
Feinauer finished 12th at the 2011 Oregon 6A State Championships in the javelin throw with a mark of 122-2 and finished the season with a best mark of 129-5. As a sophomore in 2010, she hit 129-7 and finished third at the Oregon 5A State Championships.
Van Loo was a state champion in the javelin and a top all-around thrower and athlete at Glencoe High School. She won the 2010 Oregon 5A state crown in the javelin as a sophomore with a toss of 140-7. At the 6A qualification, she took third as a junior in 2011 at 154-1 and as a senior in 2012, finished second behind only the nation’s top-ranked thrower with a toss of 150-8.
In her senior season, Van Loo also took fourth in the discus throw with a best toss of 129-8 and finished sixth in the shot put at 37-10.75. She finished her career with bests of 156-10 in the javelin, 134-1 in the discus throw and 42-1 in the shot put.
“Kaylie is already competing at an extremely high level – she’s such a competitor and only wants to win,” Taylor said. “It’s going to drive her to be a better collegiate athlete. She’s probably one of the best javelin throwers we’ve ever signed, but she’s such a great athlete that we think she can be very successful in a couple other events, too.”
Van Loo is the No. 5 ranked girls high school javelin thrower in the United States in 2012 and was one of just 13 girls in the nation to break the 150-foot barrier in the event during the season. With a best of 154-1 in 2011 as a junior, Van Loo ranked 12th in the U.S. last season.
In addition to their strong efforts for the Glencoe track and field team, Feinauer and Van Loo were key pieces on the basketball court in leading GHS to its first conference title in 16 years. The Crimson Tide went 20-7 overall and 12-2 in the Pacific Conference and earned a berth to the Oregon 6A State Tournament in 2012. Van Loo was a first-team all-state selection, a First-Team All-Pacific Conference pick and was voted Pacific Conference Player of the Year. Van Loo finished her career as a four-time all-conference selection in basketball, a two-time conference player of the year and a two-time all-state pick.
“I originally thought Kaylie was going to be playing basketball in college,” Taylor said. “She was highly sought after for basketball, so that shows what kind of athlete she is.”
Taylor said the fact that Van Loo and Feinauer were high school teammates and close friends should make their transition to the NCAA Division I level that much easier.
“These guys are not only teammates, they’re best friends,” Taylor said of the pair. “They’ve trained together for a long time and it should be fun to see how they adjust and work together.”
The three new Vandals will enter Idaho as freshmen in 2012-13 and will join a group that already includes NCAA qualifiers Kristine Leonard (discus), Sarah Nutsch (hammer) and Ellen Rouse (javelin). Taylor said she believes all three newcomers have the ability to make an instant impact in the Western Athletic Conference and in the region.
“The addition of these three athletes with an already-strong group is going to make us very deep and we’re going to have a very good all-around throws group next year,” Taylor said. “It will be good for them to have the experience of Kristine, Sarah and Ellen as they develop, so I’m excited to see what we can do.”
The three additions give Idaho women’s track and field five for the 2012 recruiting class, along with distance runners Marquita Palmer (Weiser, Idaho) and Stephanie Rexus (Kennewick, Wash.), who signed in February.