Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|T&F continues to improve|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho track and field team had a small group compete Friday at the Idaho Collegiate but still won five events and posted many strong marks.
Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said there were two basic goals for their final home meet before the Western Athletic Conference Championship next weekend.
“We got a lot out of today,” Phipps said. “For people who were for sure going to conference it was about fine tuning or giving them a little more confidence going into conference, and for some it was their last opportunity to make the conference roster.”
Senior Liga Velvere won the women’s 800m with a time of 2:07.83, which is the second fastest of her career and is the fastest in the WAC so far this season.
“She will run as fast and hard as she can, regardless of the competition,” Phipps said. “I know she was disappointed, but the second fastest indoor time for her ever and the conference leader is still a very good race.”
Senior Barry Britt finished fourth in the men’s mile with a career-best time of 4:07.33. His time is the best in the WAC this season by more than four seconds and is also five seconds faster than his previous best. Britt said the race was a good confidence booster for next week’s WAC meet.
“Being so close to conference, there will be no doubt in my mind my endurance is there, my speed is there and I have all the tools,” Britt said. “I am just feeling super confident, too.”
Sophomore Matt Sullivan joined exclusive company in the men’s pole vault on Friday with a career-best height of 17-0.75 (5.20m), which is second best in the WAC this season. He is the third person in Idaho school history to break the 17-foot barrier in the event. He cleared the height on his very first attempt.
The day was extra special because his family and best friend drove up for the meet from Caldwell, Idaho, to celebrate his birthday on Saturday.
“My family, my cousins, my littler brother and my best friend came up for the weekend to watch me and it was nice to have that support,” Sullivan said. “I wanted to put on a show for my family.”
Senior Kristine Leonard had a strong day in the throws. She started with a first place finish in the discus at 156-7 (47.72m) and added a second place finish in the weight throw with a career-best toss of 57-7.75 (17.57m) and finished third in the shot put with a mark of 45-7.25 (13.90m).
Senior Ugis Svazs finished first in the 60m dash with a time of 7.06; coming in at a close second was sophomore Jesse Villines with a time of 7.07. The Vandals also posted first and second place finishes in the 800m. Senior Kyle Tylor won the race with a season-best time of 1:53.12 and freshman Tyler Jaszkowiak came in second with a time of 1:56.19.
Overall at the meet, Idaho’s men tallied seven career-best marks, while the women’s team had five career bests. Phipps said he is glad to see the improvements and marks and the important thing now is to get ready for conference.
“We won’t have too many people competing tomorrow, so from here on in we want to get as healthy as possible,” Phipps said. “Getting the appropriate amount of rest and recovery is important. All the hard work is done, we need a little fine tuning work and if we can get well rested, we are in a good position.”
The Vandals will host the Idaho Open II on Saturday morning starting with the heptathlon 60m hurdles at 8:30 a.m. (PT).