Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Women win Buc Scoring Invite|
SPOKANE, Wash. – A partial group of University of Idaho track and field athletes opened the outdoor season on Saturday with eight individual wins at the Whitworth Buc Scoring Invitational.
Vandal women claimed five top places and won the team scoring portion of the meet with 99.5 points, while the Idaho men won three times and scored 58 points to finish second.
Idaho’s travel squad consisted mainly of field athletes with a handful of runners mixed in, and Idaho head track and field coach Julie Taylor said she liked the way the team handled the chilly conditions and opened the season on a positive note.
“I thought everybody did well coming off spring break and all the weather after that,” Taylor said. “We have a ways to go, but for it being the start of the season, it went well.”
Freshman Johanna Hocketstaller stood out on the women’s side as the winner in the women’s javelin at 132-1 (40.26m). She also finished second overall and was the top collegian in both the shot put, at 44-9.75 (13.66m), and in the discus throw, at 147-2 (44.86m).
“Johanna was pretty amazing today,” Taylor said. “Her first outdoor meet as a Vandal was very impressive. She’s a multi-event girl, so she’s pulled all over the place and hasn’t really had a ton of focus on the throws yet, but she’s a very exciting athlete to watch.”
Also in the throws, senior Gabby Midles and sophomore Kyle Rothwell won the women’s and men’s hammer events, respectively. Midles hit 174-0 (53.04m) to win her event, while Rothwell won the men’s event with a career-best 180-8 (55.07m).
On the men’s side, junior Jason Lorentz and senior Rendel Jones were Idaho’s other two winners in the jumps. Lorentz went 21-11.5 (6.69m) in the long jump, while Jones won the triple jump with a best mark of 45-1.5 (13.75m).
A pair of Vandal sophomore women competed in new events on Saturday and both came away with victories. Emily Paradis made her 2012 debut after redshirting the indoor season and won the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 11:31.60.
Sophomore Cait Rowland picked up the 60m high hurdles during the indoor season and earned Second-Team All-Western Athletic Conference honors. She made her outdoor debut in the high hurdles on Saturday and posted a 15.37 running into a headwind to claim the individual title.
In a women’s long jump event that faced a headwind from start to finish, Idaho junior Alyssa Covington leapt 17-8.25 to claim the win and round out Idaho’s winners on the day.
Sophomore Andrey Levkiv had the big personal-best mark of the day with his second-place toss of 53-7.75 (16.35m) in the shot put, which is a career-best toss by more than a three-foot margin.
Three Vandals made record-book entries during the meet, led by sophomore Ugis Svazs in the men’s javelin. Svazs finished second with a toss of 209-11 (63.98m) and moved into fifth all-time at Idaho. Matt Sullivan, who set an Idaho freshman record during the indoor season with a best of 16-2 in the pole vault, jumped into a tie for 10th all-time at Idaho with a vault of 15-7 (4.75m). Hocketstaller’s mark of 132-1 in the javelin is also 10th-best in Idaho women’s history.
“That was great,” Taylor said of the marks. “Ugis hasn’t had a chance to compete yet, so it was great to get out, compete and get a solid start. We have some things we’re going to work on, but that’s a solid mark for him.”
A large group of Vandals will be back on the same track next weekend for the Sam Adams Classic, while another smaller group will be at Austin, Texas, for the Texas Relays.