|Vandals sweep WAC XC awards|
DENVER – The Western
Athletic Conference honored a pair of University of Idaho runners on Tuesday
with Verizon Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors for their performances
the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2.
Vandal sophomore Hannah Kiser earned the women’s award,
while senior Stephane Colle garnered the men’s honor. Kiser, a second-year
Idaho runner from Wenatchee, Wash. (Wenatchee HS), won the 5000m women’s race
at the Dellinger Invitational on Saturday, while Colle was the top finisher for
the Idaho men at 14th overall and 11th among collegians on the 8000m course.
“It’s exciting any time you can be honored by the conference,”
Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “It’s great
for the program and great for our student-athletes.”
Kiser’s winning time of 16:45.71 is the only sub-17-minute
5k time in the WAC this season, and is the fastest of her cross country career
over that distance. Through three competitions this season, Kiser is undefeated
against collegiate competition and hasn’t finished lower than second place
overall in any meet.
Phipps said the fact that she is performing at such a high
level every week against nationally-ranked teams and competitors with NCAA
Championships experience has given her a big boost in confidence.
“When I talked to her before the race, I told her she could
run with the lead pack and I think she nodded in agreement, but didn’t really
believe that she could,” Phipps said. “After not only running with them for 4k,
but then out-kicking them at the end, it’s really going to help her confidence
a great deal.”
Colle is a first-year senior transfer from St-Eustache,
Quebec (Concordia) who has already made a big impact through three
competitions. He’s been either the first or second finisher for Idaho at every
meet and on Saturday, he ran the fastest 8k time in the WAC this year with a
24:06.45 at the Dellinger Invitational.
The honor is the second this season for Kiser and the first
for Colle. The awards give Idaho a tally of three athlete of the week selections
so far this cross country season.
Colle and Kiser lead the Idaho men and women back into
action in two weeks at the Bronco Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 15, at Santa
Clara, Calif. That will be the team’s final tune-up before the WAC
Championships on Oct. 29, at Honolulu, Hawai`i.
“I think we’re in the exact position we want to be at this
time of the year,” Phipps said about the team. “Once we get everyone healthy on
both sides, I think we can make another jump.
“I think we want to get everyone running well on the same day. We’ve had a little bit of a mix of ups and downs, so if we can achieve that goal, it will be a good confidence booster going into the conference meet.”