Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Kiser, Rothwell take honors|
DENVER – A pair of University of Idaho track and field athletes earned Athlete of the Week honors from the Western Athletic Conference on Wednesday after their performances for the week of Feb. 4-10.
Vandal junior Hannah Kiser (Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee HS) was chosen as the WAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week, while fellow junior Kyle Rothwell (Eagle, Idaho/Eagle HS) was selected WAC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week.
On Saturday, Kiser broke the WAC all-time record and Idaho school record in the women’s 3000m with a time of 9:04.74 in a fourth-place finish at the Husky Classic. Her time is fifth-fastest in the NCAA so far this season and broke her own previous conference and school records by a nearly three-second margin.
“Hannah is in the best shape of her life, but it’s been a while since she’s been able to demonstrate what she can do,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “For her to come out and show just a hint of what I think she’s capable, it was great. She has worked so hard to get herself into shape and for her to demonstrate that on a large stage was really cool.”
Kiser’s time is the fastest in the WAC this season by a 42-second margin and puts her in an NCAA Indoor Championships qualifying position – the top 16 marks in each event at the end of the season earn a bid to the national meet. Kiser also holds the WAC’s top time in the women’s mile this season at 4:45.01.
It’s the second-consecutive athlete of the week for Kiser and is the sixth of her Idaho career.
Rothwell hit a career-best mark of 62-10 (19.15m) on Friday evening at the Husky Classic. The mark is the best in the WAC this season and gave him a career best in the event by nearly one full foot. It’s the third time in the last four weekends that Rothwell has set a new career best in the event.
“You train for a result and the training this year has been really great and I could kind of feel it coming,” Rothwell said. “It makes me feel very proud. I’ve seen a lot of people get those awards, but this is my first, so it just makes it that much more special.”
The third-year Vandal thrower has won all seven of his weight throw competitions this season and has added nearly four feet to his career best in the event since the start of the 2013 season. The honor is the first for a Vandal man this season and is the first of Rothwell’s career.
Kiser, Rothwell and the Vandal track and field teams will be in action at home this weekend when the team hosts the Idaho Collegiate on Friday, starting at 1 p.m. (PT), and then the Idaho Open II, which starts on Saturday at 9 a.m.
This weekend’s action will be the team’s final tune-up before the WAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held at Albuquerque, N.M. on Feb. 21-23.