|School record, provisional marks for Idaho track & field|
PULLMAN, Wash. - Idaho track and field opened its 2010 season with a flourish on Saturday, as the team accumulated a pair of NCAA provisional qualifying marks and took down one of the oldest records in the book.
For Idaho men's vaulters, Steve Ott's 1985 record of 5.09m (16-8.25) had been like a white rabbit - many times within reach, but had never been matched. On Saturday, seniors Lucas Pope and Mike Carpenter and sophomore Jeremy Klas ended Ott's reign at 25 years - and did it in three successive jumps at 5.10m (16-8.75).
"It's been evading us for a couple years and it seemed like indoors, we just couldn't get our stuff together," Carpenter said. "Today, we finally got it."
Pope cleared it first with ease, followed by Carpenter and capped off by Klas, each time with increased delight from the large Idaho crowd on hand. Klas got the last laugh as the event winner. Carpenter competed unattached, so officially, only Pope and Klas will go into the record book.
"That's the only way to do it," Klas said of the 1-2-3 clearances. "I couldn't let them both clear it and then sit there by myself for three more attempts."
Not to be outdone, a pair of returning Idaho All-Americans on the women's side threw their hats in the NCAA ring on Saturday. Seniors Mykael Bothum and K.C. Dahlgren won the women's shot put and pole vault, respectively, with NCAA provisional qualifying marks.
All four of Bothum's marked attempts were over 15 meters and her best of the day was 15.46m (50-8.75), which is the 10th-best throw in the NCAA through the weekend. Dahlgren won the women's vault with ease, as she cleared 4.00m (13-1.5) to tie her for 11th-best in the nation in the event.
Other event winners for Idaho on the day were senior Breeana Chadez at 1.65m (5-5) in the women's high jump, and junior Eugenio Mannucci in the shot put. Mannucci trailed Washington State's Joe Bartlett going into the event's final round, but uncorked a toss of 16.79m (55-1) to win on the competition's final attempt.
Idaho athletes James Rogan and Christie Gordon, who have exhausted their indoor eligibility, competed unattached and pulled in event victories in the men's weight throw and women's 60m hurdles, respectively.
Senior sprinter Sam Michener was barely out-leaned and took a judge's decision second-place finish with a personal-best 6.87 in the 60m dash, while sophomore Gabby Midles was the runner up in the women's weight throw on Friday with a toss of 15.50m (50-10.25)
Saturday's competition was light on track competitors, as the team continues to train through the early portion of the season. A more robust Idaho team will be on display next weekend in the same venue at the Cougar Indoor.