Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Vandals sweep WAC awards|
MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho track and field swept the Western Athletic Conference men’s and women’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors for the week of Feb. 11-17, the league announced on Wednesday.
Senior Barry Britt and sophomore Matt Sullivan claimed the WAC Men’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors, respectively, while seniors Liga Velvere (track) and Kristine Leonard (field) took the women’s honors.
The honors give Britt four in his career, Velvere three, Leonard two and Sullivan one.
Britt, a distance runner from Hampton, New Brunswick (Georgia State), ran a five-second career-best time of 4:07.33 in a fourth-place finish in the mile at the Idaho Collegiate on Friday. It’s the fastest in the WAC this season and the fastest by an Idaho runner since 1998. It’s the best time in the WAC since the 2010 indoor season.
Sullivan, a vaulter from Caldwell, Idaho (Caldwell HS), became the third Vandal to crack the 17-foot barrier on Friday with a winning clearance of 17-0.75 (5.20m) in the men’s pole vault. It marked the second-year Vandal’s third-consecutive weekend with a career best in the event and moved him into a tie for second in the WAC in the event. He enters the week ranked 43rd in the NCAA in the event.
Velvere, a senior from Saldus, Latvia (Latvian Academy of Sport), ran a season-best and WAC-leading time of 2:07.83 to win the women’s 800m on Friday at the Idaho Collegiate. It’s the second-fastest time of her career and ranks 41st in the NCAA so far this season.
Leonard, a thrower from Rathdrum, Idaho (Concordia University), won a pair of events and earned five top-three finishes over the weekend at the Idaho Collegiate and Idaho Open II. On Friday, Leonard hit a career-best 57-7.75 (17.57m) and finished second in the weight throw, won the indoor discus with a mark of 156-7 (47.72m) and then took third in the women’s shot put with a mark of 45-7.25 (13.90m). She followed it up on Saturday with a win in the weight throw at 56-9.5 (17.31m) and a second-place shot put performance of 46-0.5 (14.03m).
Along with the four honors this week, Idaho men’s and women’s track and field earned a combined seven WAC Athlete of the Week honors during the indoor season.
The Vandal men and women will compete at the WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships this Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 21-23, at Albuquerque, N.M.