|More top marks|
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Four more University of Idaho track and field athletes put their stamps on the Vandal outdoor record books on Sunday in another strong Idaho performance at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational.
Junior Kristine Leonard had the most significant entry of the day with a lifetime-best 45-5 (13.84m) in the women's shot put to take fifth. That throw puts her at 10th all-time at Idaho in the event. The name she bumped off is none other than Idaho head track and field coach Julie Taylor.
Taylor (formerly Helbling) graduated from Idaho in 1986 as the school's record holder in the shot put and discus. Her athletes have now officially wiped her name off every Idaho top-10 list in the events, and just for good measure, she also coached every athlete in the top 10 in the hammer throw and javelin.
"That's very satisfying for me - it's been a goal," Taylor said. "I want to be a better coach than an athlete, and I'm proud of all the athletes who have pushed me down the board."
Sophomore Sarah Nutsch showed that last weekend's career-best throw wasn't a fluke, as she posted an entire series of big tosses in the hammer. She finished with a heave of 177-3 (54.02m) to improve on her fifth all-time standing and take sixth in the event.
"Sarah has been really working hard on her technique," Taylor said. "She's really starting to understand the event and her practices have been going very well lately. She was consistently throwing at a higher level and she really competed great today."
Junior Anna Kalbrener, who has been shaving seconds off her 1500m best nearly every weekend, kept pace and broke into Idaho's No. 10 all-time spot in the event with a 4:33.29 and second-place finish in the fifth section of the event.
For the men, junior Andrew Blaser continued his strong outdoor season by posting a 10-inch personal best in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-9 (4.80m) that puts him at eighth in the Idaho history book in the event. He also won the men's 110m hurdles with a career-best 14.50 and took 10th in the high jump after clearing 6-4 (1.93m).
The Vandal women also got an event victory from sophomore Liga Velvere, who ran her third-consecutive 400m hurdles race under one minute at 59.60. She is the only Western Athletic Conference runner to dip under one minute in the event this year.
Idaho athletes posted five runner-up finishes at the meet, starting with senior Sam Michener's 10.85 in the 100m dash. Senior Mike Carpenter took second in the men's 400m with a personal-best 49.87, while Lucas Pope cleared 16-2.75 (4.95m) for second in the men's pole vault. In the throws, senior Eugenio Mannucci's 57-5 (17.51m) shot put was second-best, while Gabby Midles' toss of 189-7 (57.80m) was good for second in the women's hammer throw.
With one more weekend left in the regular season, Idaho will try to put the finishing touches on the year at a pair of meets next weekend. First, the Vandals will compete at Friday's Oregon Twilight meet, then they'll head up to Seattle for the Ken Shannon Invitational on Saturday.