Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Three Idaho records fall|
SEATTLE – University of Idaho track and field athletes broke three school records and posted one NCAA automatic qualifying standard on Saturday at the Flotrack Husky Classic at Dempsey Indoor.
“I thought we competed very well and took advantage of a great meet and great competition in every event,” Idaho director of track and field Wayne Phipps said. “We took a step up at our place (last week at the Vandal Indoor) and then we really took another step at this place with multiple school records, NCAA qualifiers, heat winners and people either maintaining or bumping up into conference leads, which was pretty neat to see.”
Sophomore distance runner Hannah Kiser earned an individual NCAA bid in cross country in the fall and assured herself of a first career NCAA Indoor Championships bid with a school-record time of 9:07.23 in the 3000m.
Kiser bested two-time Vandal All-American Dee Olson’s previous record of 9:18.78 from the 2006 season. Her time is the fastest in the Western Athletic Conference and fourth-fastest in the NCAA this season. Kiser was the fifth overall finisher in the women’s 3000m invitational race and the second collegian to cross the line.
“We maybe took it a little too conservatively through the first 2k,” Phipps said of the race. “For her to get an NCAA auto time running that easily makes me feel like she can clearly be a sub-nine-minute 3k runner indoors, which would put her at an elite level all-time in the NCAA.”
Junior Barry Britt broke a pair of significant records on Saturday with his 8:07.02 in a 22nd-place finish in the men’s invitational 3000m. He topped the former Idaho school record of 8:10.96 by Jan Eitel in 2004 and broke his own New Brunswick provincial record in the event.
Senior Stephane Colle, a first-year Vandal, followed Britt at 25th overall in the same invitational race with a time of 8:08.31. Their times are the two fastest in the WAC this season by more than seven seconds. Senior Markus Geiger also competed in the open 3000m and ran a career-best 8:25.74.
“It’s awesome having those three guys together and having both Barry and Stephane in the same heat helped them a lot,” Phipps said. “It really just seemed like practice for them. It’s a friendly competitiveness between them and they really use that well in both competitions and practices.”
Senior Jeremy Klas was up to his old tricks as he broke his own school record in the men’s pole vault after clearing 17-9.75 (5.43m) to tie for second overall and finish as the top collegiate competitor in the event. His height is fifth-best in the NCAA this year and breaks his own former record of 17-9 (5.41m) from last season.
“That’s about as close as you’re going to get to being an auto qualifier,” Phipps said of Klas. “He had some great attempts at 5.53 meters (18-1.75), so I think it’s just a matter of time before he breaks through the 18-foot barrier.”
The Idaho quartet of Kelly Jacka, Keli Hall, Lauren Schaffer and Liga Velvere won their section and finished second overall in the women’s 4x400m relay with a time of 3:46.19.
Junior Alyssa Covington added a career-best long jump of 18-9 (5.71m) to finish seventh overall in the event, while fellow junior Jason Lorentz took sixth with a career-best leap of his own, 23-0.5 (7.02m) in the men’s long jump.
Also in the men’s pole vault, sophomore Dylan Watts and freshman Matt Sullivan tied for first in section one of the event on Friday night with matching career-best heights of 16-2 (4.93m), which are tied for second in the WAC behind Klas.
Senior James Clark posted a season best in the men’s 800m and improved his WAC-leading time in the event to 1:51.58.
Seniors Erica Digby and Anna Kalbrener each posted career-best times in the mile, as Digby took sixth in 4:47.51 and Kalbrener ran a 4:56.38 for 31st. Those times are the third- and fourth-fastest times in the WAC this year, respectively. Senior Emma Goode added a career-best 58.71 in the women’s 400m.
The Vandals will continue with one more day of competition at Dempsey Indoor on Sunday at the UW Open, and Phipps said he hopes the team can ride its momentum into even more big marks.
“People are still riding pretty high off today and they’re going to be pretty excited to meet tomorrow,” he said. “Just about everybody is doubling back and is excited to compete again.”