Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Throwers pace track and field|
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The University of Idaho track and field record book – especially the throws section – was under fire on Saturday at the Mondo Mid-Major Challenge, hosted by Sacramento State.
In all, Vandal athletes made seven entries into the all-time outdoor top-10 lists, five of which did so in throwing events as the team won five more individual crowns and set 14 career bests on the second day of the meet.
“We were still battling illness just a little bit,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “We had a few people here who either weren’t able to run or weren’t able to get through it as well as they had hoped, but there were still plenty of very good things this weekend.”
For the second weekend in a row, senior Mike Marshall netted a major improvement in the men’s javelin, and on Saturday it was a 10-foot best of 217-9 (66.38m) that won the event, boosted him to No. 4 all-time at Idaho, helped him take over the Western Athletic Conference lead and moved him into 20th in the West Region and 39th in the NCAA in the event.
Sophomore teammate Ugis Svazs also tossed a career best of 215-3 (65.61m) to finish second in the event and move into second in the WAC. That throw bumps him to sixth all-time at Idaho, 46th in the NCAA and 26th in the West Region in the event.
“I really believe that having both of those guys push each other is going to help the intensity of each of them,” Idaho head track and field coach Julie Taylor said of Marshall and Svazs.
Sticking with the javelin throw, junior Ellen Rouse moved up to sixth all-time at Idaho in the women’s event with a second-place toss of 145-8 (44.40m), which is a five-foot career best and ranks second in the WAC by just two centimeters. The toss ranks 33rd in the West Region and is No. 61 in the NCAA this season.
“We changed a few things with her approach, and I think we’ve started to connect with something that’s better for her,” Taylor said. “It’s getting comfortable enough that I think she can start adding a little more speed, so there are good things ahead for her still.”
Freshman Johanna Hocketstaller took over the No.10 spot all-time at Idaho in the women’s javelin with a fourth-place throw of 135-7 (41.33m), a three-foot personal best. It was one of two top-10 entries on the day for Hocketstaller, who also went 45-11.25 (14.00m) for fifth place in the shot put and the No. 10 all-time position in that event.
In just her first year at Idaho, the thrower/multi-athlete from Eiselfing, Germany, already holds all-time top-10 career marks in the shot put, discus and javelin throws, and is the only woman in Idaho history to achieve the feat.
“Johanna is just an amazing athlete,” Taylor said. “She’s not able to just focus every day on one event, like the other throwers are doing. To have an accomplishment like that is a sign of her athleticism and her competitive drive.”
A pair of women’s distance runners added Idaho’s final two record book entries of the day, starting with junior Anna Kalbrener, who ran a two-second career best of 4:30.19 in the 1500m to finish second and climb from 10th to seventh all-time in the event.
Sophomore Holly Stanton went sub-11 minutes for the first time in her career last weekend in the 3000m steeplechase, and she trimmed off two more seconds on Saturday with a winning time of 10:56.08 to improve upon her eighth all-time standing at Idaho.
Phipps said he thinks both Kalbrener and Stanton are going to be in the mix for NCAA qualification this year and that both have the potential to make even more jumps up the WAC and regional rankings.
In addition to Stanton’s victory, the Vandals got a win in the men’s hammer throw from sophomore Kyle Rothwell, who blasted a six-foot career-best toss of 192-5 to take over the WAC lead in the event. The throw ranks 57th in the NCAA and 29th in the West Region so far this year.
On the track, Idaho got a win from senior Andrew Blaser, who ran a season-best 14.38 in the men’s 110m hurdles with a 3.2 m/s tailwind. Senior Stephane Colle ran a career-best 3:50.28 to win the men’s 1500m and move into second in the WAC so far this year.
Junior Liga Velvere rolled out a season-best 1:00.35 and took second in the women’s 400m hurdles, while sophomore Cait Rowland also tallied a season-best time of 1:04.58 in the same event to finish 11th. Rowland hit a career best of 15.14 in the 100m earlier in the day.
Also hitting career bests on the men’s side were junior Kyle Tylor, who ran a 1:56.28 for fifth place in the 800m, and junior Joseph Charles, who finished sixth in the shot put at 51-6.25 (15.70m).
Next week will be a busy one for Vandal track and field. The team will send a group to California to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays Thursday through Sunday and the Beach Invitational on Saturday, while another portion of the team will stay local and compete in the Cougar Invitational at Pullman, Wash., on Saturday.
“Mt. SAC is always a weekend that we’ve had a lot of success in the past,” Phipps said. “If we can get everyone healthy, I think it won’t be any different this time. The level of competition is always very high and the weather conditions always seem to be perfect.”
Taylor added that the week also gives the team good preparation for the WAC Outdoor Championships, because most athletes will compete in multiple events throughout the weekend.
“We have an opportunity to get a number of competitions in, so that’s always a good thing,” Taylor said. “It’s an opportunity to double up some distance races or get a few throws in and see what it’s like, as far as getting conditioned for a conference championship meet.”