Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
|Vandals win nine events|
MOSCOW, Idaho – In its first home meet of the 2013 season, University of Idaho track and field carried over the momentum from last weekend’s record-breaking season opener with nine individual wins and an NCAA top-10 time.
Junior Liga Velvere cruised to a big win in the women’s 800m with a time of 2:10.07, which leads the Western Athletic Conference and ranks 10th in the nation, according to the most recent descending lists. It was a second-consecutive strong season opener for the third-year Vandal. She opened her 2012 campaign with a school-record 2:07.63 in the 800m at last year’s Vandal Indoor.
Junior Karlene Hurrel returned to the track for the first time in nearly two years on Saturday after missing part of 2011 and the entire 2012 season with a foot injury. She celebrated the return with a pair of wins in the women’s 60m (7.83) and 200m (24.90).
“It was hard to accept that she couldn’t run last year,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said of Hurrel. “She’s just worked really, really hard throughout this year and over Christmas break. It’s been almost two years since she’s put on a uniform for us, so for her to put that on, be as excited as she was today and to compete as well as she did was awesome.”
Freshman Jerrica Hauck cleared a career-best 11-3.75 (3.45m) to win the women’s pole vault, while sophomore Johanna Hocketstaller went 17-6.25 (5.34m) to win the long jump and added a second-place finish in the shot put at 46-2.5 (14.08m).
Freshman Drew Thompson notched career-best 8.55 to win the men’s 60m hurdles, while sophomore Matt Sullivan cleared 15-11 (4.85m) to win the pole vault, senior Jason Lorentz, the defending WAC indoor long jump champion, opened his season with a winning leap of 22-7.25 (6.89m).
In the throws, junior Kyle Rothwell hit 59-1.5 (18.02m) to win the men’s 35-pound weight throw. On his final attempt of the meet, he also connected on a throw of 60 feet, six inches, but couldn’t hold the finish and registered a foul on the throw.
“I would have been surprised if Kyle didn’t throw well today, just from seeing him in practice this week,” Idaho head track and field coach Julie Taylor said. “Even though he fouled one big one, you know he’s right there and it was just a little foot foul. It’s a confidence booster to know he can hit that kind of a mark.”
In all, Vandals accounted for 14 personal-best marks at the meet, eight on the women’s side and six on the men’s. Five of those PRs came in the weight throw alone. Sophomores Zach Trumbauer and Molly Meyers tallied two-foot personal bests in the event as Trumbauer launched the weight 54-4.75 (16.58m) in the men’s event and Meyers went 46-4 (14.12m) on the women’s side. Both marks were career bests by more than two feet.
Senior Ellen Rouse finished seventh in the women’s weight with a career-best 44-10.75 (13.68m), while redshirt freshman Alaena Wilfong added a toss of 42-9 (13.03m) to take ninth. Senior multi-athlete Ryan Bowen scored a PR throw of 35-7.75 (10.86m) in the men’s shot put to round out Idaho’s throwing bests.
“We’re still operating on a very high volume in the weight room, so for our throwers to come away with the number of PRs that we did today was really impressive,” Taylor said.
On the track, junior Cait Rowland took third in the women’s 400m in a career-best time of 1:01.28, freshman Nicole Dorsey took eighth in the women’s 60m hurdles with a time of 9.90. Freshman Ian Middleton added a career-best 50.76 in the men’s 400m.
Vandal jumpers Tyler Bennett, a junior, and Audrey Youren, a sophomore, also tallied career bests on the day. Bennett finished second in the men’s high jump on attempts with an indoor PR height of 6-4.75 (1.95m), while Youren took second in the women’s high jump after clearing 5-3 (1.60m).
“At this point, if we were setting PRs because we were backing off training, you’d be worried if we could hold on, but we’ve only been back in school for 10 days and we’ve been training hard through the last two weeks,” Phipps said. “For them to PR and to run, jump and throw as well as they are through such a high volume of training speaks to what they’ve done and what they can continue to do this year.”
Idaho will stick around the Palouse next weekend for the Cougar Indoor at Washington State, which will be Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26 at the WSU indoor facility.