This Week in Vandal Track & Field Western Athletic Conference Championships (May 8-11) Arlington, Texas
Looking Forward Idaho will travel to the Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships this week hosted by UT Arlington at the Maverick Stadium at Arlington, Texas. This is the first time in meet history that the meet will be held here. Events begin on Wednesday with the men’s decathlon and the women’s heptathlon.
Historically Speaking The Vandal men claimed the outdoor title last year at the WAC Championship meet with a score of 219.5, while the women finished second with 133.5 points. This was the first outdoor title for the men since 2001. Over the week the Vandal men claimed eight individual titles, 22 First-Team All-WAC honors and 17 Second-Team All-WAC honors. While the women had two individual titles, 11 First-Team All-WAC honors and six Second-Team All-WAC awards.
A Quick Recap Everything fell into place for the Vandals last weekend in the final tune-up before the conference meet. Idaho competed with only a partial group of athletes but big-time results were posted right when they needed to be. At the Vandal Jamboree, Idaho claimed 16 individual titles, posted 14 career-best marks and several season-best marks. At the Oregon Twilight on Friday junior Hannah Kiser improved her all-time top-10 entry at Idaho and took over the WAC lead in the 1500m by a margin of six-seconds.
Leading the WAC Going into conference, the Vandal track and field team leads the WAC in nine individual events. On the men’s side leaders include; sophomore Ben Ayesu-Attah in the 200m (47.10), senior Barry Britt in the 5000m (14:03.48), senior Kyle Rothwell in the hammer throw (204-10, 62.43m) and senior Ugis Svazs in the javelin throw (240-7, 73.34). For the women leaders include; senior Lauren Schaffer in the 800m (2:06.99), junior Hannah Kiser in both the 1500m (4:20.35) and the 5000m (15:44.06), Jerrica Hauck in the pole vault (12-7.5, 3.85m) and Ellen Rouse in the javelin throw (153-2, 46.69).
NCAA Outdoor Qualification NCAA outdoor track and field is in the fourth season of the two-region national qualification system. The top 48 athletes in each event qualify for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds, which are split between the East and West Regions. The Preliminary Round sites host the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships qualifying rounds of the field events and the opening rounds through semifinals of track events (depending on the event distance). In the first year of the system in 2010, Idaho had eight women and five men qualify for the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Last season, six women and seven men qualified. This year’s NCAA West Preliminary will be hosted by the University of Texas at Austin.