|T&F Opens Indoor Season|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Vandal men and women open the 2014 indoor track and field season on Friday and Saturday just seven miles away at the WSU Open, hosted by Washington State. The men and women’s weight throw competition is slated to take place Friday afternoon, while the rest of the events will continue Saturday, beginning with the long jump at 8:30 a.m.
The Vandal women made school history winning their fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference cross country title this fall, led by senior NCAA cross country qualifier Hannah Kiser.
“I always feel like the season prior does have an effect on the next season,” Director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “I think with the success the team had this year it will aid for them to have a very successful indoor season.”
Also returning for the women this year is Alycia Butterworth, who two years ago was one of the top distance runners in the conference. Butterworth has fought injury and illness in the past two seasons but has recovered and is looking good for this season.
“The women’s team is very much a success by committee team,” Phipps said. “We have a lot of depth and there are a lot of people who can aid the team and help us at a conference level.”
After returning from Christmas break, the track team began practice in the Kibbie Dome and couldn’t be more excited.
“It is tough for the team prior to Christmas to be outside most of the time,” Phipps said. “It is nice to be back inside and to prepare for the indoor season.”
On the men’s side, keep an eye on senior thrower Kyle Rothwell, who was a WAC Champion in the weight throw and a NCAA qualifier, Ben Ayesu-Attah who was an NCAA qualifier in the 400m and junior Matt Sullivan who was the fourth Vandal in school history to reach the 17ft mark in the pole vault.
The Vandal men have a fairly new roster this year and Phipps said he is excited to see what they bring to Idaho.
“We have a number of people that could be strong contributors for us this season in a lot of events,” Phipps said. “I have yet to see what they can do, but based on what they did prior to coming to Idaho I expect good things.”
With many new teams in the WAC this year – Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Kansas City, New Mexico State, Seattle-U, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley – Idaho will face many schools they haven’t competed against before.
“Cross country was the first time we saw everybody other than Seattle-U and New Mexico State,” Phipps said. “There are a number of really good track schools in the WAC this season.”