|Vandal Men WAC Champions|
MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho men’s track and field team claimed the 2014 Indoor WAC track and field championship title in a dramatic meet that came down to one point.
“It is an amazing feeling to win at home, but a lot of hard work went into it” Director of track &field/cross country Wayne Phipps said. “The guys had some ups and downs, but in the end they came up big.”
After the 4x400m, the triple jump was the last event to be scored – going into the final jumps, Idaho led with 157 points followed closely by Grand Canyon with 152. Freshman Arphaxad Carroll came up big for Idaho with a career-best jump of 49-2.5 (15.00m) that secured the win for the Vandals. Junior Emmanuel Panchol placed third aiding to the victory with a leap of 48-4.75 (14.75m). The Vandals ended the meet with 173 points.
“I am just really happy and feel really good about today,” Carroll said. “I didn’t score anything yesterday and I wasn’t supposed to score in 60m today and I came and did that and I had a big jump in the triple jump.”
The Vandals claimed five WAC titles on the final day of the meet. Matt Sullivan reigned victorious in the pole vault (16-6.75, 5.05m), Andrey Levkiv in the shot put (54-10, 16.71m), Ben Ayesu-Attah in the 400m (47.57) and Katelyn Peterson in the high jump (5-6, 1.68).
Sophomore Marquita Palmer earned two First-Team All-WAC honors for her performances in the mile and the 800m. Palmer placed third in the mile with a career-best time of 5:00.31 and came back to run a second-place time of 2:14.35 in the 800m.
“The 800m and mile are a very tough double to run, you have to run two races on day one and come back and run two races the next day,” Phipps said “She gave everything she had in the mile, and I know she was disappointed not winning the 800m but I thought she was incredible.”
Also for the women, senior Karlene Hurrel took fifth in the 60m with a time of 7.68 and placed third in the 200m (24.52). Freshman Meghan Palesch placed fourth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.92 earning Second-Team All-WAC Honors. In the 3000m, senior Holly Stanton Browning placed third with a time of 10:07.2 earning First-Team All-WAC honors and senior Alycia Butterworth earned Second-Team All-WAC honors for her sixth-place finish in the event with a time of 10:13.4.
The women ended the meet in third place with 127 points, Missouri-Kansas City took the second place spot with 144.5 and Grand Canyon finished the meet as WAC Champions with 166.5 points.
On the men’s side, sophomore Nathan Stark finished fourth in the 3000m with a time of 8:44.58 followed by junior Cody Helbling in fifth (8:42.83), both earned Second-Team All-WAC honors. Junior Jesse Villines finished fourth in the 60m hurdles (8.32), fourth in the 60m (6.94) and third in the 200m with a career-best time of 21.70.
“It feels good to know that you can have some bad events, and then rebound and have some guys come up big,” Phipps said. “We are fortunate to have a group of guys that were stepping up to that level today.”
For individual awards (voted on by the coaches), Carroll received the Freshman of the Year award, while Phipps was voted Coach of the Year. Overall, the Vandals earned 23 First-Team All-WAC honors and 21 Second-Team All-WAC honors.