BOISE, Idaho Although they are just two meets into the 2008-09 indoor schedule, the Boise State men’s track and field team is already moving its way up in the national rankings. The U.S Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its first NCAA Division I Team Rankings on Wednesday (Jan. 28) and the Boise State men were voted in at No. 20. The Broncos moved up two spots from their No. 22 ranking in the USTFCCCA Preseason Poll.


Bronco Invitational


The Broncos will try and use that momentum as both the men and women’s track and field teams prepare to host the Bronco Invitational, Friday-Saturday (Jan. 30-31), at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa. Friday’s scheduled events will start at 6 p.m. and conclude at 7:50 p.m. On Saturday, the action will start again at 10 a.m. and is scheduled to end at 2:35 p.m. A full meet report can be found on the track and field schedule.

            Boise State is set to host student-athletes from 11 different colleges and universities. The men will face competition from BYU, Weber State, Central Washington, Northwest Nazarene, Whitworth, Treasure Valley Community College, College of Idaho, Southern Utah and Lewis-Clark State College. The Bronco women will go head-to-head with UCLA, Weber State, Utah, BYU, NNU, C of I, CWU, Whitworth, SUU and LCSC. 


The Broncos


The Boise State men and women have both enjoyed a great deal of success throughout the early part of their seasons. The Bronco men currently have four field event marks ranked in the top 15 nationally. Junior Simon Wardhaugh (Bracken Ridge, Australia/University of Queensland) maintains the top men’s weight throw mark in the country after throwing 73-00.00 (22.25-m) at the Jackson’s Open on Dec. 6.

Ryan Grinnell, a senior from Idaho Falls, Idaho (Skyline HS/University of Montana), currently holds the No. 5 triple jump mark after jumping 52-06.75 (16.02m) at the Blue and Orange Invitational last weekend (Jan. 24). Zacharias Arnos, a junior from Nicosia, Greece (Archbishop Mauarios III Lyceum), ranks No. 14 in the triple jump (51-05.75/15.69m) and No. 15 in the long jump (24-07.75/7.51m).

The Boise State men are also enjoying the success of newcomer Per Strandquist, a sophomore from Akarp, Sweden (Malmo Latinskola HS). Strandquist earned Western Athletic Conference Men’s Track Athlete of the Week (Jan. 19-25) after winning the 60-meter (6.90) and 200m (21.85) at the Blue and Orange meet.

On the women’s side, Boise State is led by senior jumper Eleni Kafourou (Athens, Greece/9th Lykeium of Pireas HS). Kafourou currently ranks No. 9 nationally in the long jump (20-03.75/6.19m) and No. 12 in the triple jump (42-02.25/12.86m). She won both events at the Jacksons Open and the Blue and Orange meet.

The women’s track team will be paced by seniors Nerisha Phillip, Kayleen McDowell and Megan Olivetti. Phillip (St. Andrew’s, Grenada/St. David’s Secondary) is coming off an outstanding showing at the Blue and Orange meet where she won the 200m (24.93) and 400m (56.33). The performance earned her WAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors (Jan. 19-25).

McDowell (Forest Grove, Ore./Forest Grove HS) and Olivetti (Reno, Nev./Wooster HS) also earned individual titles at the Blue and Orange meet last weekend. McDowell turned in a first-place finish in the 800m (2:13.88), while Olivetti won the 60m-hurdles (8.69).

Boise State has three home indoor meets remaining on its schedule. The indoor regular season will conclude on Feb. 13-14 at the Boise State Team Invitational in Nampa. The Broncos will also host the WAC Indoor Championships, Feb. 26-28, at the Jacksons Indoor Track. 

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