Bronco Men Win WAC Championship
NAMPA, Idaho – Sophomore David Walden, senior Ty Axtman and freshman Zacharias Arnos recorded individual titles, Saturday, at the 2007 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, leading the Broncos to their third men’s title in four seasons.
Needing to finish third or better in the final event of the meet for the win, the men’s 4x400-meter relay team finished tied for second with a time of 3-minutes, 15.21-seconds, wrapping up the men’s championship at the Jacksons Track at the Idaho Sports Center. The Bronco women finished in third place as a team.
“Normally at our after-event meetings we bring up individual performances,” head coach Mike Maynard said. “But today we didn’t. This was such an impressive team effort. I like dominant victories, but to pick up a conference championship on the final leg of a relay, which is exciting. Our coaches have done such an outstanding job of not only recruiting, but training these student-athletes to compete at a championship level.”
In the day’s opening events, sophomore Eric Demers made a charge in the heptathlon to finish in third place, collecting the Broncos’ first six team points of the afternoon. Demers, who began the day in sixth place, finished with 4,907 points, his high for the season.
Walden became the Broncos’ first individual champion on the men’s side, winning the high jump with a mark of 6-feet, 9.75-inches (2.08m). Minutes later, Axtman and junior Cody Eaton posted a one-two finish to combine for 18 points in the mile run. Axtman’s time of 4:11.59 and Eaton’s time of 4:13.98 moved the Broncos into a tie for second place with Idaho at 69 points.
Following second place finishes from both Erik Whittsitt, who posted a shot put mark of 58-4.50 (17.79m), and Caleb Cazier, who ran the 800m in 1:52.54, the duo of Sean Chaney-Waller and Kyle Christoffersen put the Broncos in the lead with their effort in the 400m. Chaney-Waller finished third (48.17) and Christoffersen finished fourth (48.52) to pick up 10 team points and give the Broncos a two-point edge over Idaho.
The Broncos extended their lead to six points following senior Sterling Small’s fourth place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.09), and seven points following freshman Marlon Douglas’ fourth place effort in the 60m (6.92).
Arnos recorded the Broncos’ fourth individual championship of the meet, winning the triple jump with a mark of 50-2.75 (15.31m). With fellow freshman Wendell Lawrence finishing third (49-8.50/15.15m), the Broncos jumped out to a 23-point lead.
With 128 total points, Boise State finished two points ahead of second place Utah State, and 16 points ahead of third place Idaho. Arnos and freshman Heigo Nurmsalu each finished tied for ninth at the meet in points scored with 12.
In the women’s mile, sophomore Breanna Sande finished in second place with a time of 4:58.28, picking up eight team points. Sophomore Eleni Kafourou went on to finish second in the triple jump (42-8.25/13.01m), catapulting Boise State from fourth to second in the team standings.
Though the Broncos picked up three points from sophomore Nataucha Lowry in the 400m (56.72), they fell to third place as a team and would remain there for the rest of the meet.
Boise State got second and third place finishes from senior Eleni Ypsilanti and sophomore Annika Hjelm, respectively, in the 20-pound weight throw. Ypsilanti posted eight points with a toss of 60-11.25 (18.57m) and Hjelm picked up six points with a throw of 60-6.50 (18.45m). Sophomore Megan Olivetti recorded three points with a 60m hurdles time of 8.81. Senior Becky Guyette and Sande finished second and third, respectively, in the 3,000m. Guyette finished with a time of 10:04.15 and Sande recorded a time of 10:10.83.
In the final event of the meet for the Bronco women, the 4x400m relay team finished in third place, giving them 102 points on the meet. Boise State’s women boasted three of the top 10 scorers of the meet: Guyette with 18 points (third), Kafourou with 16 (seventh) and Sande with 14 (10th).
“Our women scored 100 points for the first time ever. They really came together at this meet,” Maynard said. “They are young team and a driven team, and I know there is a championship in their future.”
WAC Indoor Track and Field Championships
Men’s Team – 1. Boise State (128), 2. Utah State (126), 3. Idaho (112), 4. CSU-Northridge (94), 5. Louisiana Tech (65).
Women’s Team – 1. CSU-Northridge (117.5), 2. Louisiana Tech (114), 3. Boise State (102), 4. Utah State (90.5), 5. Idaho (70), 6. Hawaii (53.5), 7. Nevada (50.5), 8. New Mexico State (38), 9. Fresno State (26).
For complete individual results, click the link at the top of the page.
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