Bronco Men Lead After Day Two at WAC Championships

NAMPA, Idaho - After two days of competition at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Boise State men lead the team race with 54-points, while the Bronco women sit in third with 49-points. Boise State picked up two titles on Friday, while five Broncos earned All-WAC First Team honors, eight earned All-WAC Second Team honors and 14 advanced through from Friday's semifinal races to Saturday's finals.

Day two of the championships began with the conclusion of the men's heptathlon; an event Kurt Felix captured his second-straight WAC heptathlon title, breaking his own WAC and school records in the process, posting 5,691 points, an NCAA automatic qualifying mark.

Earning the Broncos' second title of the day was junior Eetu Viitala, who won his sixth-consecutive title in the long jump this season to remain undefeated. Viitala leapt a distance of 25-1.25 to win his first career WAC title and earn All-WAC First Team honors. Felix finished just behind in second, earning first team honors with his jump of 24-1.50. Bringing in points and more honors, Rolando Trammel and Edidiong Essien placed fourth and fifth, respectively to both make the All-WAC Second Team. Trammel jumped 22-9.75, while Essien jumped 22-1.0 to combine for six team points.

In the women's weight throw, Mele Vaisima was named to the All-WAC First Team after placing second with a toss of 57-7, while Nadine Russell earned second team honors with her sixth-place finish (55-9.75).

Also earning first team honors in the throws was Chase Sexton, tossing a mark of 54-8.25 to place third in the shot put.

Senior pole vaulter BreAnna Craig closed out her indoor career with a second-place finish and All-WAC First Team honors. She cleared a height of 12-5.50 to tie her season-best height. Danielle Valentine earned second team honors in the pole vault after clearing the same height but placing fourth on misses.

Rounding out second team honorees in the field events, Alexi Morton, who captured the women's pentathlon title on Thursday with a school record 3,769-points, also placed fourth in the long jump on Friday afternoon with a jump of 18-9.0. Raquel Jones placed just behind her in fifth earning second team honors with her jump of 18-7.75.

On the track only four finals were run on Friday night. Earning the only individual all-conference honor on the track Friday was freshman Allan Schroeder who placed sixth in the 5000-meter run (15:04.92) to earn his first second team honor. The men's distance medley relay (DMR), made up of Scott Foley, Anthony Belcher, Nick Tatro and Kevin Higgs, snagged a second-place finish with a time of 10:26.92, good for an All-WAC Second Team spot. The women's DMR had a near season-best of 12:14.82 to place fourth in their race.

Boise State advanced runners to Saturday's finals out of seven of the eight preliminary rounds held on Friday evening. The most solid performance of the night was in the men's 400-meter dash preliminaries where four Broncos advanced to the finals. Karrie Butler led the team with a second-place finish (48.57), while Paul Robertson advanced in fifth-place (48.96). Jeff Daw clocked a time of 48.98 to advance in sixth-place while Manoah Wesson placed seventh with a time of 49.03. Their final is set for 1:40 p.m. on Saturday.

Robertson also advanced in the 200-meter dash after placing third in the prelims with a time of 21.93-seconds. Trammel clocked a time of 22.00-seconds to place fourth, also advancing. The pair will run in the final at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday. Following immediately after Robertson and Trammel at 2:35 p.m., Mackenzie Flannigan and Cyntrail Pierce will run in the women's 200-meter finals. Flannigan clocked a career-best time of 24.58 to place second in the prelims, while Pierce ran a best of 24.78 to place seventh.

In the 60-meter hurdles for the women, Morton continued her successes, qualifying for the 1:20 p.m. Saturday final with a career-best time of 8.82-seconds. Destiny Gammage followed suit in the open 60-meter dash, squeezing into the 2:00 p.m. final round with her eighth-place finish and career-best time of 7.82-seconds.

Advancing in the women's 800-meters, Ricci Morrill will run in a 2:15 p.m. final after placing seventh in the preliminary round with a career-best time of 2:14.52. On the men's side, Dusty Klein, Austin Edwards and Mathew Moyer all advance out of the preliminary round, ready to run in Saturday's 2:10 p.m. final. In the prelims, Klein placed fourth (1:56.37), Edwards placed fifth (1:56.09) and Moyer placed eighth (1:56.57) to advance.

The Broncos will have a busy schedule competing in those seven finals, while also competing in the men's and women's mile, the men's 60-meter hurdles, men's 60-meter dash, men's and women's 3000-meters and men's and women's 4x400-meter relays which are all finals by time on Saturday.

Saturday's events begin at 11:00 a.m. with the men's high jump and the men's weight throw. The men's pole vault and triple jump, as well as the women's triple jump and shot put will also take place on Saturday. Running events begin with the men's mile at 1:00 p.m. and are slated to finish at 3:30 p.m. with the women's 4x400-meter relay.

Friday Morning Report:
Felix Sets School, WAC Heptathlon Record En Route to NCAA Mark

Boise State junior Kurt Felix had a historical finish in the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships heptathlon at the Jackson Indoor Track earning his second-straight title in the event. Felix set a new Boise State school record, a new WAC record and became the first Bronco to ever qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships the two-day seven-event competition.

Felix improved his previous school and WAC record by 22-points, earning a new career-best mark of 5,691-points. He won all but two events over the two days, the pole vault and the 1,000-meters, and was able to capture three personal bests in the seven events, as well as his new overall point total best.

After winning the 60-meters, long jump, shot put and high jump on Thursday afternoon, Felix began his Friday morning with a win in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.46-seconds. He went on to clear 13-6.50 in the pole vault, placing fourth in the event, while also running a career-best time of 2:48.49 in the 1,000-meters to place second.

His new overall best moves him currently to the fifth-best spot in the nation in the men's heptathlon.

Also competing in the heptathlon for Boise State was Anthony Belcher, Nathan Balcirak and Justin Malashin.

Belcher earned a fourth-place finish, earning the Broncos four points to the team total after scoring a personal best of 4100-points. He ran to a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (9.12), cleared a personal-best of 8-7.5 in the pole vault to place sixth and ran a best of 2:57.55 to place fifth in the event.

Balcirak finished his first career heptathlon competition with three personal-best marks on Friday. He earned a fifth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles (10.64), cleared 14-11.25 to place second in the pole vault and clocked a time of 3:15.60 to place seventh in the 1,000-meters.

Malashin also had bests in all of his three events on Friday, running 11.82-seconds to place seventh in the 60-meter hurdles, clearing 7-7.75 to place seventh in the pole vault and running to a sixth-place finish in the 1,000-meters (3:12.83).

Overall the Broncos earned 15 team points in the heptathlon. Felix joined Alexi Morton, who won Thursday's pentathlon competition, to sweep the top titles in the men's and women's multi-event competitions.

The Broncos continue competition with open events throughout the afternoon on Friday and all day Saturday at the Jackson Indoor Track.


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