WAC Championships on the horizon for the Broncos

The Meet - The Boise State University track and field teams will compete in the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships Feb. 28-Mar. 1 at the Idaho Sports Center in Nampa, Idaho.


The championships will open with pentathlon and heptathlon Thursday, Feb. 28, at 11:00 a.m. The competition will continue Friday, Feb. 29, with the field events beginning at 1:30 p.m., and the field events at 4:00 p.m. The final day of the tournament will be Mar. 1, beginning with the field event finals at 1:30 p.m., and the track finals at 5:00 p.m.


The Teams - The WAC features eight teams on the women’s side; Boise State, Fresno State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Utah State, Hawaii and New Mexico State.


The Boise State men’s track and field team will be joined by Idaho, Utah State and Louisiana Tech.


The Bronco Men - The Boise State University men’s track and field team is currently ranked 11th in the nation with 58.59 points, according to USTFCCCA.com. This is the fifth consecutive week the Broncos have been ranked in the top 12. The Boise State men’s track and field team received its highest ranking week one when it was ranked sixth and its lowest ranking week four when it was ranked 12th. The Broncos earned the ranking by having six student-athletes ranked on the NCAA Performance List.


Ryan Grinnell is currently ranked in the top 15 in three different events. He comes into the WAC Championships as the No. 2 triple jumper in the NCAA with a mark of 53-9.50 (16.40m). He is also ranked 10th in the high jump with a mark of 7-1.25 (2.17m) and 15th in the long jump with a distance of 25-1.00 (7.65m).


Savvas Diakonikolas is the sixth ranked long jumper in the NCAA with a mark of 25-7.75 (7.82m). He is also ranked 21st in the triple jump with a mark of 50-11 (15.52m). Diakonikolas is the No. 1 ranked long jumper in the WAC and the No. 3 triple jumper.


Simon Wardahugh is ranked first in the WAC and sixth in the NCAA in the weight throw with a toss of 70-0.25 (21.35m).


Heigo Nurmsalu is ranked 13th in the heptathlon standings with 5,332 points. He recorded the at the United Heritage Classic Feb. 1-2, to earn the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.


Jarrod Stevens is ranked 16th after posting a lifetime-best mark and NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 68-8.75 (20.34m) in the weight throw at the United Heritage Classic.


Zacharias Arnos is the ranked 15th in the triple jump with an NCAA provisional qualifying standard of 51-3.25 (15.63m).


“We were able to beat Utah State by two points in last season’s WAC Championships and I am expecting more close competition this year,” said head coach Mike Maynard. “Every point at this meet will be crucial. We have to finish off everything we do to the end. It will all come down to which team wants it the most.”


Maynard would go on to say that although the team has consistently been ranked throughout the season it is very important to capture the conference title. “We know we are good enough to compete at the national level but we need to show that we can win our conference.”   


The Bronco Women - The Boise State University women’s track and field is ranked 62nd, according to the USTFCCCA, with 11.24 points.


Junior Eleni Kafourou is the only member of the Boise State women’s track and field team currently ranked on the NCAA Performance List. Kafourou is ranked 10th in the NCAA in the long jump and 12th in the triple jump. Kafourou earned the school-record in both events while participating in the Bronco Invitational Feb. 8-9. She first earned the long jump record and NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the long jump with a mark of 20-8.25 (6.31m). Kafourou then registered a 43-0.50 (13.12m) in the triple jump to earn another NCAA provisional qualifying standard.


Annelise Bertleson achieved a school-record 12-7.5 (3.85m) in the pole vault Feb. 1, at the United Heritage Classic.


“There are currently five teams with a legitimate chance to win the WAC indoor title on the women’s side,” said Maynard. “There is a dead lock at the top of the conference with all five teams having an equal shot at the title and another two very close behind, any of the teams could win the title.”


“I think this really speaks to the nature of track and field,” said Maynard. “Track and field is about the quality of competition performed by the student-athletes and we might have one of the best WAC Championship in recent memory.


“We are going to rely on a wide variety of points from all the student-athletes competing for us; each point is critical for victory,” Maynard said. “I think Kayleen McDowell is poised to challenge for the 800m title, while the rest of the sprints group (Paige Olivetti, Megan Olivetti, Nerisha Phillip and Nataucha Lowry) will be critical to swing points in Boise State’s favor. I also think we will get help from our distance group of Katherine Gallagher, Alexandria Bell, Karleigh Gempler and Carly Gerard as well as our young pole vaulters, Heidi Dorling and BreAnna Craig.



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