Men Share Title, Women Place Fourth at WAC Championships

NAMPA, Idaho - The Boise State track and field teams produced a thrilling finish to the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships with the men tying Utah State for the team title and the Bronco women capturing a fourth-place finish. The Bronco women earned one event win while the men captured three event wins on Saturday, including the triple jump, weight throw and a crucial 4x400-meter relay victory helping to tie for the team title. The men's relay team also set a new Boise State school record and a new WAC meet record, while the Boise State women's 4x400-meter relay set a new school record as well.

Following the meet Alexi Morton was named the 2011 WAC Female Freshman of the Year, while Kurt Felix was named the 2011 WAC Men's Outstanding Field Performer as well as the WAC Men's High Point Performer for the second-straight year after totaling 36-points.

The Bronco men earned their fifth WAC team title in eight years, while Utah State earned their third in the last four years. The team championship tie was the first in WAC history.

Boise State and Utah State tied for the men's team title with totals of 177-points. Louisiana Tech placed third in the men's team race with 94-points, while Idaho placed fourth with 69-points. On the women's side, Louisiana Tech snuck out a one-point win after capturing the 4x400-meter title to defeat Utah State 133 to 132. Nevada placed third for the women with 88-points, while the Bronco women were close behind in fourth with 80-points. New Mexico State earned 68.50-points to place fifth, while Fresno State placed sixth with 67-points. Hawaii placed seventh in the women's standings (48.50-points) and Idaho rounded out the women's team with an eighth-place finish (44-points).

Quite possibly the most exciting event of the day came in the men's 4x400-meter relay, with Boise State going into the race just two points behind Utah State in the team standings. The Bronco team, made up of Karrie Butler, Paul Robertson, Rolando Trammel and Manoah Wesson, did all they could to win the team title outright, placing first with a school record and WAC meet record time of 3:12.13. Utah State placed second in the race with a time of 3:14.16, bringing the team totals to a tie at 177-points.

The women's race was nearly as thrilling with Louisiana Tech placing first and Utah State placing third to determine the overall team title. Boise State's women's team, made up of Mackenzie Flannigan, Cyntrail Pierce, Yvonne Bennett and Taryn Campos, ran an exceptional race with Campos holding off USU's Katelyn Jensen at the finish to clock a school record time of 3:44.64.

Earning the first title of the day for Boise State was Trevor Kraychir who defended his title Saturday morning in the weight throw with a new personal best mark of 66-8.75. The throw not only won him the title and an All-WAC First Team honor, but also moved him to No. 3 on the all-time Boise State weight throw list. Alex Nelson helped to make a 1-2 sweep of the event, placing second and earning a first team honor with a 59-11.25 throw.

Boise State's second win of the day came in the afternoon with heptathlon champion Felix earning his second title of the meet by claiming the triple jump title. Felix bounded to a personal-best mark of 50-0.75 to earn his fourth medal and fourth All-WAC First Team honor. Rolando Trammel captured a second-place finish and first team honors with his jump of 47-9.0, while Joshua Butler earned a third-place finish and first team honors with his 47-5.25 jump.

Early on Saturday Felix earned a medal and first team honor after placing second in the high jump with a mark of 7-0.25. Butler and Trammel each cleared 6-6.25 to place fourth and fifth, respectively. Butler earned the higher placing based on less misses, but both were named to the All-WAC Second Team.

Daniel Thompson earned All-WAC First Team honors in the jumps as well, placing third in the pole vault with a height of 15-7.25 and earning six points for the Broncos. For the women's Saturday field events, Mele Vaisima threw 44-8.25 to place fifth in the shot put and earn second team honors.

Kicking off the day on the track, Brian Pierre bettered his career-best mark by two-seconds to run a 4:12.04 in the Mile, capturing a third-place and All-WAC First Team finish. On the women's side freshman Kate Jette earned two points for the Broncos in the Mile running a 12-second personal-best of 5:07.32.

After scoring in the high jump early on Saturday, Trammel went on to place second and earn a first team honor in the 60-meter hurdles after clocking an 8.02-second finish. Freshman Justin Malnes was also named to the All-WAC First Team after placing third in a time of 8.19-seconds. Fellow freshman Alexi Morton added to her 15-points from Thursday and Friday, scoring five more in Saturday's 60-meter hurdle final. Morton placed fourth with a career-best time of 8.20-seconds.

Shortly after, Trammel ran a career-best 6.96-second 60-meter dash to claim fifth-place, All-WAC Second Team honors and two points for the Broncos. Teammate Edidiong Essien finished just behind in sixth-place with a lifetime-best of 6.99-seconds to earn second team honors. For the women, Destiny Gammage scored one point after an eighth-place finish and time of 7.86-seconds.

A very busy Bronco, Trammel finished his individual events of the day by running the 200-meters, where he placed third, to earn his fourth All-WAC First Team honor and sixth overall WAC honor. Trammel clocked a lifetime-best of 21.73-seconds to add six points to Boise State's total. For the women, Cyntrail Pierce picked up three points with her fifth-place finish, as well as an All-WAC Second Team honor. She clocked a time of 24.99-seconds to earn her first career WAC honor.

On the oval, two Broncos scored for the men in the 400-meter dash. Manoah Wesson broke his career-best time by .18-seconds, clocking a 47.82-second finish to place second and earn first team honors. Paul Robertson ran a time of 48.64 to place fifth and earn second team honors.

Doubling the distance, the Broncos were also successful with Austin Edwards placing fourth in the 800-meters. Edwards had a personal-best of 1:54.60, a .18-second improvement, while Dusty Klein also snuck into the All-WAC Second Team honors with a sixth-place finish and a time of 1:54.99. Also snagging a second team spot for the women's 800-meters was freshman Rici Morill who smashed her personal-best by 3.3 seconds to run a 2:14.81 and finish in fifth-place.

In the final individual event of the day, the Bronco men earned much needed points from Pierre and Drew O'donoghue-McDonald in the 3000-meters, setting Boise State up for a chance at the team title. Pierre clocked a time of 8:30.94 to place third and earn his second All-WAC First Team honor of the day. O'donoghue-McDonald placed sixth, earning one point and a new career-best by six seconds (8:33.40). Fellow freshman Emma Bates shattered her personal-best in the 3000-meters, bettering her mark by 18-seconds and placing sixth. Bates ran a new best of 10:00.00 earning her first career All-WAC Second Team honor.

Boise State's Felix was the only Bronco to solidify a ticket to the NCAA National Championships this weekend, punching his ticket in the heptathlon. A handful of other Broncos sit close to NCAA qualifying marks and will await NCAA declarations to find out if they compete at the NCAA National Championships in College Station, Texas, March 10-12.

Women's Team Scores:

1) Louisiana Tech, 133;  2) Utah State, 132; 3) Nevada, 88; 4) Boise State, 80; 5) New Mexico St., 68.50; 6) Fresno State, 67; 7) Hawaii, 48.50; 8) Idaho, 44

Men's Team Scores:
1) Boise State and Utah State, 177; 3) Louisiana Tech, 94; 4) Idaho, 69


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