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   NAMPA, Idaho The Boise State men’s track and field team captured its fourth Western Athletic Conference indoor title, Saturday, in an exciting final day of championship action at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa. The men finished with 150 points, which was good enough to edge out Utah State (145.5 points), Idaho (121.5) and Louisiana Tech (104). The men finished the three-day meet with five individual titles and five second-place finishes.

            The Bronco women fell just short of capturing their first WAC championship, finishing in third with 112 points. Boise State was just two points behind second-place Idaho (114) and only eight points shy of the champions, Louisiana Tech (120). The women received an outstanding overall contribution, winning three individual titles and recording three second-place finishes throughout the weekend.


Men’s Final Results


            Boise State received a balanced contribution, both on the track and in the field, en route to their fourth WAC indoor championship and their sixth overall under the guidance of Head Coach Mike Maynard. The Broncos won five individual titles over the weekend, while also finishing second in five different events.

“I think it’s spectacular,” Coach Maynard said. “I’ve got some great veterans on the team that I’ve won championships with. We’ve got a great young swell of talent underneath. The coaching staff has been spectacular. This is their first year and they’ve come together and gelled and helped the team come together.”

            Senior Ryan Grinnell paced the Broncos with first-place finishes in the long jump (25-04.75/7.47m) and triple jump (52-10.25/16.11m). His long jump was an NCAA provisional mark and his triple jump was an NCAA automatic mark. Grinnell also recorded a second-place finish in the high jump (6-10.75/7.74m).

            The Broncos finished first through fourth in the men’s long jump, as Eetu Viitala finished second with an NCAA provisional mark of 24-07.75 (7.51m). Per Strandquist place third (24-06.25/7.47m) and Zacharias Arnos finished fourth (24-01.50/7.35m). Arnos also recorded a second-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 51-10.50 (15.81m), which was also a NCAA provisional.

            Boise State’s other men’s field event title came on the shoulders of Simon Wardhaugh, who finished first in the weight throw (71-08.00/21.84m). His throw was a NCAA automatic mark, which is his second such mark of the year. He broke the Boise State record earlier in the season with a throw of 73-00.00 (22.25m).

            On the track, Boise State earned a pair of big wins, Saturday, in the 800m and 3000m. Senior Caleb Cazier earned his first conference title in the 800m with season’s best time of 1:53.43. Moments later, Sawyer Bosch won the 3000m with a time of 8:30.55. Bosch also recorded a second-place finish on Friday in the 5000m (14:41.88).

            The Broncos also had a strong finish in the 60m dash, with Eric Capelle and Strandquist earning second and third place, respectively. Both runners recorded a time of 6.84 in the final heat.


Women’s Final Results


            The Boise State women fell just short of winning their first WAC team title, Saturday, following an extremely gutty performance throughout the three-day meet. The Broncos captured three individual titles and three second-place finishes on the weekend. In the end it wasn’t enough, however, finishing in third-place just eight points behind Louisiana Tech.

“[The women] that’s really the story of the meet in my opinion,” Coach Maynard said. “What these ladies have done, is taken a team that was literally in turmoil and without a soul, and what they’ve done is create a legacy. From this point forward all of the success that we have will be due to the ladies that are standing here, the one’s that participated and even the one’s who didn’t. Everybody was one spirit, and that’s what I really love.”

            Senior Eleni Kafourou led the women with two individual titles and a second-place finish at the meet. She won the long jump (19-10.75/6.06m) and triple jump (43-07.00/13.28m). Her triple jump mark broke her own school record, earned her an NCAA provisional mark and was just shy of a NCAA automatic mark (13.30m). She also earned eight points for the Broncos with a second-place finish in the 60m dash.

            Boise State’s final individual women’s title came in the 800m, which was won by senior Kayleen McDowell. Her time of 2:12.07 earned her the first 800m conference championship of her career.

            The Broncos also earned second-place finishes in the women’s weight throw and 4x400m relay. Mele Vaisima placed second in the weight throw (60-02.00/18.34m) on Friday. Boise State’s 4x400m relay team of Nerisha Phillip, Paige Olivetti, Megan Olivetti and Kayleen McDowell also placed second with a time of 3:47.16.

            Boise State saw another school record fall on Friday as Annelise Bertleson became the first woman in school history to clear the 13 foot mark. In doing so, she broke the school indoor pole vault record with a vault of 13-00.25 (3.97m). Her mark was good enough for third-place in the meet. The previous school record (12-9.50) was held by BreAnna Craig, which she set at the Boise State Team Invite on Jan. 14.       


WAC Honors


            Boise State received numerous individual awards following the conclusion of Saturday’s meet. Coach Maynard was named Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year after helping to guide the men to their fourth indoor WAC title. The men have also won two outdoor conference titles under Coach Maynard.

            On the men’s side, Grinnell was named the Outstanding Field Athlete following a stellar performance at the championship meet. He was also named the High Point Award winner after earning 28 points for the Broncos over the weekend.

            For the women, Kafourou also earned multiple honors, being named the Outstanding Field Athlete. She was named the women’s High Point Award winner after scoring 28 points for Boise State in the championship meet as well.    


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