BOISE STATE CAPTURES NINE MORE INDIVIDUAL TITLES AT WAC OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS

            FRESNO, Calif. Boise State University captured a one-day school record total of nine individual first place finishes on Saturday (May 12) at the Western Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships.

            The Bronco women placed first in five events on the final day of this year’s championships, while the men recorded four first place finishes to bring Boise State’s individual titles for this year’s meet to 13.  Boise State place first in four events, two each for the men and women, on Friday (May 11).

            Despite the eight individual titles, the Bronco men had their string of three straight track and field team championships broken placing runner-up to Utah State University.  The Bronco men scored 141 points, to Utah State’s first place total of 183.  Boise State had won the 2006 indoor and outdoor title, along with this year’s indoor championship.

            The Bronco women finished fourth with 116.5 points.  Louisiana Tech University was the women’s team champion with 162 points.

            Leading the way for the Bronco men was senior Forest Braden.  Competing in his final WAC championship, Braden scored the most points of any male student-athlete at the meet with 28.  Along with the 10,000-meter championship he won on Friday, Braden came back on Saturday to win the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:48.02, and place second at 1,500-meters with a time of 3:53.79. 

            Braden completed his career in the WAC with a total of seven individual championships, the most of any Boise State student-athlete in school history.

            Becky Guyette and Eleni Kafourou also came away double winners at this year’s meet.  Like Braden, Guyette backed up her 10,000-meter win on Friday with a victory in the women’s 5,000-meter run on Saturday with a time of 17:20.71.  It was Guyette’s third career WAC championship.

            Kafourou earned her second individual title at this year’s meet when she won the triple jump with a mark of 42-11.75 (13.10m).  She placed first in the long jump on Friday and now has four career WAC titles.

            Possibly the most exciting victory for Boise State at this year’s championship came in the women’s 4x400-meter relay.  The team of Kayleen McDowell, Megan Olivetti, Paige Olivetti and Nerisha Phillip upset heavenly favored Louisiana Tech with a winning time of 3:43.06.

            The other first place finishes for the women’s came from Annika Hjelm in the hammer with a throw of 200-7 (61.14m) and Breanna Sande in the 1,500-meters with a time of 4:27.16, which was the third fastest in school history.  Sande also placed second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:32.16.

            In addition to Braden’s 5,000-meter win on Saturday, the Bronco men also received first place finishes from Ty Axtman in the 1,500-meter with a time of 3:52.25, Erik Whitsitt in the shot put with a mark of 60-3.75 (18.38m) and Scott Viafore in the javelin with a throw of 215-00 (65.53m).

            Boise State also came away with three additional runner-up finishes on Saturday.  Sterling Small was second in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.33, Kayleen McDowell placed second in the women’s 800-meter run with a time of 2:09.82, and Nate Putnam was second in the men’s javelin with a throw of 209-8 (63.91m).

            Next up on the schedule for the Broncos is the NCAA West Regional Championships on May 25-26 (Friday and Saturday) in Eugene, Oregon.  Boise State has recorded a total of 20 NCAA regional qualifying marks this year.

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