Thomee, Bosch, Viitala Collect WAC Titles

HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Boise State track and field team picked up three championship titles on Thursday in day three of the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Clarence T.C. Ching Track Complex. The Boise State men sit in second in the team race, while the women are sitting in seventh.

The Boise State men sit in second place with 58 points. Utah State leads the men's team race with 64 points, while Idaho sits in a close third with 56 points. Boise State's women hold the seventh-place spot in the team standings after earning 23 team points. Nevada leads the women's race with 53 points, while Utah State sits in second with 49 points and Hawaii in third with 37 points.

Broncos Pontus Thomee, Sawyer Bosch and Eetu Viitala each collected titles on Thursday adding 30 points to the Bronco men's team score.  Thomee earned his fourth-straight WAC title in the javelin while Bosch became the first Bronco to earn a WAC 3000-meter steeplechase title. Viitala also added to the record books becoming the fourth-straight Bronco to earn a WAC outdoor long jump title.

Thomee threw a mark of 211-8 en route to an undefeated WAC career in the javelin. Teammate Alex Cartwright helped with the Bronco sweep, collecting a second-place finish with a career-best throw of 209-10. Both Thomee and Cartwright were named to the All-WAC First Team for their efforts.

Bosch accumulated 10 more points for the Broncos when he won his first career outdoor conference title. Bosch clocked a time of 8:55.80, earning a first team nod. Teammate Kevin Higgs added two additional team points with his fifth-place finish (9:13.12), earning second team honors as well.

Viitala won the long jump with his 24-5 jump, the fourth-straight Bronco to earn an outdoor conference long jump title. Joining him in adding team points were Rolando Trammel and Edidiong Essien who placed second (23-2.75) and fifth (22-1), respectively. Viitala and Trammel earned All-WAC First Team honors while Essien was named to the second team in the long jump.

On the track Jeff Howard earned two team points for the men after a fifth-place finish in the 10000-meter run. Howard clocked a time of 31:00.26 for a All-WAC Second Team honor and a career-best time in the event.

Picking up additional points in the field for the Bronco men were Chase Sexton and Daniel Thompson. Sexton earned a third-place finish in the shot put (54-0), earning six team points and a first team nod. Thompson picked up the sixth-place spot in the pole vault after clearing 15-3 earning second team honors with his efforts.

On the women's side the Broncos added two All-WAC honorees on Thursday. Racquel Jones placed third in the long jump with a lifetime best jump of 19-10.25. Alexi Morton, who placed third in the heptathlon on Wednesday, placed fifth in the long jump with a jump of 18-7.25. Jones earned All-WAC First Team honors, while Morton earned a second team honor.

In the throws, Nadine Russell picked up a team point with her eighth-place finish in the hammer throw. Russell had a two-foot career-best throw of 168-11 en route to her top-8 finish. Alyssa Osai collected an additional point in the discus Thursday evening, recording a mark of 143-1 for an eighth-place finish.

On the track, Erin McLaughlin also earned a point for the team after placing eighth in the 10000-meter run. McLaughlin clocked a time of 38:39.49 in her first career outdoor WAC championship.

Six Bronco men and five women qualified from Thursday's preliminary rounds to Friday's finals in the sprints, mid-distance and hurdles. Manoah Wesson (47.58, career-best), Karrie Butler (48.80) and Jeff Daw (49.13) each earned qualifying spots for the 400-meter finals. Wesson also qualified for the 200-meter dash finals with a time of 21.77. In the 100-meter dash, Essien placed seventh in the prelims, qualifying with a time of 10.90. In the 400-meter hurdles, Trammel won the prelims with a season-best time of 52.06, while Anthony Belcher clocked a career-best of 53.66 to qualify for the finals on Friday.

For the women, Jones was a double qualifier after placing third in the long jump. Jones qualified in third-place in the 100-meters (11.82) and in seventh for the 200-meters (24.63). Cyntrail Pierce was a fifth-place finisher in the 400-meter prelims, running a personal best of 55.75 and advancing to the finals. Emily Funkhouser placed eighth in the 400-meter hurdle prelims with a time of 1:02.96, while Rici Morill placed fourth in the 800-meters with a personal-best of 1:02.96, both advancing to their respective finals.

The fourth and final day of the 2011 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships will begin at 1:30 p.m.  HT/5:30 p.m. MT with the men's hammer throw. Running events begin at 5:00 p.m. HT/9:00 p.m. MT with the women's 4x100-meter relay, while the final event, the 4x400-meter relay slated for a 7:25 p.m. HT/11:25 p.m. MT start.

2011 Boise State WAC Champions
Sawyer Bosch (3000-meter steeplechase)
Pontus Thomee (Javelin)

All-WAC First Team
Sawyer Bosch (3000-meter steeplechase)
Alex Cartwright (Javelin)
Racquel Jones (Long Jump
Alexi Morton (Heptathlon)
Pontus Thomee (Javelin)

All-WAC Second Team
Kevin Higgs (3000-meter steeplechase)
Jeff Howard (10000-meters)
Kate Jette (3000-meter steeplechase)
Alexi Morton (Long Jump)
Daniel Thompson (Pole vault)

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