Twelve Broncos Qualify for 2010 NCAA Championship West Preliminary Round

BOISE, Idaho - After a successful 2010 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet this past week, 12 Boise State track and field athletes have earned the chance to compete at the 2010 Division I NCAA Championship West Preliminary Round May 27-29 in Austin, Texas. Four women and eight men will represent the Broncos at the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium, competing amongst the top-48 athletes in the west half of the country in their respective events.

After five seasons of holding NCAA Regional Meets, the NCAA has done away with numerous regional sites and now advances only 48 athletes to each the east and west preliminary rounds in their respective events. The preliminary round races and competitions will be treated like the former preliminary rounds which were contested at the NCAA National Championship meet. The new format reduces the number of rounds at the national championship, gives the athletes more rest between races and will help to even the level of competition between the east and the west in numerous events.

The women have four representatives, with senior Eleni Kafourou leading the way after qualifying in two individual events. The newly crowned WAC Champion in the long jump and triple jump, Kafourou will continue her season in both events at the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. She enters the meet as the No. 5 ranked triple jumper with a newly attained season-best mark of 43 feet, 7.25 inches that she recorded at the WAC Championships last week. She also ranks No. 8 in the long jump with a season-best jump of 20 feet, 11.25 inches, a mark she earned at the BYU Robison Invite in April. The 2009 NCAA Indoor National Long Jump Champion and school record holder in both events has career-bests of 21 feet, 5.50 inches in the long jump and 43 feet, 10 inches in the triple jump.

Also competing for the women are two 100-meter hurdle competitors, freshman Marjani Maldonado and senior Megan Olivetti. Maldonado enters the meet ranked No. 31 in the west with her time of 13.70-seconds, a career-best time she ran just last week at the WAC Championships to place third. Olivetti, the school record holder in the event (13.66-seconds, 2008), enters the meet ranked No. 40 after running a season-best time of 13.76-seconds, which was also recorded at the WAC Championships in Ruston, La.

Rounding out the four women, junior Sasa Kampic is the only female thrower for the Broncos, entering the meet as the No. 30 ranked javelin thrower. Kampic recorded a season-best throw of 155 feet, 3 inches at the Arizona State Team Invite in March to qualify for the upcoming preliminary round meet. Kampic's career-best mark in the javelin is 162 feet, 9 inches.

On the men's side two Broncos go into the meet with two event entries apiece. Senior Zacharias Arnos will continue his season in the long and triple jumps after capturing the WAC titles in both events a week ago. Arnos qualified with lifetime best marks in each event, earning the marks at the Mt. SAC Relays in April. He has earned a No. 2 ranking in the triple jump with a jump of 53 feet, 9.75 inches and ranking No. 12 in the long jump with a mark of 25 feet, 4 inches.

Junior Kurt Felix is the additional two-event Bronco, competing in the high jump and javelin throw at the NCAA Preliminary Round. Felix placed second in both events at the WAC Championships after producing career-best marks in both events. Felix now ranks No. 22 in the javelin with his mark of 220 feet, 4 inches while also holding the No. 24 spot on the high jump list with a height of 6 feet, 11.50 inches.

Three throwers add to the qualifiers with senior Pontus Thomee joining Felix in the javelin throw. Thomee earned the 2010 WAC title in the event earning a season-best mark of 230 feet, 1 inch, ranking him No. 16. He is not far off his career-best of 239 feet, 3 inches and will look to chase down that mark this weekend. Sophomore Trevor Kraychir also holds a No. 16 rank, but in the men's hammer throw. He earned his qualifying mark of 204 feet, 1 inch, a lifetime best, at the Sun Angel Classic in April. Also joining Kraychir in the hammer throw will be sophomore Alex Nelson who also qualifies on a career-best mark. Nelson ranks No. 29 going into the weekend after earning a mark of 198 feet, 3.50 inches at the BYU Robison Invite.

Sophomore Eetu Viitala will join Arnos in the long jump, sitting as the No. 25 ranked jumper heading into the meet. Viitala jumped a career-best distance of 24 feet, 8.50 inches at the WAC Championships, placing second at the meet and qualifying him for the NCAA Preliminary Round.

Only two Bronco men will compete on the track at the NCAA Preliminary Round with junior Sawyer Bosch entering with a No. 30 rank in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Bosch recorded a lifetime best of 8-minutes, 57.84-seconds in the race at the Oregon Relays and is just 1.60-seconds out of the No. 3 spot on the all-time top-three performers list at Boise State. In the shorter distances, freshman Rolando Trammel will represent the Broncos, competing in the 400-meter hurdles. Trammel enters as the No. 42 ranked hurdler after running a career-best of 51.96-seconds at the WAC Championships in the event.

The University of Texas will host the NCAA Championship West Preliminary Round while North Carolina State will host the east round. The top-12 from each of the events the Broncos are competing in will advance to the NCAA Championship Final Round hosted by the University of Oregon in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12.

For more information on the meet go to: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/c-otrack/champpage/c-otrack-div1-west-index.html


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