Viitala Advances to NCAA Championships in Long Jump

EUGENE, Ore. - Boise State's Eetu Viitala jumped his way to his first NCAA Championship meet on Thursday (May 26) afternoon, qualifying in the national championship long jump competition via the 2011 NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round hosted by the University of Oregon, May 26-28. Viitala was one of four Broncos to compete on Thursday, with Rolando Trammel advancing to the quarterfinals in the 400-meter hurdles, Pontus Thomee competing in the javelin and Racquel Jones joining in the women's long jump.

Viitala was the first Bronco to compete on Thursday afternoon, taking on a field of 48 jumpers, 12 of which would be qualifiers for the NCAA Championship meet hosted by Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, June 8-11. He jumped his way to an 11th-place finish, earning his first-career trip to the NCAA Championship meet.

The junior out of Kuortane, Finland, competed in the third flight of preliminary jumps at Hayward Field, earning a mark of 24-5.75 (7.49m) on his third jump and advancing him to the finals in 11th-place out of 17 athletes. He did not better his top mark throughout the three finals jumps, floating from 11th to 12th-place and back to 11th due to a further second-best mark.

Trammel opened his two-event meet with the 400-meter hurdle first round on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinal round after placing 20th. The sophomore out of Albuquerque, N.M., ran a career-best time of 51.86-seconds, placing fourth in the fourth heat of competition.

The top-three times in each heat, plus the next six fastest times (which Trammel was a part of) advanced to the 400-meter hurdle quarterfinal round. Trammel will compete in the 400-meter hurdle quarterfinals on Friday (May 27) at 6:35 p.m. (MT). He will also take part in the 110-meter hurdle first round on Friday at 4:25 p.m. (MT).

Thomee competed in his final meet as a Bronco on Thursday, placing 14th in the men's javelin throw. The 2010 NCAA West Preliminary Round javelin champion and four-time Western Athletic Conference Champion was unable to earn a top-12 placing advancing him to travel to Des Moines, Iowa.

The senior from Goteborg, Sweden, threw a mark of 221-3 (67.44m), his second-best mark this season and only 3-feet, 4-inches short of the 12th-place spot. His top mark came on his first throw of the meet, advancing him to the three-throw finals in 10th-place. From there he could not improve his mark, falling to 14th-place as others improved their marks.

In her first NCAA competition, Jones competed in the women's long jump semifinal round on Thursday, placing 30th out of 48 competitors. The sophomore, Baltimore, Md., native earned her best mark of the day on her first jump, leaping to a mark of 19-0 (5.79m). The mark was 11-inches off of her lifetime best mark and 12.75-inches out of a 12th-place finish.

Three Broncos will join Trammel on Friday (May 28) to compete in day two of the 2011 NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round meet. As mentioned, Trammel will race in the first round of the 110-meter hurdles and quarterfinals of the 400-meter hurdles. Sawyer Bosch will join him on the track racing in the 3000-meter steeplechase at 8:20 p.m. (MT). In the field, hammer throwers Alex Nelson and Trevor Kraychir begin their quest to the NCAA Championship meet at 4:30 p.m. (MT).

Below are the five Broncos' who have remaining events at the west preliminary meet. Listed are their event date, event round, west preliminary ranking and start times, in order of their competition schedule (all times MOUNTAIN):

(**) - denotes a qualifying time is needed to reach this round

Rolando Trammel
May 27 - 110-meter hurdles - First Round - #43 - 4:25 p.m.
May 27 - 400-meter hurdles - Quarterfinal (**) - 6:35 p.m.
May 28 - 110-meter hurdles - Quarterfinal (**) - 3:20 p.m.

Alex Nelson
May 27 - Hammer - #11 - 4:30 p.m.

Trevor Kraychir
May 27 - Hammer - #21 - 4:30 p.m.

Sawyer Bosch
May 27 - 3000-meter steeplechase - Quarterfinal - #12 - 8:20 p.m.

Chase Sexton
May 28 - Discus - #29 - 4:30 p.m.

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