Nelson 15th, Viitala 22nd at NCAA Championships

DES MOINES, Iowa - Boise State's Alex Nelson and Eetu Viitala closed out their 2011 track and field season on Thursday afternoon (June 9) at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field National Championship Meet hosted by Drake University. Nelson earned an All-America Second Team honor with his 15th-place finish in the hammer throw, while Viitala was named All-America Honorable Mention after placing 22nd in the long jump.

The pair of Broncos traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, for their first career showings at the national championship meet.

Waiting out a late start to the day due to weather, Nelson, a junior, was the first Bronco to compete, taking on the nation's top-24 hammer throwers. The Vancouver, Wash., native placed 15th in the tough field placing one spot behind his 14th-place ranking heading into the meet. Nelson earned his placing on his third throw in the first flight of the preliminary round where he recorded a mark of 203-9 (62.12m). After placing between the ninth and 16th spots, Nelson earns an All-America Second Team nod for his efforts, the first of his career.

Viitala, also a junior, competed in the first of two flights of the men's long jump competition. The Kourtane, Finland, native leapt a distance of 23-11.75 (7.31m) on his third jump of the preliminary round to claim the 22nd-place spot in the field of 24 athletes. The finish moved him up one spot from his No. 23 ranking heading into the meet, earning him an All-America Honorable Mention honor, also the first of his career.

With the completion of Nelson and Viitala's competitions on Thursday, the 2011 Boise State track and field season officially comes to a close.


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