July 13, 2017
The Boise State cross country and track and field program has signed 17 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the upcoming 2017-18 season. The incoming class has combined for 32 individual state titles with athletes coming from California, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington. Two international athletes from New Zealand and England will also join the roster.
“This incoming class was extremely important to us as staff from day one,” head cross country and track and field coach Corey Ihmels said. “Coach O’Neal, Coach Hartke, Coach McCurry and Coach Fuelling did a fantastic job of recognizing our needs and getting the right student-athletes on campus.”
The 16 freshmen and one graduate transfer will build on a successful 2016-17 campaign that featured a Mountain West Men’s Cross Country Championship, two Mountain West Student-Athletes of the Year (Yusuke Uchikoshi – Men’s Cross Country and Allie Ostrander – Outdoor Women’s Track and Field), seven All-America honors, eight league individual conference titles, 24 All-Mountain West honors and most impressive of all – a national title in the 3,000m steeplechase from Ostrander.
“We have been fortunate to have had a lot of success in our first four years, but this class has the opportunity to take things to another level,” Ihmels said. “More importantly, the integrity and commitment to excellence displayed by each of these young student-athletes will continue to enable us be an elite NCAA program.”
The 2016 Mountain West Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, Ihmels will be entering his fifth year at the helm when the 2017 cross country season begins in September.
“We look forward to the start of the school year and adding this remarkable group to our young, growing team.”
Christina Geisler (Carmel HS | Carmel, Ind.)
1,600m – 5:06.48 | 3,200m – 10:35.38
A phenomenal distance runner from Carmel, Ind., Christina Geisler helped her high school team to a fourth-place team finish at the 2016 Nike Cross Nationals after finishing 40th individually. She logged another impressive result at the 2016 Foot Locker National Championships with a 38th-place finish. Her accomplishments on the track were equally as impressive, recording back-to-back top-five finishes in the 3,200m at the 2016 and 2017 Indiana Track and Field State Championships.
Claire Graves (Citrus Valley HS | Redlands, Calif.)
1,600m – 4:59.44 | 3,200m – 10:26.07
Claire Graves brings several accolades to the Treasure Valley from her time as a prep distance runner in Southern California. She was sensational as a sophomore at the 2014 Foot Locker National Championships thanks to a 29th-place finish. She also enjoyed her top finish at the CIF Division II Cross Country State Championship earlier that fall with a fourth-place result. Posted top-10 finishes in the 3,200m at the CIF Division II Finals in all four years while at Citrus Valley HS. Received the 2017 Ken Hubbs Award in Redlands and also competed as a member on the USA Junior National Mountain Running Team throughout her prep career.
Olivia Johnson (Barlow HS | Gresham, Ore.)
1,500m – 4:41.52 | 3,000m – 9:42.58
Fresh off a track season where she was runner-up in the 3,000m at the Oregon 6A State Track and Field Championships, Olivia Johnson has shown gradual improvement in each year at Barlow HS. Johnson was dominant in both 1,500m and 3,000m as a senior in 2017, compiling a combined 10 victories in the two events. She showed a massive jump in cross country as well, taking fourth in 2016 after placing 25th in 2015 at the Oregon 6A State Cross Country State Championships.
Erin Mullins (Leavenworth HS | Leavenworth, Wash.)
1,600m – 4:54.74 | 3,200m – 10:43.63
*8 State Titles
An eight-time state champion, Erin Mullins enters her collegiate career as one of the most storied prep distance runners in Washington 1A history. When it mattered most in the 3,200m, Mullins showed an ability to win as she claimed the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Washington 1A Track and Field 3,200m state titles. Also proficient in the 1,600m (state champion in 2016 and 2017) on the track, Mullins naturally found success in cross country with state titles in 2014 and 2017. Performed well at the 2016 Nike Northwest Regional (10th place) and 2016 Nike Oregon-Washington Border Clash (Second place).
Malia Pivec (Lynwood HS | Bothell, Wash.)
1,600m – 4:55.48 | 3,200m – 10:40.03
Malia Pivec has consistently found success both in cross country and on the track in the 3,200m in the Washington prep ranks. Enjoyed a nice senior season by taking fifth in the 1,600m and third in the 3,200m at the 2017 Washington 3A Track and Field State Championships. She began her final high school season with a sixth-place performance at the 2017 Washington 3A Cross Country Championships. Also excelled as a junior, finishing second in the 1,600m at the state championships.
Grace McConnochie (University of Portland | Gisbourne, New Zealand)
5,000m – 16:33.92 | 10,000m – 33:31.74
*2017 NCAA Second Team All-American (10,000m)
Coming to Boise State as a graduate transfer from Portland, Grace McConnochie recently took 11th in the 10,000m at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for Second Team All-America honors. The native of Gisbourne, New Zealand peaked towards the end of the 2017 outdoor season, clocking a career-best 33:31.74 at nationals. She has logged experience at the NCAA Cross Country National Championships and also brings success in the classroom as a 2015 and 2016 West Coast Conference All-Academic Honorable Mention honoree.
Kristie Schoffield (Merrimack Valley HS | Concord, N.H.)
800m – 2:06.90 | 1,500m – 4:46.94
*8 State Titles
Arguably a top-five 800m recruit in the country, Kristie Schoffield will immediately contribute to the Bronco middle distance group in the 2017-18 season. The 2017 Gatorade New Hampshire Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Schoffield won an incredible eight state titles over the course of her career at Merrimack Valley HS. The recent summer months have brought about massive success for Schoffield, as she won the 800m title at the New England Championship thanks to a career-best 2:06.90. She followed that effort up with a 2:07.13 at the prestigious Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle a week later, earning the Concord, N.H. native second place.
Kari Taylor (Capital HS | Boise, ID)
800m – 2:14.04 | 1,500m – 4:42.38
*1 State Title
A talented middle distance standout from the Treasure Valley, Kari Taylor was the 800m champion at the 2016 Idaho 5A Track and Field State Championships where she ran her career-best 800m time of 2:14.04. Taylor is a three-time top-10 finisher in the 800m at the state championships, including a seventh-place result in the 1,600m in 2015. Also picked up experience in cross country, taking 26th at the 2015 5A Idaho Cross Country State Championships.
Emily Venters (Lawrence Free State HS | Lawrence, Kansas)
1,600m – 4:49.36 | 3,200m – 10:16.31
*5 State Titles
One of the top prep distance runners in the country this past season, Emily Venters will come to the Blue and Orange having just recently taken seventh place in the two mile at the Brooks PR Invitational thanks to a blistering 10:19.31. The owner of five state titles, Venters recently won the 1,600m and 3,200m titles at the 2017 Kansas 6A Track and Field State Championship. She was runner-up in both events as a junior in 2016. Also an excellent cross country runner, Venters took second at the Nike Heartland Regional and went on place 32nd at Nike Cross Nationals.
Chelsea Walker (City of York/Sale Harriers Manchester | Yorkshire, England)
100m Hurdles – 13.85 | 400m Hurdles – 58.68 | 400m – 55.30
An experienced hurdler out of Yorkshire, England, Chelsea Walker will bring a wealth of elite, international experience to the Broncos. She recently claimed the 400m hurdles title at the 2016 England U20 Championships and took fourth in the 100m hurdles. She won both events at the 2015 and 2016 Northern U20 Championships, as well as the 2015 Welsh International. With an astounding 400m hurdle PR of 58.68, Walker should make a splash in the Mountain West right away.
Ryan Cavinta (Tualatin HS | Tualatin, Ore.)
110m Hurdles – 14.54 | 300m Hurdles – 37.85
*1 State Title
Winning a combined 14 races in the 110m and 300m hurdles his senior season at Tualatin HS, Ryan Cavinta has shown the ability to win big races. Cavinta exercised this quality at the Oregon 6A Track and Field State Championships, taking first in the 300m hurdles thanks to a career-best time of 37.85. He also took third in the 110m hurdles (15.35) and sixth in the long jump (22-2.75) to earn more points for the Timberwolves. Cavinta also excelled at the 2016 state championships, recording top-10 finishes in both the 110m and 300m hurdles.
Brayden Durfee (Summit HS | Bend, Ore.)
100m – 10.60 | 200m – 21.37 | 400m – 49.15
*3 state titles
Brayden Durfee lit up the track this past May at the Oregon 5A State Championships, guiding Summit HS to the team title in Eugene, Ore. He won both the 200m (21.81) and 400m (49.22) with PRs in both races and also ran a leg on the winning 4x400m relay team, bringing his total event title haul on the weekend to three. Durfee also ran club with the Mondo Track Club, taking fourth place in the 200m at the New Balance Boise Indoor this past February in his future indoor track home – the Ford Idaho Center. He was also excellent as a junior in 2016, earning fourth and second, respectively, in the 200m and 400m at the state championships.
Leif Everson (Williston HS | Williston, N.D.)
1,600m – 4:13.62 | 3,200m – 9:12.90
Leif Everson comes to Boise State from Williston HS – the same high school as head coach Corey Ihmels. Everson was second in both the 1,600m and 3,200m at the 2017 North Dakota Division A Track and Field State Championships. He also flashed his speed in the 800m at the state championships as a senior, taking third with a 1:56.44. Everson has shown gradual improvement on the track in each year as a prep, eventually recording PRs in the 800m (1:56.44), 1,600m (4:13.62) and 3,200m (9:12.90) over the course of his last season in Williston. His cross country seasons in 2015 and 2016 were also successful, claiming runner-up honors in both years.
Cade Greseth (Camas HS | Camas, Wash.)
400m – 50.88 | 800m – 1:53.94
A skilled 800m runner from Camas, Wash., Cade Greseth found success at the 2017 Washington 4A Track and Field State Championships with a fourth-place effort in the 800m. His PR (1:53.94) came a week earlier at the sectional championships. Greseth was a member of the 4x400m relay team that won the 2016 state title thanks to a time of 3:21.56.
Jacob Grinwis (Belgrade HS | Bozeman, Mont.)
400m – 49.90 | 800m – 1:53.23
*4 State Titles
Jacob Grinwis tallied four state titles while at Bozeman HS, all of which came at the 2017 Montana A Track and Field State Championships. He won the 400m (50.21), 800m (1:54.10), 1,600m (4:21.85) and ran a leg on the winning 4x400m relay (3:25.74) team. Grinwis set a meet record in the 800m at the 2017 USATF Hershey Youth Indoor Championships, clocking a 1:56.15 to claim the victory and set the new best time in the 17-18 category. Also a respectable cross country runner, Grinwis was fifth at the 2016 state championships.
Ahmed Muhumed (West Salem HS | Salem, Ore.)
1,500m – 3:52.44 | 3,000m – 8:25.87
*2 State Titles
The 2016 Men’s Cross Country Oregon Sports Award recipient, Ahmed Muhumed, compiled quite the cross country resume while competing at West Salem HS. The highlights of his cross country prep accomplishments came in the form of back-to-back titles at the Oregon 6A Cross Country State Championships. He also took 13th at the Nike Northwest Regional and finished eighth at the Nike Oregon-Washington Border Clash. Muhumed’s best season on the track came in 2016 when he took third in both the 1,500m and 3,000m at the state championships, running career-best times (3:52.44 and 8:25.87) on both occasions.
Matthew Park (Edmonds-Woodway HS | Edmonds Wash.)
1,600m – 4:15.99 | 3,200m – 9:29.67
Matthew Park comes to Boise State from the same high school as current Bronco Miler Haller, and brings similar high-level accolades. Park recently took second in the 1,600m and fourth in the 3,200m at the Washington 4A Track and Field State Championships, running a career-best 4:15.99 in the 1,600m. His junior year also brought about successes on the track, as he took 11th in the 1,600m and seventh in the 3,200m at the state championships. Saw substantial improvement from 2016 to 2017 in cross country, going from 24th to fifth at the state meet.