Boise State's track team opens indoor action this morning as the Broncos host the Hampton Inn & Suites Classic at the Idaho Sports Center in Nampa. Field events begin at 11:00 a.m. with the men's pole vault and women's high jump. Running events start at 12:30 p.m. with the men's mile run. Nearly 200 athletes from six schools are scheduled to compete. Albertson College, Cal State-LA, Eastern Oregon, Northwest Nazarene and the University of Nevada are all slated to participate this weekend. While there will be no scoring among the men's teams, the women's teams will be scored against each other using the international dual system.
Three returning NCAA All-Americans will lead the Bronco men's team this year in Forest Braden, Keron Francis and Mattias Jon. Braden is a two-time All-American earning the honors at last indoor championships in the 3,000-meter run and at the cross-country championships. Braden red-shirted last year's outdoor season, but picked up his third individual WAC Championship last year when he won the indoor 5,000-meter run. Braden is also the school record holder in the indoor 3,000-meter run with a time of 7:58.85. He will compete in that same event on Saturday beginning at 3:10 p.m.
Francis red-shirted both the indoor and outdoor seasons last year. In 2004 Francis won both the indoor and outdoor WAC championships in the long jump. He also earned All-American honors that year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the javelin. He will compete in the long jump on Saturday beginning at Noon.
Jons is the defending WAC champion in the 35-pound weight throw and the school record holder in the event at 67-2.25. Jons is also the defending WAC champion in the hammer. He set the school record in he event last year at 227-10. Jons went on to win the NCAA West Regional Championship in the hammer last year, before placing second at the national meet to earn All-American honors. Jons will compete in the shot put at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and the weight throw at Noon.
Two Boise State record holders lead the women's team this year. Jackieann Morian holds the indoor record for 400-meters at 54.65, while Alina Schimpf is the indoor record holder in the pole vault at 12-5.50. Morian placed third at last year's WAC Indoor Championships, while Schimpf, a sophomore from Boise, finished fifth in the indoor pole vault in 2005. Morian will compete in the 400-meter dash on Saturday beginning at 1:35 p.m. Schimpf will be in the pole vault that starts at 2:00 p.m.