A prestigious lineup of competitors will be featured this weekend as Boise State hosts the United Heritage Track and Field Invitational at the Idaho Sports Center in Nampa. Action begins Friday at 6 p.m. with the women's long jump. Running events get underway at 7. Field events get underway Saturday at noon.
NCAA Championship qualifiers Mattias Jons and Forest Braden of Boise State, Eric Mitchum of Oregon and the UCLA 4x400-meter relay team all are slated to compete this weekend. Jons has twice bettered his own school record in the 35-pound weight throw this season, boosting the mark to 70 feet, 10.5 inches last weekend. If Jons wins this weekend, it will be a major upset—the #1 ranked thrower in the world, Libor Charfreitag, is also slated to compete along with former NCAA Division II National Champion A.G. Kruger. Charfreitag, a three-time NCAA National Champion in the weight throw and hammer, Charfreitag also holds the Idaho Sports Center record in the event at 82 feet, 11 inches. Kruger was a member of the 2004 United States Olympic Team with a personal best of 78 feet, 10 inches.
Braden has the fifth fastest NCAA time in the 3,000-meter run, covering the distance in a Boise State record time of 7 minutes, 58.08 seconds. Mitchum clocked the third fastest time in the 60-meter hurdles at 7.78, while the UCLA relay team also has the third fastest time in that event this year at 3 minutes, 8.84 seconds.
Former Boise State six-time All-American Jared Rome headlines an impressive class of Olympians that will be competing as well. Rome, the 2004 United States discus champion and participant in the Athens Olympics that year, will compete in the shot put Saturday at 2:45 p.m. Former Washington State All-American Ian Waltz will challenge Rome; Rome is currently #4 in the world in the discus while Waltz is ranked sixth.
The top decathlete in the world will compete in four events in Nampa. Brian Clay, the silver medalist in the '04 Olympics and the world champion last year, will participate in the long jump, shot put, 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles. Clay's 8,820 points in the Athens Olympics is the second highest total ever for an American.
Other schools represented at the Invitational include UNLV, Azusa Pacific, Northwest Nazarene, Portland State and Eastern Oregon.