Bronco Men Team to Beat in WAC Championships

Boise State seems poised to capture another WAC Championship in Indoor Track & Field as action is underway at Jackson's Track in Nampa. On the women's side, Louisiana Tech should repeat with an improving Boise State squad battling three other teams for 2nd. (Photo provided by Note: All photos and stories are the property of BroncoCountry and any use outside this web site without consent is strictly prohibited.

Boise State hosts the indoor Western Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships this Wednesday through Saturday at Jackson's Track in Nampa. Competition in the heptathlon finishes up on today while at the same time the women compete in the pentathlon. Running events begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with field events starting at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. Ticket and schedule information and projected scoring analysis follows this article.

For the men, Utah State returns as the top finisher, posting 138 points to finish second in 2005, just ahead of Boise State's 133. The Broncos, however, are vastly improved and are the clear favorite this year. The two have a new team to compete with, with addition of Cal State Northridge as an affiliate. Joining the Aggies, Broncos and Matadors on the men's side are Idaho and Louisiana Tech. With there only being five teams competing for the men, the scoring system will be different than the women. The point totals are as follows; 1st:10, 2nd:8, 3rd:6, 4th:4 5th:2 6th:1.

Forest Braden and Mattias Jons will defend their WAC titles for the Bronco men. Braden won the 5,000 meters last year and the mile in 2004 and he has the fastest time in the league in both of those events (mile--4:07.1, 5,000 meters in 13:47.43) as well as the 3,000 meters. Braden's time of 7:58.08 in the 3,000 beats the 2nd fastest competitor by nearly 26 seconds. Jons won the 35-pound weight throw last year and currently has the fourth best collegiate throw in the nation. Jons will also compete in the shot put, where his top throw for the season (53 feet, 7 inches) ranks third in the WAC.

A strong Bronco contingent need to force Idaho's Matt Wauters and Russ Winger out of the top places to give Boise State a good shot at the WAC team title. In addition to Jons in the event, seniors Staffan Jonsson (65-6.25), Eric Matthias (62-6.75), and freshman Simon Wardhaugh (62-1.25) are strong possibilities. Wauters (68-4.25) and Winger (59-5.50) stand in the way of a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Boise State.

Boise State's Wijnand Rijkenberg (4:08.49), Ty Axtman (4:12.9), Brandon Christoffereson (4:20.04) and Cody Eaton (4:17.83) hope to support Braden and get big points for the Broncos in the mile.

Idaho's Russ Winger has the league's best shot put this season of over 61 feet, so Jons will need to boost his throw of 53-7 considerably if he's to be a double winner this weekend. Jonsson (53-5.75) could also get points in that event for the Broncos.

After redshirting last season, Boise State long jumper Keron Francis goes for his third WAC title this weekend. He leads the league with an NCAA provisional mark of 24 feet, 10 inches. The WAC record is held by former Olympian Bob Beamon, who set the mark for UTEP in 1968.

Other Broncos expected to be strong contenders are senior sprinter Antoine Echols and high jumper Aiona Key. Echols enters the championships with the leading time in both the 200 (21.28) and 400-meters (48.25), while Key leads all WAC high jumpers with a jump of 6 feet, 11.5 inches. Boise State also leads the WAC in the 4 x 400-meter and distance medley relays.

Echols also has the 2nd-fastest time in the 60 meters, an event led by Utah State's Dejuan Smith. Senior Andre Summers hopes to score well in the 60, and the Bronco football trio of Drisan James, Quinton Jones and Lee Marks have the speed to challenge if the technique is there.

Louisiana Tech and Cal-State Northridge should battle for the 60-meter hurdle title, with Boise State's Sterling Small hoping to land some points. Idaho's Driss Yousfi has the top time in the 800, but four runners from Tech and seven from Boise State should get the majority of points for their schools.

Key may have the best jump in the WAC this year, but four others could snatch the title from him, including Boise State's Roger White (6-8). Utah State's Clinton Silcock (6-9.50) and Michael McConkie (6-8) are others expected to challenge Key.

Sean Jones of Cal State-Northridge is the runaway favorite in the pole vault, holding nearly a 2-foot advantage over Utah State's Max Hanson. Boise State's Kyle Christofferson (14-1.25) and Francis (13-11.25) should push Hanson for 2nd.

Northridge also has the top two competitors in the triple jump, Rolando Felizola (49-1.50) and Awet Hagos (47-3.75), with Boise State's White another favorite at 46 feet, 10.25 inches.

Scoring for the meet will be as follows: 1st place--10, 2nd--8, 3rd--6, 4th--4 5th--2 6th--1.

There are nine women's teams in the Championships. Along with the Lady Techsters who scored 157 last season to dominate the field, Fresno State returns as one of the top teams. The Bulldogs finished fourth with 76 points last season. Boise State, Cal State Northridge, Hawai'i, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico State and Utah State will all compete this week. Tech should defend its title, but it should be extremely tight for #2-#5. Tech is expected to pick up 72 points in the 60 Meters, 200 Meters and 400 Meters races alone.

For the Bronco women, Freshman Eleni-Maria Kafourou has the second best marks in the long and triple jumps at 19-11.50 and 41-0.25 (her triple jump is the second best in Boise State history.) Donesha Spivey of Louisiana Tech has the top long jump of 20 feet, 1.75 inches this season. Spivey's teammate, Bejide Williams, should also challenge--Williams has a top mark of 19 feet, 7.5 inches. New Mexico State's Sandra Anane is the favorite to win the triple jump; her mark of 42 feet, 3.5 inches is more than a foot ahead of Kafourou's.

Bronco seniors Jackieann Morian and Robin Nixon also have the league's second best marks in their respective events. Morian's time in the 400-meter dash is 55.22, while Nixon has the second fastest time in the 3,000-meter run at 10:13.20. Freshman Breanne Sande has the fourth best time at 3,000 meters with a 10:17.01 clocking.

Rebecca Guyette has the league's third best time in the mile run at 4:50.61, and Kristin Brogdon has the third best high jump this year in the WAC at 5-6 (1.68m). The Bronco women also have the second best times this year in both relays posting times of 3:47.66 in the 4x400-meter relay and 12:28.39 in the distance medley relay.

Louisiana Tech comes into the championships very strong and deep in the running events. In the 60-meters, Donesha Spivey (7.44) leads four Lady Techsters in the top six. Boise State's Nataucha Lowry (7.76) looks for points, while Kafourou (7.77) could sneak in as well.

Tech also has three of the top five hopefuls in the 200 meters, led by Latonia Wilson, with a time of 23.72. If someone from other than Louisiana Tech or Boise State wins the 400, it will be a miracle. Those two schools have the top nine qualifiers, four by Tech and five from Boise State. Nina Gilbert of Tech is the clear favorite; she's run a 54.26 this year.

Ashleigh McGrew of Cal State-Northridge is the favorite in the 60-meter hurdles. Freshman Megan Olivetti of Boise State (9.10) hopes to get some points there.

Utah State's Jill Steele (2:10.30) leads a tight field in the 800, while Idaho's Dee Olson and Nevada's Kali Baker are just three seconds off the WAC record in the mile (4:44.66) set by UTEP's Corine Van Beek two years ago. Idaho's Bevin Kennelly should win the 3000 meters, with a fight between a group that includes Boise State's Nixon and Sande. Mandy Macalister hopes to complete a Vandal sweep in the distance events although Liz Camy of Northridge could challenge there.

Louisiana Tech is the favorite in the 1600-meter relay (3:37.71) with a realistic chance of breaking the nine-year old WAC record of 3:34.44 set by Rice, while Idaho should win the distance medley relay hands down.

Utah State figures to score heavily in the high jump with Lacy Hulbert leading the way at 5 feet 8 inches. The Aggies and Vandals should do well in the pole vault, where USU's Kathryn Duhadway leads all league contenders by clearing 13 feet. Alina Schrimpf for Boise State hopes to score valuable points for the Broncos.

Three shot putters should battle for that title. Erin Streater for New Mexico State (51-1), Shaterika Allen of Louisiana Tech (49-2.25) and Nevada's Jamie Martino (48-10.25) are far ahead of the rest of the field.

Hawai'i's Novelle Murray owns the top women's mark in the 20 pound weight throw with 61 feet, 11.5 inches. Nevada's Janine Bodo (60-10) and Caira Hane (59-2.25) will challenge Murray, while Boise State's Eleni Ypsilanti (58-4.5) has a good shot to score points in the event.

The pentathlon is scheduled for Thursday at Jackson's. No Broncos are entered in the event, which is led by Lacy Hulbert of Utah State.

The women will still score all eight in the finals with the point totals as 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

LIVE SCORING – Visit to view live scoring of the meet as it happens.

ALL-WAC – The Western Athletic Conference will award an all-WAC team for track and field. The top three finishers in each individual event will be awarded first-team, while the fourth through sixth we be tabbed second-team all-WAC. For the relays, the four individuals on the the first-place team will named first-team, while places second and third will be considered second-team.

TRACKWIRE NATIONAL RANKINGS – Click on the following links for the men and women's Trackwire and Dandy Dozen Rankings.

Trackwire Rankings
Dandy Dozen - Women | Men
NCAA Qualifiers - Women | Men

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP – The 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship returns to Fayetteville, Ark., March 10-11. The University of Arkansas is hosting the event.


Projected Scoring (based on seasonal bests):


1. Boise State 192

2. Cal State-Northridge 103

3. Utah State 89

4. Idaho 70

4. Louisiana Tech 70

Projected Scoring by Event:

Boise State (60 Meters 9, 60 Meter Hurdles 2, 200 Meters 18, 400 Meters 18, 800 Meters 4, Mile 22, 3000 Meters 11, 5000 Meters 10, 1600 Meter Relay 10, Distance Medley Relay 10, High Jump 16, Pole Vault 10, Long Jump 10, Triple Jump 6, Shot Put 10, Weight Throw 22, Heptahlon 4)

Cal State-Northridge (60 Meters 2, 60 Meter Hurdles 14, 200 Meters 1, 400 Meters 6, 800 Meters 6, Mile 6, 5000 Meters 4, 1600 Meter Relay 6, Distance Medley Relay 6, High Jump 2, Pole Vault 10, Long Jump 12, Triple Jump 18, Heptathlon 10)

Idaho (400 Meters 1, 800 Meters 10, 3000 Meters 8, 1600 Meter Relay 8, Distance Medley Relay 4, Pole Vault 1, Long Jump 6, Triple Jump 4, Shot Put 13, Weight Throw 8, Heptathlon 7)

Louisiana Tech (60 Meters 10, 60 Meter Hurdles 14, 200 Meters 8, 800 Meters 11, Mile 2, 3000 Meters 6, 5000 Meters 2, 1600 Meter Relay 2, Distance Medley Relay 2, Long Jump 3, Shot Put 8, Heptathlon 2)

Utah State (60 Meters 10, 60 Meter Hurdles 1, 200 Meters 4, 400 Meters 6, Mile 1, 3000 Meters 6, 5000 Meters 15, 1600 Meter Realy 4, Distance Medley Relay 8, High Jump 13, Pole Vault 10, Triple Jump 2, Weight Throw 1, Heptathlon 8)



Louisiana Tech 119

2. Utah State 100

3. Cal State-Northridge 88

4. Idaho 82

5. Nevada 79

6. Boise State 79

7. New Mexico State 47

8. Hawai'i 38

9. Fresno State 29

Projected Scoring by Event:

Boise State (60 Meters 2, 400 Meters 14, 800 Meters 1, Mile 6, 3000 Meters 13, 1600 Meter Relay 8, Distance Medley Relay 8, High Jump 5, Pole Vault 1, Long Jump 8, Triple Jump 8, Weight Throw 5)

Cal State-Northridge (60 Meters 11, 60 Meter Hurdles 13, 200 Meters 13, 800 Meters 2, 5000 Meters 8, 1600 Meter Relay 5, Distance Medley Relay 5, Long Jump 5, Shot Put 5, Weight Throw 3, Pentathlon 18)

Fresno State (60 Meters 1, 1600 Meter Relay 1, Distance Medley Relay 6, Long Jump 5, Triple Jump 5, Shot Put 5, Weight Throw 4, Pentathlon 2)

Hawai'i (Mile 1, 3000 Meters 6, 5000 Meters 3, Distance Medley Relay 1, High Jump 12, Pole Vault 6, Weight Throw 10)

Idaho (60 Meter Hurdles 3, 200 Meters 1, 800 Meters 10, Mile 10, 3000 Meters 14, 5000 Meters 10, 1600 Meter Relay 2, Distance Medley Relay 10, Pole Vault 15, Triple Jump 6, Weight Throw 1)

Louisiana Tech (60 Meters 25, 200 Meters 22, 400 Meters 25, 800 Meters 5, 1600 Meter Relay 10, Long Jump 16, Triple Jump 3, Shot Put 13)

New Mexico State (60 Meter Hurdles 6, 3000 Meters 2, 5000 Meters 8, 1600 Meter Relay 3, Distance Medley Relay 2, Long Jump 4, Triple Jump 10, Shot Put 10, Weight Throw 2)

Nevada (60 Meter Hurdles 4, 200 Meters 3, 800 Meters 11, Mile 8, 5000 Meters 4, 1600 Meter Relay 4, Distance Medley Relay 3, High Jump 7, Pole Vault 2, Triple Jump 7, Shot Put 6, Weight Throw 14, Pentathlon 6)

Utah State (60 Meter Hurdles 13, 800 Meters 10, Mile 14, 3000 Meters 4, 5000 Meters 5, 1600 Meter Relay 6, Distance Medley Relay 4, High Jump 15, Pole Vault 15, Long Jump 1, Pentathlon 13)


Here is the entire schedule for the WAC Championships:


Wednesday, February 22
Heptathlon (day 1)
5:00 – 60 meters (m)
6:00 – Long Jump (m)
7:00 – Shot Put (m)
8:10 – High Jump (m)

Thursday, February 23
Pentathlon (day 1)/ Heptathlon (day 2)
4:15 – 60-meter Hurdles (w)
4:30 – 60-meter Hurdles (m)
5:00 – High Jump (w)
5:20 – Pole Vault (m)
7:00 – Shot Put (w)
7:40 – 1,000 meters (m)
8:10 – Long Jump (w)
9:00 – 800 meters (w)

Friday, February 24
Track Events (all events Prelims)
5:00 – 60-meter Hurdles (m)
5:10 – 60-meter Hurdles (w)
5:20 – Mile (m)
5:30 – Mile (w)
5:45 – 400 meters (m)
5:55 – 400 meters (w)
6:05 – 60 meters (m)
6:15 – 60 meters (w)
6:25 – 800 meters (m)
6:35 – 800 meters (w)
6:50 – 200 meters (m)
7:05 – 200 meters (w)
7:20 – 5,000 meters (m) Final
7:40 – 5,000 meters (w) Final
8:05 – Distance Medley Relay (m) Final
8:20 – Distance Medley Relay (w) Final

Field Events (all field events are Finals)
5:00 – Weight Throw (w)
5:00 – Long Jump (w)
5:00 – Long Jump (m)
6:00 – Pole Vault (w)
6:30 – Shot Put (m)
7:00 – High Jump (m)

Saturday, February 25th
Track Events (all events Finals)
5:00 – Mile (m)
5:10 – Mile (w)
5:20 – 60-meter Hurdles (m)
5:30 – 60-meter Hurdles (w)
5:40 – 400 meters (m) (two sections)
5:50 – 400 meters (w) (two sections)
6:00 – 60 meters (m)
6:05 – 60 meters (w)
6:10 – 800 meters (m)
6:20 – 800 meters (w)
6:30 – 200 meters (m) (two sections)
6:40 – 200 meters (w) (two sections)
6:50 – 3,000 meters (m)
7:00 – 3,000 meters (w)
7:15 – 4X400 Meter Relay (m) (two sections)
7:30 – 4X400 Meter Relay (w) (two sections)

Field Events (all field events are Finals)
3:00 – High Jump (w)
5:00 – Triple Jump (m)
5:00 – Triple Jump (w)
5:45 – Weight Throw (m)
6:15 – Shot Put (w)
6:30 – Pole Vault (m)



TICKET INFO: Call the Boise State ticket office at (208) 426-4737
All-Session Tickets:
Adults - $25 for an all-session pass (four days)
Students/Youth - $12
Senior Citizens - $15

Single-Session Tickets: Heptathlon and Pentathlon (Feb. 22-23)
Adults - $7
Students/Youth/Senior Citizens - $4

Single-Session Tickets: Feb. 24-25
Adults - $10
Students/Youth/Senior Citizens - $6

HOTELS: There are several hotels in the Boise area.
DoubleTree Riverside (208) 331-4913
Red Lion Downtown (208) 383-2990
DoubleTree Club (208) 489-1075
Courtyard by Marriott (208) 422-2241
Red Lion Suites (208) 755-2241
Holiday Inn (208) 343-4900
Hampton Inn and Suites (208) 442-0036

DIRECTIONS TO JACKSONS TRACK (from airport): Take I-84 West (16.25 miles) to Nampa. Take the Franklin Road exit, North (.25) miles. Make a right (East) and continue .25 miles to the Idaho Sports Center.

CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM: The Program will be available online one week prior to the Championship.

CHAMPIONSHIP MANUAL: The Manual will be available online one month prior to the Championship.

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