Jons, Braden & Francis at NCAA Nationals

Boise State's Mattias Jons, Keron Francis and Forest Braden will try to make some noise this weekend at the NCAA National Track & Field Championships. Inside, a preview of the event in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo provided by Foto208.com. Story and photo copyrighted by BroncoCountry.com

Boise State All-Americans Mattias Jons, Forest Braden and, Keron Francis will compete tomorrow and Saturday in the NCAA National Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Jons finished second in the hammer at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships. He has broken his own school record in the weight throw several times this year, with his best throw being 72 feet, 4.5 inches, the seventh best in the nation. Jons is scheduled to compete Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Virginia Tech's 1-2 punch of freshman Mohsen Anani (75-3.5) and Spyridon Jullien (77-6.5) are predicted to take the top two places, followed by Auburn's Cory Martin (73-03) and Jons. Anani and Jullien easily were the class of the field in the Atlantic Coast Conference Track & Field Championships, with throws more than six feet longer than the next competitor. Jullien won both the national title in both the weight throw and the javelin a year ago.

Braden, who repeated his Western Athletic Conference title in the 5,000 meter run two weeks ago, is slated to take the track tomorrow at 6:50 Mountain time. Braden has the ninth best time in the nation in the event, achieved in a school record-setting time of 13:47.73. Braden will be no stranger to Fayetteville--he captured All-America honors last year when he finished ninth in the 3,000.

Robert Chesaret of Arizona has the best time in the 5,000 this season, with Wisconsin junior Chris Solinsky (13:45.88) and Josphat Bolt of host Arkansas right behind. Despite his ninth-best time, Braden is not predicted to finish in the top twelve by Trackwire.com. Chesaret is the defending champion at the NCAA's, running a 13:49.85 last year.


Francis also earned All-America in the javelin in the 2004 outdoor championships. He'll compete in the long jump scheduled for 5 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Francis is a three-time WAC champion in the event--his best leap is 25-2.75, 14th best in the country. Francis was named one of the league's top performers at the WAC Indoor Championships last month as he won the heptathlon and long jump, finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the pole vault.

The long jump favorites are Fabrice Lapierre of Texas A & M (26-1), with Florida's Mike Morrison and Greig Cryer of South Carolina close behind.

Arkansas is favored to repeat its title on the men's side while Texas gets the nod for the women. Boise State is not predicted to finish in the national top 25 this weekend by Trackwire. The complete Top 25 appears below.

Good luck to the great trio of Broncos this weekend!

 

1. Arkansas, 59;

2. Florida State, 49;

3. LSU, 41;

4. Texas, 37;

t5. Florida, 26;

t5. Baylor, 26;

7. Wisconsin, 25;

8. Tennessee, 24;

t9. Oregon, 21;

t9. Arizona, 21;

t11. Kansas, 19;

t11. Virginia Tech, 19;

13. Iona, 18;

14. Michigan, 15;

t15. TCU, 14;

t15. Oral Roberts, 14;

t17. Nebraska, 13;

t17. Kansas State, 13;

t17. South Carolina, 13;

t20. UCLA, 12;

t20. Texas A&M, 12;

t20. BYU, 12;

23. Stanford, 11;

t24. Minnesota, 9;

t24. Texas Tech, 9;

t24. Alabama, 9;

t24. Auburn, 9.


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