Fifteen Boise State seniors will make their final home appearance of their careers this weekend as the Broncos host the YMCA Invitational at Bronco Stadium. This has been one of the most outstanding senior classes in the history of Boise State, as this group has won three All-American awards and nine Western Athletic Conference Championships and set four Bronco records.
This weekend's meet will also feature former Boise State All-American and Olympian Jared Rome as well as a full schedule of middle and high school events and will be the final major tune-up for the Bronco team before they travel to Honolulu for the WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships May 10-13.
Open and university field events start on Friday at 2:00 p.m., with the open and university running events beginning at 6:45 p.m. Saturday's open and university schedule begins at 11:50 a.m. with the running events, and 2:15 p.m. with the field events.
The 15 Bronco seniors and their accomplishments:
Keron Francis (LeSagesse, Grenada)
A four-time WAC Champion who earned All-American honors in the javelin at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor National Championships where he finished fourth with a personal best of 243 feet, two inches. Francis captured the WAC long jump title three times (two indoor and one outdoor) and earlier this year won the WAC Indoor Heptathlon. He finished 14th in the long jump (22-7.00) at this year's NCAA National Indoor Championships.
Francis destroyed the rest of the WAC field by scoring 33 points in helping Boise State win the WAC Indoor Championship this year. He not only won the heptahlon and the long jump but also finished second in the triple jump (48-9.50) and third in the pole vault (13-11.25). Francis has the second best throw in the nation this year in the javelin at 242 feet, three inches, achieved while winning the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley. He was 4th in the long jump (23-6.25) at the Stanford Invitational earlier this year and won the long jump at the United Heritage Invitational. Francis won the long jump was third in the pole vault and even ran the 60-meter hurdles at the Hampton Inn Classic, finishing 2nd.
In 2004, Francis was second in the WAC in the javelin behind Bronco record holder Gabe Wallin.
Francis is set to throw the javelin Friday afternoon at 2:15.
Mattias Jons (Bjuraker, Sweden)
Jons is a two-time NCAA All-American and three-time WAC Champion who has shattered existing Bronco records in the hammer (230-8) and 35-pound weight throw (72-4.5). He earned All-America awards in the hammer at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, finishing second, and at this year's Indoor Championships where he finished sixth in the weight throw. He won league titles in the weight throw twice and once for the hammer. Jons owns the third best collegiate hammer throw in the country with his 230 feet, 8-inch toss.
This season, Jons won the hammer at the Oregon Invitational and the Pepsi Invitational and the weight throw and the shot put at both the Hampton Inn Classic (53-7.00) and the Athletes Invitational.
In 2005, Jons finished fifth in the shot put with a mark of 51-7. Outdoors he also placed fifth in the shot put and javelin with marks of 53-9.25 and 188-2, respectively.
Jons quickly established himself as one of Boise State's all-time throwers his first season in 2004, setting at the time a school record in the 35-pound weight throw at 66-1.0. His record throw came at the WAC Indoor Championships where he placed second, which was also a NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Jons also scored points for Boise State in the shot put with a fourth place mark of 53-2.75.
Jons will compete in the hammer Friday afternoon at 2.
Staffan Jonsson (Malmo, Sweden)
Jonsson is ranked 5th in the nation in the discus after his 195-11 throw last weekend at the Triton Invitational. His throw of 195-1 won the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento earlier this year. Jonsson finished 2nd both at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational and the Stanford Invitational and was 4th in the discus and 7th in the shot put at the Pepsi Invitational (47-1.50) and 5th in the shot put at the Holiday Inn Invitational (53-5.75). He also placed 3rd in the weight throw (63-2.00) at the WAC Indoor Championships for the Broncos and achieved his personal best in the event finishing 2nd at the Athletes Invitational with a throw of 65-6.25).
Jonsson won the Swedish national championship in the discus last year and was fourth at the WAC Outdoor Championships in both the discus and hammer.
In 2004, he posted at the time the second best 35-pound weight throw in Boise State history with a toss of 61-10.25 at the WAC Indoor Championships, finishing third.
In 2003, he qualified for the NCAA National Championship in the discus. Jonsson placed fourth in the shot put and eighth in the weight at the WAC Indoor Championships and scored 13 points at the WAC Outdoor Championships in three events. His best finish came in the discus where he placed third with a throw of 180-11. He also placed fourth in the shot put and seventh in the hammer with a toss of 166-5.
Jonsson will compete in the shot put Saturday afternoon at 2:15.
Andre Summers (Washington, D.C.)
Won the WAC 100-meter dash in 2004 (10.55) and was 5th at the WAC Indoor Championships that year in the 200 (22.02). He finished 8th in the 60-meter dash in 2005.
This season, Summers won the 60-meters at the Hampton Inn Classic and finished 2nd to teammate Antoine Echols in the 200 meters last week at the Oregon Invitational (22.21) and in the Hampton Inn Classic. He also finished 4th in the 100 at the Pepsi Invitational this year in Eugene (10.89).
In 2004, he set a personal best in the 100 of 10.48, the third-fastest time in school history. Summers was a member of both outdoor relay teams helping the Broncos set a school record in the 4x100-meter relay with a time of 40.20. The 4x400-meter relay team posted a season best time of 3:10.74, which was the second fastest in school history. Both relay teams scored at the conference meet with the 4x100-meter relay team finishing second and the 4x400-meter relay team finishing third. He was the Broncos' fastest short sprinter indoors, running the 60-meters in 6.76, the third fastest in school history. He finished fourth at the WAC Indoor Championships in the 60-meter dash and was on the Broncos' 4x400-meter relay team that also placed fourth at conference.
Robin Nixon (Victor, Montana)
Robin Nixon captured the 5,000-meter run at this year's WAC Indoor Championships and owns the Bronco school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:30.98). She was also 3rd in the 3,000 meters at the Hornet Invitational (10:11.64) and 5th at the WAC Indoor Championships (10:06.20) and won the United Heritage Invitational.
Last year, Nixon led the Broncos in three different events. She ran the mile in 5:03.35, the 3,000 meters in 10:01.77 and the 5,000 meters in 17:34.65, which ranks second on the all-time indoor list at Boise State. Her 5,000-meter time enabled Nixon to place sixth at the WAC Indoor championships.
In 2004, Nixon qualified for the NCAA Regionals in the steeplechase with a time of 10:36.11. She scored 14 team points for Boise State in the WAC Outdoor Championships, placing second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:15.79, and third in the steeplechase with a time of 10:45.43.
Nixon's school record time in the steeplechase qualified her for the NCAA Outdoor National Championship as a freshman.
Antoine Echols (Blytheville, Arkansas)
Echols had NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 200 meters in both 2004 and 2005.
Echols won the 200 meters at the Oregon Invitational last week (21.18) and finished 2nd at the WAC Indoor Championships earlier in the year. He also won both the 60-meter dash and the 200 at the United Heritage Invitational, and the 200 at the Athletes Invitational and the Hampton Inn Classic and finished 2nd at the Holiday Inn Invitational. Echols was 3rd in the 200 meters and 4th in the 400 at the Pepsi Invitational and was 2nd in the 400 at the Hornet (48.52). He also placed 6th in the 400 and 7th in the 100 meters at the Stanford Invitational.
In 2005, Echols scored 20 points in the WAC Indoor Championships with runner-up finishes in the 200 (21.30) and 400 (48.00) meters dashes and a fifth place in the 60-meter dash (6.93).
At the WAC Indoor Championships in 2004, he scored points in three different events highlighted by a second place finish in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.11 which ranks him second on Boise State's all-time indoor list. Echols' 11.25 points helped the Broncos win the 2004 Indoor Championship. At the league outdoor meet, Echols helped the 4x100-meter relay team finish second with a school record time of 40.20. He also ran on the 4x400-meter relay team that placed third with a time of 3:10.74, the second fastest in school history. Both marks qualified the relay teams for the NCAA Regional Championships.
Lee Marks (Reseda, California)
A star both in the community and for the Bronco football team at halfback, Marks certainly didn't have to do anything else to win the hearts of Bronco fans. He's already done that. But Marks wanted to run track and contribute for the Bronco team this season. He was 3rd at the Hampton Inn Classic (7.16) and was 7th at the Athletes Invitational and 12th at the United Heritage Invitational.
Eric Matthias (Tortola, British V.I.)
Matthias was 4th in the weight throw at the WAC at the Indoor Championships this year (61-5.50) and achieved his season best with a third-place finish at the Athletes Invitational (61-7.50). Matthias also finished 8th in the discus at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento (162-9).
In 2005, Eric set a personal best in the weight throw with a mark of 62-5.75 in finishing second at the WAC Indoor Championships. That was also a NCAA provisional qualifying mark. His top throw in the shot put was 52-4.75.
In his first season for Boise State in 2004, Matthias scored points in the WAC Indoor Championships in the shot with a throw of 49-9 and scored Boise State's top discus throw at 170-1 that qualified him for the NCAA West Regional Championships. Then, he moved outdoors and placed eight in the shot with a season best mark of 50-6.75 and seventh in the hammer with another season best throw of 149-6.
Mark Welsh (Manzanita, Oregon)
Letter winner and distance runner for the Broncos
Roger White (Priest River, Idaho)
White won the triple jump at the Holiday Inn Invitational (46-10.25) and finished 3rd in the triple jump and 4th in the high jump at this year's Brutus Hamilton Invitational. He set a season best in the high jump when he finished 2nd at the Hampton Inn Classic (6-8.25) and was 4th at the Athletes Invitational (6-7.50). White also finished 6th in the high jump at the Pepsi Invitational (6-5.50).
Roger enjoyed his best season in 2005. During the indoor season he recorded a personal best in the high jump 6-10.75 and led the Broncos with a long jump of 22-7.0 and triple jump of 46-7.25. White scored in all three events at the WAC Indoor Championships scoring a total of 15 points. His best finish was second in the high jump. White also placed fifth in the long jump and sixth in the triple jump. He again scored team points at the WAC Outdoor Championships with a fourth place finish in the high jump.
Competing in the WAC Indoor Championships as a sophomore, White tied for fifth in the high jump and finished eighth in the triple jump
Tess Collins (St. Maries, Idaho)
Collins finished second in the 800 meters at the Hampton Inn Classic, third at the Athletes Invitational and was set a personal best in the event (2:20.58) in finishing ninth at the United Heritage Invitational earlier this year.
Cari Gunstream (Glendora, California)
Gunstream was 6th in the weight throw at the Athletes Invitational this year and seventh at the Holiday Inn Invitational. She finished 20th at the WAC Indoor Championships with her career best of 48-5.25. She set a personal best in the hammer at the Stanford Invitational with a throw of156-8. Gunstream also finished 8th at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational.
Gunstream's top mark in the 20-pound weight throw last year was 48-1.75 at the United Heritage Invitational. Outdoors, her best throw in the hammer was 152-2 at the NNU Last Chance Meet.
Jackieann Morain (St Davids, Grenada)
Morain has been the most consistent of the Bronco runners throughout her career. She set the Indoor 400-meter school record, running the Jackson's track in 54.65 seconds. Morain finished second in the WAC Indoor Championships earlier this year in the 400. She also finished a close second to an Ohio State runner at the Oregon Invitational last week and was 2nd at the Holiday Inn Invitational, 2nd at the United Heritage Invitational, 2nd at the Athletes Invitational, 3rd at the Pepsi Invitational, 3rd at the Hornet Invitational and 7th at the Stanford Invitational.
Morain set her indoor record at the 2005 WAC Championships where she placed third. That broke the 11-year-old record of 55.51 set by Marti Arguelles in 1994. Morain also posted the team's top time in the 200-meters last year at 25.67.
In 2004, Jackieann was Boise State's top 400-meter runner posting season-best times of 55.95 during the indoor season and 55.24 outdoors when she placed sixth at the WAC Championships. She also ran the 200 in 25.60.
Faith Smith (Chudleigh, Jamaica)
Smith Finished 7th in 800 meters at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational this year in Berkeley with a time of 2:20.32.
In 2005, Smith suffered an injury that has affected her since, but she did manage to record a 400-meter time of 58.70 in the United Heritage Invitational.
In 2004, she recorded Boise State's top time in the 60-meter dash at 7.82 and second fastest times in the 200 and 400-meter dashes at 25.03 and 57.11, respectively. She also ran the anchor leg on the 4x400-meter relay team that had a season best time of 3:47.93 and placed sixth at the WAC Indoor Championships. Her top sprint marks during the outdoor season were 25.27 at 200-meters and 56.26 at 400-meters. Her 400-meter time came at the WAC Outdoor Championships where she placed 10th. Smith also ran on both relay teams her sophomore season. She anchored the 4x100-meter relay team that had a season best time of 48.17 and ran the second leg of the 4x400-meter relay team that posted a season best time of 3:46.99. Both relay teams scored at the league's outdoor meet with the 4x100-meter team finishing seventh and 4x400-meter squad placing sixth.
Kacie Whitsitt (New Plymouth, Idaho)
Whitsitt is a letter winner for the Broncos in the jumps.