Sixteen athletes from Boise State will be competing in 19 events at the 2006 West Regional Track and Field Championships in Provo, Utah this weekend. The top five finishers in each event at the NCAA West Regional immediately advanced to the NCAA Championships. The next three finishers in each race are eligible for an at-large berth to the Championships. USC is projected to win the team scoring in the men's competition with 113 points, followed by BYU at 99. Arizona State is next with 86 projected points, followed by Oregon (69), Arizona (64), UCLA (57), Washington State (43), Washington (42) and Boise State in ninth with 27 points. The Broncos are projected to finish 2nd only to BYU among those outside the PAC-10 Conference, and in fact go into the meet expected to score more than Stanford, Oregon State and Cal from the PAC-10.
Boise State's Keron Francis (with a season best of 73.85 meters) is the favorite in the javelin by more than two meters. Francis' closest competition should come from Arizona junior Saku Kuusisto (71.53), Washington senior Juan Romero (71.29) and California freshman Ryan Young (70.98) and senior Paul Teinert (70.28). Nate Putnam of the Broncos is seeded eighth (68.35) while teammate Scott Viafore is seeded 15th (65.57).
Francis is also seeded 16th in the long jump with a seasonal best of 7.38 meters. The long jump will begin Friday afternoon at 3 while competition in the javelin will begin Saturday at 4:30 P.M.
Mattias Jons is favored in the hammer throw with a top mark of 70.3 meters. USC sophomore Adam Midles is seeded second in the event, 3.5 meters behind Jons. Boldizsar Kocsor, a freshman from UCLA is third (66.77), followed by Irvine senior Michael Beerer (65.76). Boise State freshman Simon Wardhaugh is seeded seventh in the hammer with a top throw of 63.87 meters. The hammer competition will kick off this weekend's Regional Championships Friday at 11 A.M.
Staffan Jonsson is seeded fifth in the discus, with a season best of 59.71 meters. Arizona junior Adam Kuehl (63.89 meters) is favored to win, followed by BYU's Niklas Arrhenius (63.47), Arizona senior Sean Shields (61.18) and Washington's Will Conwell (60.98). The discus is slated to begin at 4 Friday afternoon.
Antoine Echols, one of two Broncos who qualified for the Regionals in two events, is seeded 11th in the 400 meters with a top time of 47.22 seconds and 15th in the 200 (21.18). Qualifying for the 400 meters is Friday afternoon at 5:25 with Echols having to follow that up at 6 in his 200-meter qualifying heat.
Ty Axtman has a 5,000-meter time of 14:04.46--which is just four seconds away from scoring points this weekend. Axtman will run in the finals Friday night at 6:45. Fellow long-distance runner Wijnand Rijkenberg (seeded 17th) goes into the Regionals with a time just two seconds away from eighth place in the 1,500. Rijkenberg has a seasonal best of 3:46.02 and will attempt to qualify for the finals in his heat scheduled for Friday afternoon at 2:45.
Sterling Small will be competing in two events this weekend; he's seeded 16th in the 110 meter hurdles (qualifying Friday at 3:15 P.M.) and 18th in the 400 meter hurdles (qualifying Friday at 4:55). Boise State junior Erik Whitsitt is seeded 23rd in the shot put and will compete in the finals Saturday at 1 P.M.
Among the Bronco women, sensational freshman Eleni Kafourou is seeded third in triple jump and fourth in the long jump. Kafourou has a top triple jump of 13.18 meters this season, and she'll battle Stanford sophomore Erica Mclain (13.84m), Northern Arizona junior Monique Young (13.28) and Oregon senior Lauryn Jordan (13.17) for first place this weekend. Kafourou has cleared a distance of 6.31 meters this season in the long jump, where Mclain is the favorite (6.53 meters). Other competitors expected to challenge for the Regional Championship in the event are Jordan (6.38) and UCLA sophomore Renee Williams (6.33).
The long jump finals are scheduled for Friday at noon with the triple jump contested Saturday afternoon at 3.
Jackieann Moraine of Boise State is seeded ninth in the 400 meters with a top time of 53.45 seconds. Morain will attempt to qualify Friday afternoon at 3:115. Eleni Ypsilanti is seeded11th in the hammer and Annika Hjelm is seeded 16th--both Broncos will compete in the finals Saturday morning at 10. Bronco junior Becky Guyette is 17th in the 5,000 with a seasonal best of 16:40.65. Guyette's final is slated for Friday night at 6:20.
Projected Men's Team Scoring:
USC 113 points
Arizona State 86
Washington State 43
Boise State 27
Long Beach State 20
Weber State 17
Cal State-Fullerton 9
Northern Arizona 6
Sacramento State 6
Cal State-Northridge 6
Cal Poly-SLO 4
Portland State 4
Santa Barbara 4
Idaho State 2
Number of men's entries in the West Regionals:
BYU 37, USC 33, Arizona State 32, Oregon 30, UCLA 29, Arizona 28, Washington 21, California 17, Stanford 16, Long Beach State 14, Boise State 14, Washington State 14, Cal State-Northridge 12, Southern Utah 10, Weber State 9, Santa Barbara 9, Cal Poly-SLO 8, Utah State 8, Idaho 8, Irving 8, Sacramento State 7, Fullerton State 7, Eastern Washington 6, Fresno State 6, Idaho State 5, Portland State 4, Northern Arizona 3, Portland 3, Riverside 1