Bronco Track Teams Off To Quick Start

Seven Boise State athletes were victorious yesterday at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, the first meet of the 2007 outdoor track season. Six of those Broncos posted marks good enough to qualify them for the NCAA Regional Championships later this spring.

Boise State's track team is out to prove its showing at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships was no fluke.  Coach Mike Maynard's Broncos opened the outdoor season with seven individual wins at the Hornet Invitational yesterday in Sacramento.  More important, six of those winners qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships that will be hosted by the same track.

Annika Hjelm smashed the school record in the hammer throw by over two feet, by heaving the hammer 197-feet, 5-inches, outdistancing her closest competitor by over 21 feet and beating the meet record by eight feet.  Fresno State's Nicki Vizcarra-Gamboa was third (161-7), Nevada junior Inger Appanaitis took fourth (160 even) and California senior Alexandry Hunnings placed fifth (150-11). 

Five Bronco men also qualified for Regionals right out of the gate.  Junior Jarrod Stevens won the hammer with a toss of 206-10, the third best throw in school history.  Sophomore Simon Wardhaugh also qualified in the event with a mark of 206-1.  Erik Whitsett won the shot put with a throw of 60-1, while junior Scott Viafore will return to Regionals after winning the javelin yesterday with a throw of 216-9.  Pontus Thomee will join Viafore in the Regional javelin competition after qualifying with a throw of 205-4.

Senior Becky Guyette and sophomore Breanna Sande were 1-2 in the women's 1,500 meters.  Guyette finished in 4 minutes, 29.87 seconds, with Sande right behind her at 4:32.39.  Guyette broke the meet record set a year ago by a University of California runner by nearly two seconds. 

Ty Axtman captured the men's 1,500 with a time of 3:55.10, while Boise State's Sterling Small finished second in the 400-meter hurdles.  Sophomore Megan Olivetti took first in the women's 200 with a time of 24.78.  Olivetti was just 11 hundredths of a second off the meet record set a year ago.  Nevada's Shaina Wright (24.81) and Ciara McMillan (24.83) finished second and third, respectively. 

The Broncos compete in the Stanford Invitational next Saturday in Palo Alto, California


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