Four Broncos Win WAC Track Titles

Becky Guyette, Eleni Kafourou, Forest Braden and Jarrod Stevens all won at the WAC Track & Field Championships in Fresno yesterday. Coach Mike Maynard is hoping the rest of the team will join the party today. Both the Bronco men and women have a chance to win team titles, but it will take a complete effort and scoring in nearly every event today.

The Boise State women's track team received its expected performances from standouts Eleni Kafourou and Becky Guyette, but still the Broncos are in seventh place at the Western Athletic Conference Championships.  Depth continues to be an issue that might prevent Boise State from winning its first WAC title and helping the school win the Commissioner's Cup.

 

Idaho leads with 73 points to Nevada's 49.  The Moscow school is seven points under projection while the Wolf Pack are flying high with 13 more points than expected.  Hawai'i is in third with 36 points, followed by Utah State (31), Fresno State (29), favored Louisiana Tech (24), Boise State (22) and New Mexico State (9).  Tech is seven points under schedule, so if the Broncos can turn it on today they could still pull off an upset. 

 

The Nevada performance is another matter.  Boise State, which was projected to finish second behind Louisiana Tech, now has to make up 11 points just to tie Nevada.  To win the Cup, the Bronco women must finish three places higher than the Wolf Pack.  Given Nevada's extraordinary Friday, that is going to be tough. 

 

The Bronco men did not fare as well as expected on the first full day of competition.  Boise State, which needed to make up 50 points on favored Utah State, has 44 points heading into today's last day.  The Bronco total is six points less than projected.  The Aggies received 11 more points than expected and lead with 72 points.  Idaho is in second with 49 points, six less than expected.  Host Fresno State has 33 points to 19 for Louisiana Tech.

 

Kafourou, who won the triple jump at both the Indoor and Outdoor Championship last year, captured her first WAC title in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 4.5 inches.  Louisiana Tech freshman Latoya Collins was second (19-9.5) with teammate Christiana Tupper third (18-8).  Kafourou was the only Bronco entered in the event.  Thus, even though Boise State won the long jump, they were still outscored by Tech 14-10.  Nevada also had two jumpers score for a combined nine points.  Nevada is the school that Boise State has to defeat by three places in order to win the Cup.

Guyette won the WAC Championship tonight in the women's 10,000-meter run.  She won the event in 37 minutes, 13.07 seconds, over 18 seconds ahead of Idaho's Mandy Macalister.  Boise State junior Chaly Jones finished ninth place and junior Meadow Braden was 10th, both out of the scoring.  Idaho freshman Rhea Richter finished third while fellow Vandal freshman Melissa McFadden was seventh.  Again Boise State won the event, but was outscored, this time by Idaho 16-10.  

 

Senior Forest Braden continues to add accomplishments to his Boise State resume.  The distinguished Braden won the 10,000-meter run by nearly 20 seconds for the sixth WAC title of his Bronco career.  Braden finished the distance in 31 minutes, 11.66 seconds to best Utah State sophomore Seth Wold (31:31.64) and Zach Schuler of Louisiana Tech (32:27.80).  Boise State's Brandon Christoffersen finished sixth to pick up an additional point for Coach Mike Maynard's Broncos.

 

Jarrod Stevens topped teammate Simon Wardhaugh in the finals of the hammer throw.  Stevens' throw was measured at 218 feet, 10 inches to 210 feet for Wardhaugh.  The two combined for 18 team points in the event. 

 

Boise State's Anthony Thomas shocked the field with a third place finish in the high jump.  However, David Walden, the 3rd seed for Boise State, did not compete.  Utah State finished 1-2-5 in the event as Casey Parker took the title with a leap of 6-10.75.  Decathlon champion John Strang came back to collect second (6-8.75), edging Thomas, who cleared 6-6.75.  Heigo Nurmsalu of Boise State finished eighth. 

Zacharias Arnos was able to place 5th in the men's long jump today at the
WAC Track Championships.  Thomas was the 4th seed but finished out of the scoring.  Boise State lost two points in this event from the projected score.

 

The Broncos did fairly well in qualifying overall.  Sterling Small made a statement by putting up the top times in both hurdle events.  Here are the Bronco qualifying results:

 

 

MEN:
100--Marlon Douglas (6th fastest qualifying time)

200--Nick Cunningham qualified with the 7th best time, teammates Marlon Douglas and Johnnie Poole did not.

400--Sean Chaney-Waller qualified in the 400 but Kyle Christoffersen did not.    

800--Coach Maynard is up to his tricks again.  Somehow, the highly-regarded veteran coach finds a way to get his team extra points.  Today, long-distance runner Ty Axtman, one of the WAC's top athletes, ran in the 800-meters, an event he had not competed in before now.  All Axtman did was turn in the 2nd fastest qualifying time (1:52.72).  That by the way is the 4th fastest time in the WAC this season.  Cody Eaton also qualified with the fourth fastest qualifying time.  Craig Bown of Utah State, favored to get 5th, did not qualify.  Utah State is the projected favorite. 

110-meter hurdles--Sterling Small turned in the fastest qualifying time today.  Small is the #3 seed in the event.  

400-meter hurdles--Small also ran the fastest time in the long hurdles with 53.26.  Teammates Marc Bybee and Brian Archield also qualified.  Small is the 4th seed, neither Bybee nor Archield were expected to score points. 



WOMEN:
100--Megan Olivetti had the 8th best qualifying time

200--Megan Olivetti ran a 24.50 in the 200 for the 4th fastest qualifying time--it's Megan's best time of the year.  

400--Paige Olivetti was the 6th fastest qualifier in the 400 and Nerisha Phillip was 8th.  The bad news here is that Louisiana Tech had the five fastest times in the heats.  2nd seed Amber Peterson of Utah State did not enter the event. 

800--Kayleen McDowell (2nd fastest time), Leah Hover did not qualify.  Big news here--top seed Kali Baker of Nevada did not run.  Teammate Hannah Balkenbush, the 8th seed, did not run.  Further, Utah State's Jennie Twitchell (the 4th seed) did not run either.  Utah State will lose at least 3 points in this event. 

 

1,500--Breanna Sande and Kendra Hernandez both qualified for the finals of today's 1,500 meters.  4th seed Becky Guyette is not competing so she can run in the 5,000 and 10,000.  That puts pressure on the two remaining Broncos to score 8 points.

110-meter hurdles--Megan Olivetti qualified with the 7th best time.


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