Bronco Track Team Roars On At United Heritage

Coach Mike Maynard's Boise State track team was on full display yesterday in Nampa as three Broncos set school records and two others recorded NCAA provisional standards.

The fourth-ranked Boise State track team continues to shine.  Three Broncos set school records yesterday at the United Heritage Invitational in Nampa while two others joined the growing list of NCAA provisional qualifiers.

Simon Wardhaugh and Jarrod Stevens both set personal bests in achieving NCAA provisional status in the 35-pound weight throw yesterday.  Wardhaugh heaved the weight 69-feet, seven-inches, topping his mark of 69-5.5 set at the Jackson's Open in December.  That is good for second in the nation this season and just 11 ½ inches shy of an automatic mark.  Stevens finished third in the event with a mark of 66-8.75, which ranks seventh in the country.  Libor Carfrietag of the Slovak Republic won the event with an incredible throw of 82-10, just two feet short of the world record.            

Super transfer Ryan Grinnell blew away his own nation's best mark in the triple jump by soaring 53-9.75.  The feat was more than five inches better than his jump last week at the Blue and Orange Classic that earned him national attention. 

Savvas Diakonikolas  won the long jump with a mark of 25.748, beating Anthony Flemons and Lyle Leong of Texas Tech.  Diakonikolas, who set a provisional mark last week, is now just two inches short of an automatic invitation.  Teammate Zacharias Arnos was fourth in the event with a mark of 24-0.25 and finished second in the triple jump by clearing 49-9.75. 


Eleni Kafourou also set a provisional mark in winning the long jump yesterday with a mark of 20-feet, 3.75 inches, outdistancing the second-place finisher by nearly two feet.  Eleni is 6.25 inches away from an automatic berth in the NCAA's.  Kafourou continues to rewrite the record book herself.  She shattered her own school record of 42-8.75 in the triple jump with a sensational leap of 43-0.25 to win the event by nearly four feet.  Kafourou had already set a provisional mark in her first meet and is now just 6.05 inches away from an automatic invitation to the NCAA's. 

Heigo Nurmsalu is the new #1 in the school record book for the heptathlon, as the sophomore accumulated 5,332 points to place fifth.  Nurmsalu improved upon his Western Athletic Conference-best total of 5,032. 

Junior Annelise Bertleson eclipsed the school mark in the pole vault by clearing 12-feet, seven inches yesterday, breaking Alina Schimpf's record of 12-6 set two years ago.  Bertleson was just four inches short of a provisional qualifying mark and moved her into second place in the WAC this season.

 "I was really impressed with our team," said head coach Mike Maynard. "The entire team from the bottom to the top continued to improve."

As further evidence, five other Broncos set personal bests yesterday.  Nick Cunningham ran 21.71 in the 200, tops in the WAC this season.  Karleigh Gempler cut four seconds from her mile time by finishing in 5:21.4, Paige Olivetti ran 24.97 in the 200, 17/100th's of a second behind California's Kandi Bonty and Nataucha Lowry set personal bests in the 60 (7.73) and the 200 (24.98).  Lowry is three-tenths of a second off the provisional standard in the 60.   

Megan Olivetti finished second in th3 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.88 while Cody Eaton was third in the 800 (1:54.33) to California's Mark Matusak and Eric Lee. 

 "I feel our women's team is continuing to improve with each meet and each day of practice," said Maynard. "We continue to improve our times and marks and I really like our chances as we head into the WAC Championships in less than a month (Feb. 28)."  "I think our men's team has a really good shot at the WAC Indoor Championship," Maynard added. "We just need people to step up and fill in our depth to give this team a really chance at the team title.

The Boise State team has set a goal of breaking the school record for the highest finish at the NCAA National Championships.  That mark is held by the 1988 team that tied for seventh place. 

The Boise State University track and field teams will continue their season  next Friday and Saturday with the Bronco Invitational in Nampa, Idaho.


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