Blue Thunder. Orange Lightning. The Perfect Bronco Storm has definitely begun. Last year, the Boise State football team shocked the world in beating mightly Oklahoma. This year, the Broncos are compiling the best winter sports season in school history.
2008 will go down as the best winter sports year for Boise
State in school history. It will be the benchmark in which all future
Bronco teams will aspire to. No less
than four Boise State
teams are currently ranked in the national top 25 in their respective sports
and two other teams are in the thick of the race for Western Athletic
Conference titles. While drivers throughout
the West have struggled with snow, blowing snow and icy roads, Boise
State is winning like never before.
Bronco men's track team leads the way, ranked #4 in the country by the United
States Track and Field Coaches. Boise
State is behind only Arkansas,
Tennessee and Oklahoma. Boise State triple jumper Ryan Grinnell
owns the best triple jump in the nation with a leap of 53 feet, 9.75 inches and
has already qualified for the NCAA Championships. Grinnell also has set provisional qualifying marks
of 7'6" in the high jump and 25-1 in the long jump. Simon Wardhaugh (69-7) and Jarrod Stevens
(66-8.75) both set provisional marks in the weight throw. Wardhaugh ranks second in the nation in the
event while Stevens is seventh. Savvas
Diakonikolas recorded two more standards--in the long jump with the second best
mark in Bronco indoor history 25.748 feet and in the triple jump with a leap of
In addition, Heigo Nurmsalu is
the new #1 in the school record book for the heptathlon, as the sophomore
accumulated 5,332 points.
gymnasts are #18 in the nation as ranked by GymInfo. Individually, Lindsay Ward is ranked 22nd
in the uneven bars, Hannah Redmon is 27th on floor exercises and Amy
Glass is ranked #32 in vault.
The Bronco wrestling
team is ranked 21st by W.I.N.
Magazine and is 28th in InterMat's latest rankings. Kirk Smith is ranked 9th in the
nation by Intermat in the 184-pound division, Adam Hall is 11th in
the 149-pound division, Tyler Sherfey is 12th at 157 pounds and Kurt
Swartz is 16th at 165.
Coach Greg Patton's indoor tennis team is ranked #25 in the
nation by College Tennis Online. The Broncos are one of 16 teams competing in the National Indoor Tennis Championship in two weeks. Clancy Shields is ranked as the 19th
best player in America,
with brother Luke Shields 47th.
Paul Koenke and Eric Roberson are ranked 41st in doubles.
Plus, you have two strong contenders for WAC titles in the Boise
State men's and women's basketball
teams. The Bronco men are 16-5 this
season, behind only Utah State
in the WAC. Boise
State leads the nation in field
goal percentage, shooting 51.6%, and is ranked ninth nationally in both scoring (83.1 points per game) and
assists (18.3 per game). Forwards Reggie Larry and Matt Nelson are the #2
rebounding duo in the nation. The Boise
State women's team is 15-6, also
second in the WAC and just one-half game behind Fresno
State. The Lady Broncos are 23rd in scoring (74.2 points per game) and 16th
in three-pointers per game (7.0).
In 2008, all six sports are performing ahead or near their
all-time best. The Bronco track team's
best finish at the NCAA Championships was eighth in 1988, the best gymnastics
finish was 14th in the country in 1997 and the best tennis finish
was #4 in 1997. The Bronco women's
basketball team has won three conference titles in 1992, 1994 and 2006 and went
to the NCAA's in 1994 and last season.
The Boise State
men's basketball team enjoyed their best season in 1987-88, winning the Big Sky
and ranking as high as 23rd in the country.
Bronco success in each of these sports is not new. What is different is that all of these Boise
State teams are enjoying success
simultaneously. There are several
reasons that the first effects of the Perfect Bronco Storm are starting to be
felt. As the area has grown, the Broncos
have attracted more fans and more dollars to reinvest in the program. Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier has
positioned high-quality coaches heading each team. The 2007 Fiesta Bowl win by the football team
and the national notoriety that it attracted certainly has had an effect. A commitment to summer school scholarships
set in place five years ago has paid great dividends.
Last year, the Bronco women's basketball team and the men's
tennis team won WAC titles (with the tennis team ranked #16), but the men's
basketball team finished fifth, the wrestling squad was ninth in the Pac-10 and
the gymnastics team finished last in the WAC.
In 1997, the Boise State tennis team was ranked as high as
#2 in the nation, the Bronco gymnasts won the Big Sky and were ranked 14th
in the country and the men's basketball team finished fourth in the Big
West. In 1999, the Bronco wrestling team
was second in the Pac-10 and finished 10th nationally and the Boise
State gymnasts and men's basketball
team came home with conference titles.
In 2004, Boise State
won the Pac-10 in wrestling was ranked 30th in men's tennis and
finished third in men's basketball. The
Bronco gymnasts, however, were seventh that season while the women's basketball
team was ninth. In 2006, the Boise
State tennis team was ranked 28th
and the Boise State
wrestling and gymnastics teams won league titles, but the women's basketball
team was sixth in the WAC and the men's basketball team was seventh.
We are a month or two from finding out where each of the
2008 Bronco teams will finish the year in the conference standings and national
championships. All have legitimate title
hopes and berths in national tournaments.
The new motto at Boise State
should be "When the snow falls, Bronco success goes up!"