WAC Indoor Track Championships Preview

The WAC Indoor Track Championships get underway Thursday night in Nampa and BroncoCountry has this exclusive preview.

Projections based on WAC standings show Utah State will get 163 points to 159 for Boise State, 130 for Idaho and 38 for Louisiana Tech.  The close race presents Bronco Coach Mike Maynard with many opportunities to make some moves.

 

Improvement by key Boise State entrants could make up the difference as well.  Marlon Douglas can finish fourth in the 60 meters by improving just 3/100th's of a second and with a 23/100th's of a second improvement in the 200 he can place sixth.  That's three extra points for the Broncos.  Nick Cunningham can add six points to the Bronco total by improving 2/10th's of a second in the 200 which will place him second.  Nick Taylor can gain a point by improving one second in the 400.  Kevin Higgs can gain a point in the 800 with an improvement of 2.3 seconds.

 

Brian Pierre can gain a point by improving 3.7 seconds in the mile, which traditionally has been a strong Boise State event.  Cody Eaton can gain four points by improving less than nine seconds in the 3,000, which would get him fourth.  Marc Bybee can gain a point by improving 3/10th's of a second in the 60-meter hurdles. 

 

Ryan Grinnell is one of the top high jumpers in the nation, but no other Bronco is on the top seven.  A better jump by Bybee, Jonathan Kulm or Heigo Nurmsalu would gain points as well.  Jarrod Stevens can place second in the weight throw with a toss of two-feet, two inches better than his season best and would gain four points for the Broncos. 

 

Since not everything will go according to plan next weekend, the Broncos need at least half of the 18 additional points possible in order to take home the WAC trophy.

 

For the Boise State women, they are projected to finish fifth.  Rather than have a goal of winning the WAC, unless a whole lot of factors break their way, the Lady Broncos should shoot for a more realistic third.  Idaho is the narrow favorite with 110 points to 109 for Utah State, 95 for Louisiana Tech, 89 for Hawai'i, 71 for Boise State, 70 for Fresno State, 47 for Nevada and 28 for New Mexico State.

 

The task to finish third for the women is much tougher than the men's hopes of taking first.  They have to make up 24 points on Louisiana Tech.  Here's how it might happen.  Nataucha Lowry can gain two points with a fourth place finish in the 60 meters, an improvement of 3/10th's of a second.  Megan Olivetti can gain four points in the 60-meter hurdles by improving 7/100th's of a second, one point in the 60 meters by improving 3/100th's of a second and another in the 200 by improving her time 9/100th's of a second.  Sister Paige can gain five points by improving her 200-meter time by 9/100th's.  Katherine Gallagher can gain two points with a 1.5-second improvement in the 800.  Karleigh Gempler can gain a point by lowering her mile time by 6.5 seconds.  Breanna Sande can gain another point by a 3.4 second improvement in the 3,000.  Heidi Dorling can gain another point with a four inch improvement in the pole vault.  The Boise State 4 x 400-meter relay team is seeded second, just .32 behind Louisiana Tech.  A win there over the Techsters would be a net gain of four points for the Broncos.   

 

Coach Maynard has proven as one of the top coaches in the nation that he can make magic on championship day with the right moves.  But his teams will have to make it close enough for their outstanding coach to be a factor. 

 

The 2008 WAC Indoor Track Championships get underway Thursday at Jackson's Track in Nampa.

 

An event-by-event analysis of the WAC Track Championships:

 

MEN

 

60-Meter Dash

1.  Silas Pimental—Utah State (6.81)

2.  Mike Coleman—Louisiana Tech (6.84)

3.  Albert Fullwood--Louisiana Tech (6.85)

4.  Mark Dillard—Louisiana Tech (6.96)

5.  John Strang—Utah State (6.97)

6.  Marlon Douglas—Boise State (6.99)

6.  Lamar Brown—Utah State (6.99)

6.  Deron Trotter—Louisiana Tech (6.99)

 

 

Analysis:  Coleman, Fullwood, Brown and Trotter have matched their season bests in over a month.  Boise State's Chances:  Douglas is just 3/10th's of a second from nailing down fourth place.  Boise State's chances of winning the WAC are much better if he can score points here.  Because of the projections, he needs to get at least sixth.  Nick Cunningham (7.05) is better at longer distances but he could sneak into the scoring to give the Broncos a bonus.  His experience—one of only three seniors in the top 11 could pay off.  Freshman Thomas Estlick (7.18), junior Eric Demers (7.26) and freshmen Cade Hulbert (7.29) and Blake Hadfield (7.32) are the other Broncos who have run the 60 this year.  Utah State is projected to score 13 points in this event to 1 for Boise State, more than their final margin of victory.  If Douglas and Cunningham finish ahead of Strang and Brown, this event alone could improve upon projections enough to give the Broncos the title.

 

200 Meters:

  1. Silas Pimental—Utah State (21.48)
  2. Albert Fullwood—Louisiana Tech (21.52)
  3. Mike Coleman—Louisiana Tech (21.63)
  4. Nick Karren—Utah State (21.66)
  5. Nick Cunningham—Boise State (21.71)
  6. Nick TaylorBoise State (21.79)

 

Analysis:  The top three is the same as in the 60 meters, although this will likely be between Pimental and Fullwood.  Boise State is projected to score three points here to 14 for Utah State, again more than the final projection of victory.  Cunningham has a real shot at third or fourth, as he is less than 1/10th of a point away from each spot.  Taylor's goal should be to beat Karren out for fifth place.  Other Broncos who have run the 200 are Douglas (22.01), Estlick (22.58), Hulbert (22.62) and Cody Buckendorf (22.74).  Douglas could sneak in for points here, something that would greatly help Boise State.

 

400 Meters:

1.  Albert Fullwood—Louisiana Tech (47.42)

2.  Nick Karren—Utah State (47.55)

3.  Kyle Christoffersen—Boise State (49.01)

4.  Kevin Pabst—Idaho (49.13)

5.  Cade Hulbert—Boise State (49.15)

6.  Keith Williams—Utah State (49.22)

 

Analysis:  If Fullwood can pull off top three finishes in three races, it would be a remarkable feat.  Karren, also, is a favorite in the three short distances.  Ordinarily, a 1.5 second difference in the 400 might be too much to ask for, but if Karren runs all three races, Christoffersen could top him for second.  Don't overlook Hulbert, who is running well now and learning each week.  Utah State is projected to score nine points in the 400 to eight for Boise State.  Hulbert has three USU runners right behind him in the projections, so it's important that he hold his ground against them and finish fifth or better.  Other Broncos with 400-meter experience are Taylor (50.14) and Matt Schmasow (51.80).  Taylor could greatly help the Broncos' chances by beating out one of the Aggie runners for sixth.

 

800 Meters:

1.  Bastien Tardy—Idaho (1:51.83)

2.  Cody Eaton—Boise State (1:54.33)

3.  Matt Schmasow—Boise State (1:54.47)

4.  James Allred—Utah State (1:55.44)

5.  Cesar Barquero—Idaho (1:55.63)

5.  Josh Dalton—Idaho (1:55.63)

 

Analysis:

With a time 2.5 seconds better than his closest challenger, senior Tardy is the clear favorite.  Eaton, another senior, and Schmasow can use strategy here.  Kevin Higgs (1:58.63) could be a pacesetter that could tire Tardy out.  That could open the door for either Eaton or Schmasow to run through.  Boise State is projected to score 14 points to four for Utah State and its important that they score at least that much.  A Higgs placing in the top six would be a valuable bonus

 

Mile:

  1. Chio Lopez—Utah State (4:10.87)
  2. Cody Eaton—Boise State (4:11.68)
  3. Seth Wold—Utah State (4:12.82)
  4. Steve Strickland—Utah State (4:13.47)
  5. Jason Holt—Utah State (4:14.32)
  6. Kinsey Dinnel—Louisiana Tech (4:14.67)

 

Analysis:

The mile has traditionally been a very strong Boise State event and Eaton hopes to continue the Bronco success.  He is sandwiched between four Aggies in the projections and can't let more than one of them beat him.    Lopez's time was run way back in January.  Other Broncos who have run the mile this year are Brian Pierre (4:20.80), Sawyer Bosch (4:23.29) and Higgs (4:27.05).  Pierre is better at longer distances but his confidence built up by recent success could help him in the mile as well.  More than likely, Pierre will skip the mile to run the 3,000 and 5,000.  Utah State is projected to score a whopping 22 points to eight for Boise State.  In this event, it could be a Tech runner who could most help Boise State.  Senior Kinsey Dinnel could sneak in and take some points away from Utah State.

 

3,000 Meters:

1.  Steve Strickland—Utah State (8:20.21)

2.  Hunter Nelson—Utah State (8:28.42)

3.  Seth Wold—Utah State (8:33.25)

4.  Jason Holt—Utah State (8:38.55)

5.  Brian Pierre—Boise State (8:39.93)

6.  Sawyer Bosch—Boise State (8:44.17)

 

Analysis:

Strickland is the huge favorite in a race that is really between two schools.  Utah State and Boise State student-athletes take up each of the first eight places in this event.  Cody Eaton (8:48.77) is another Bronco that could factor in the race if he is entered, but his time was from last December.  USU is projected to score 28 points to just three for Boise State.  This is the one single event in which unexpected Bronco success could most influence the team title.  Even if Pierre and Bosch can nab fourth and fifth place, that by itself would be enough to make up for the narrow team projection for Utah State.

 

5,000 Meters

1.  Seth Wold—Utah State (14:26.19)

2.  Matt Racine—Idaho (14:55.81)

3.  Brian Pierre—Boise State (15:13.00)

4.  Sawyer Bosch—Boise State (15:17.00)

5.  Nathan Davis—Louisiana Tech (15:37.26)

6.  Tim Tate—Idaho (16:06.61)

 

Analysis:  Seth Wold is in a class by himself, with a time more than 29 seconds better than anyone else in the WAC.  If Wold doesn't win, it would be a huge blow to Utah State's title hopes.  Racine probably has second place wrapped up as well.  Pierre and Bosch are joined by sophomore teammate Cameron Lockard, who could sneak in for sixth place.  Utah State and Boise State are both projected to score 10 points.

 

60-Meter Hurdles

1.  Paul Dittmer—Idaho (7.97)

2.  Nick Karren—Utah State (8.14)

3.  Elvie Williams—Idaho (8.16)

4.  John Strang—Utah State (8.29)

5.  Maurice Shaw—Idaho (8.34)

6.  Keith Williams—Utah State (8.39)

 

Analysis:  It has been a long time since Boise State has had a top hurdler.  Once again, it doesn't look like a Bronco will finish in the top three.  There's also the question of Karren can compete at a high level in the 200, 400 and 60-meter hurdles in the same weekend.  If he slips up in one of those three that too could severely dampen USU's title hopes.  Entrants for Boise State include Marc Bybee (8.69), Heigo Nurmsalu (8.76), Eric Demers (8.83) and Jonathan Kulm (9.21).  Utah State is projected to score 13 points in the hurdles.

 

4 x 400-Meter Relay

1.  Louisiana Tech (3:14.95)

2.  Utah State (3:16.36)

3.  Boise State (3:21.65)

 

Analysis:  These are the only three teams that have competed in the 4 x 400 this year.  Idaho only has one 400-meter runner in the top 20, so they are not expected to be a factor.  Utah State projected for eight points to six for Boise State. 

 

High Jump

  1. Ryan Grinnell—Boise State (7'1.5")
  2. John Strang—Utah State (6'9.75")
  3. Casey Parker—Utah State (6'6.75)
  4. Jonathan Marler—Idaho (6'5")
  5. Elvie Williams—Idaho (6'5")
  6. Jonathan Rorque—Louisiana Tech (6'3")

 

Analysis:  This is an event Grinnell has to win.  As one of the top ranked high jumpers in the country, Grinnell must come through for Boise State.  It would be nice if he dragged a few of his teammates with him.  Bybee, Kulm and Nurmsalu (all with bests of 6'1.5") have a shot to get in the scoring.  Demers (5'11.25") has meet experience as well.  Strang faces a dilemma of competing in the grueling pentathlon where he is one of the favorites or competing in all of the separate events.  He likely can not do both.  Boise State is projected to score 10 points while the Aggies are projected to score 14. 

 

Pole Vault

  1. Mike Carpenter—Idaho (16'6.75")
  2. Lucas Pope—Idaho (16'4.75")
  3. Palmer Hawkins—Utah State (15'1")
  4. Logan Meyer—Boise State (15'1")
  1. Heigo Nurmsalu—Boise State (15'1")
  1. David Loomis—Utah State (15')

 

Analysis:  Barring a huge mistake, this competition is between the two Idaho vaulters.  At #3, you have three competitors from the top two teams vying for six, four and two points.  Obviously, there's a lot of difference between third and fifth and here you have a direct battle worth watching.  Loomis is just an inch behind as well.  Other Broncos who have competed in the vault are freshman Daniel Thompson (14'1.25"), Bybee (13'7.25"), Demers (13'1.5" and Kulm 11'5.75").  Boise State is projected to score eight points to five for Utah State.

 

 

  Long Jump

  1. Savvas Diakonikolas—Boise State (25'8")
  2. Ryan Grinnell—Boise State (25'1.25")
  3. Kevin Pabst—Idaho (24'0.75")
  4. Zacharias Arnos—Boise State (24'0.25")
  5. John Strang—Utah State (23'10.75")
  6. Blake Hadfield—Utah State (23'6.75)

 

Analysis:  This event could go a long way in determining if Boise State will win the WAC this season.  Last year, Arnos was the top long jumper for Boise State.  Now he is #3 behind Diakonikolas and Grinnell.  Boise State should go 1-2 and if Arnos can finish third the Broncos would have to be feeling good about their chances.  Here's yet another event for Strang—will he sit one out or is he Superman?  Boise State is projected to score 22 points to three for Utah State.  Other Broncos with long jump experience this year are Nurmsalu (22'10.5"), Demers (22'9.25") and Daniel Burcham (22'2.25", Bybee (22'1.75") and Kulm (20'4.25").

 

Triple Jump

1.  Ryan Grinnell—Boise State (53'9.75")

2.  Zacharias Arnos—Boise State (51'3.5")

3.  Savvas Diakonikolas—Boise State (50'11"

4.  David Holmon—Idaho (50'10")

5.  Blake Hadfield—Utah State (48'11")

6.  Matthew Craig—Louisiana Tech (48'3.5")

 

Analysis:  This event goes a long ways in projecting Boise State to be in the hunt for the WAC title.  The Broncos need to actually come through this weekend in the triple jump in order to in fact be in the hunt for the crown.  Grinnell is way ahead of the field as one of the top triple jumpers in the nation.  The battle between Arnos, Diakonikolas and Holmon is much closer.  Boise State is projected to score 24 points in this event to two for Utah State.

 

Shot Put

1.  Russ Winger—Idaho (66'6.5")

2.  Matthew Wauters—Idaho (55'10.5")

3.  Joe Canavan—Utah State (54'2.5")

4.  James Rogan—Idaho (53'10.5")

5.  Beau Whitney—Idaho (52'9.25")

6.  Clyde Smith—Louisiana Tech (51'2.75"

 

Analysis:  Russ Winger is one of the top shot putters in the country and Wauters has a stranglehold on second.  This is an event where Boise State might want to root for Rogan to beat out Canavan which would give Utah State two less points.  The Aggies are projected to score six to 0 for Boise State.  Broncos who have competed in the shot put this year are Nurmsalu (43'9"), Demers (38'7.5"), Bybee (34'11") and Kulm (32'2.75").  None of them have a realistic shot at scoring points.

 

Weight Throw

  1. Simon Wardhaugh—Boise State (70'0.5")
  2. Matthew Wauters—Idaho (68'10")
  3. Russ Winger—Idaho (67'3.5")
  4. Jarrod Stevens—Boise State (66'8.75"
  5. Marcus Mattox—Idaho (61'6")
  6. Ben Wood—Idaho (61'4")

 

Analysis:  You have four of the top throwers in the country in one conference.  Utah State is nowhere near the leaders so this event is all about points for Boise State.  The Broncos are projected to score 14 points.  If they do that in any combination (1st-4th), (2nd-3rd), Boise State will be fine.

 

Heptathlon

1.  Heigo Nurmsalu—Boise State (5332 points)

2.  Charles Hopkins—Utah State (4798)

3.  John Strang—Utah State (4660)

4.  Marc Bybee—Boise State (4548)

5.  Jonathan Kulm—Boise State (4262)

 

Analysis:  The heptathlon, while it features the top athletes in the WAC, likely causes coaches headaches.  On the one hand, it offers a chance for the stars of each team to shine and pick up valuable points in the team competition.  On the other hand, it is a challenge of seven grueling events in two days that makes it tough for the participants to perform at the same high level in their specialties.  Strang is the top returner from last year, but he has seen freshman Charles Hopkins surpass him.  Nurmsalu was one of the leaders last year, but withdrew after a few events.  These are the only five athletes who have competed in the heptathlon this year, although an Idaho participant or two will be in here as well.  Boise State is projected to score 16 points to 14 for Utah State.  The Aggies cannot be allowed to finish 1-2 and yet Nurmsalu has to be able to score points elsewhere.  Nurmsalu and Strang, especially, can contribute in other events and it will be interesting to see how their respective coaches use them. 

 

WOMEN

 

60-Meter Dash:

1.  Chasidee Lewis—Louisiana Tech (7.50)

2.  Rakeisha Green—Louisiana Tech (7.55)

3.  Simone Carter—Louisiana Tech (7.60)

4.  Rayna White—Fresno State (7.70)

5.  Maria Halton—Utah State (7.71)

6.  Nataucha Lowry—Boise State (7.73)

6.  Antoinette Cobb—Louisiana Tech (7.73)

6.  Lasadies McClain—Louisiana Tech (7.73)

 

200 Meters:

 

  1. Lasadies McClain—Louisiana Tech (24.35)
  2. Katelyn Jensen—Utah State (24.82)
  3. Tiera Hilliard—Fresno State (24.84)
  4. Simone Carter—Louisiana Tech (24.85)
  5. Maria Halton—Utah State (24.86)
  6. Paige Olivetti—Boise State (24.91)
  7. Nataucha Lowry—Boise State (24.98)
  8. Leah Benton—New Mexico State (25.03)

 

Analysis:  McClain has a pretty good advantage on the next four competitors, who are all freshman.  Should they make a typical freshman mistake when the heat is on, Olivetti and Lowry are positioned to move up and are realistically in range for second.  Louisiana Tech is projected to score 15 points to 12 for Utah State and five for Boise State.  Since Idaho and Hawai'i are not strong in the sprints, these two races would be a good time for the Broncos to make their move.  Megan Olivetti (25.12) will likely also race in the 200 and could make the final with a good effort.

 

400:

  1. Thalia Amanakis—Hawai'i (55.64)
  2. El Charrita Reynolds—Louisiana Tech (56.02)
  3. Tiera Hilliard--Fresno State (56.06)
  4. Paige Olivetti—Boise State (56.36)
  5. Katelyn Jensen—Utah State (56.41)
  6. Kamelia Story—Louisiana Tech (56.83)
  7. Megan Olivetti—Boise State (56.95)
  8. Katie Thatcher—Utah State (57.03)

 

Analysis:  This is Paige Olivetti's best race and she has a chance at first or certainly the top three.  She probably needs to do that well to give the Lady Broncos a good chance to place third overall.  Hawai'i is projected to score 10 points, Tech 13 and Boise State 7.  Nataucha Lowry (57.56) is also entered and could boost the Broncos' chances by making the final.

 

800:

  1. Amy Egan—Utah State (2:08.27)
  2. Thalia Amanakis—Hawai'i (2:10.65)
  3. Kayleen McDowell—Boise State (2:14.07)
  4. Polly Smith—Nevada (2:16.22)
  5. Erin Stratton—Utah State (2:17.30)
  6. Katherine Gallagher—Boise State (2:17.37)
  7. Marina Santana--Fresno State (2:19.24)
  8. Annett Wichmann—Hawai'i (2:19.60)

 

Analysis:  Egan should win this, her specialty.  McDowell was one of the stars for Boise State last year but has seen Egan and Amanakis overshadow her in the WAC thus far.  Beating Amanakis would be a strong boost to Boise State's chances at third overall.  Gallagher is a promising freshman and could score some valuable points for Boise State.  Utah State is projected to score 14 points to nine for Hawai'i and nine for Boise State.

 

Mile:

  1. Samantha Davis—Nevada (4:56.80)
  2. Erin Stratton—Utah State (4:57.87)
  3. Christa Avena—Nevada (5:00.12)
  4. Allix Lee-Painter—Idaho (5:01.42)
  5. Mandy Macalister—Idaho (5:03.15)
  6. Chantelle Wilder—Hawai'i (5:03.62)
  7. Stacie Lifferth—Utah State (5:04.91)
  8. Vanessa Hawkins—Utah State (5:09.36)

 

Analysis:  This is where the Idaho women begin to make their move for a team title.  They are strong in the distance races and the field events.  Breanne Sande was the WAC women's cross country runner of the year for Boise State and won this event one year ago.  She has not been a mile runner this year so far, concentrating on the longer distances.  Could Boise State use her here!  Freshman Karleigh Gempler (5:15.86) is the top Bronco so far this year.  Gallagher (5:16.81), Bell (5:23.61) and Gerard (5:26.55) are freshman that aren't expected to be factors in the mile but will gain valuable experience.

 

3,000:

1.  Amanda Moreno—Nevada (9:46.40)

2.  Stacie Lifferth—Utah State (9:53.25)

3.  Chantelle Wilder—Hawai'i (9:55.36)

4.  Christa Avena—Nevada (9:58.41)

5.  Amanda Gramly—Nevada (10:07.55)

6.  Vanessa Hawkins—Utah State (10:13.38)

7.  Melissa McFadden—Idaho (10:22.24)

8.  Alma Janet Martinez—Nevada (10:25.60)

 

Analysis:  Moreno is the overwhelming favorite here and is just a sophomore.  Seniors Lifferth and Wilder should battle for the next two spots and Avena seems a good bet for fourth.  Utah State is projected to score 11 points, Hawai'i six and Idaho two.  Sande (10:35.37) has experience and could score points but don't be surprised if she runs the mile and does well there.  Gempler (10:44.40) and Gerard (10:52.02) are other entrants for Boise State.

 

5,000:

1.  Chantelle Wilder—Hawai'i (17:03.63)

2.  Mandy Macalister—Idaho (17:40.93)

3.  Melissa McFadden—Idaho (17:52.72)

4.  Alma Janet Martinez—Nevada (18:09.61)

5.  Christina Herrera—New Mexico State (18:23.92)

6.  Ingrid Flores—New Mexico State (18:30.64)

7.  Carly Gerard—Boise State (18:35.97)

8.  Karleigh Gempler—Boise State (18:44.73)

 

60-Meter Hurdles:

1.  Heather Bergland—Idaho (8.54)

2.  Christie Gordon—Idaho (8.65)

3.  Thalia Amanakis—Hawai'i (8.68)

4.  Devin Brooks—New Mexico State (8.72)

4.  Ashlee Cannon—Utah State (8.72)

4.  Krystina Jackson—Fresno State (8.72)

7.  Kereiona Johnson—Nevada (8.73)

8.  Megan Olivetti—Boise State (8.79)

 

4 x 400-Meter Relay:

1.  Louisiana Tech (3:46.91)

2.  Boise State (3:47.23)

3.  Utah State (3:50.89)

4.  Idaho (3:51.42)

5.  Hawai'i (3:52.77)

6.  Fresno State (3:54.80)

7.  Nevada (4:04.05)

8.  New Mexico State (4:06.59)

 

Analysis:  This is one of Boise State's strongest events and a first place finish would be just what the doctor ordered for the Broncos.  Tech is projected to win barely and score 10 points to nine for Boise State, eight for Utah State, seven for Idaho and six for Hawai'i.

 

High Jump:

  1. Mallory Gilbert—Hawai'i (5'10.5")
  1. Emily Sheppard—Hawai'i (5'10.5")

3.  Annett Wichmann—Hawai'i (5'8")

4.  Darcy Collins—Idaho (5'7")

5.  Breanna Chadez—Idaho (5'5"0

5.  Jennifer Scheiss—Utah State (5'5")

7.  Tara Pickett—Utah State (5'4.25")

8.  Leshay Dorsey—Fresno State (5'3.75")

 

Analysis:  Here comes Hawai'i with the top three jumpers and Idaho will do well also.  Hawai'i is projected to score 24 points, Idaho nine and Utah State five.  Boise State does not have anyone in the top 20.

 

 

Pole Vault:

  1. K.C. Dahlgren—Idaho (13'3.75")
  2. Annelise Bertleson—Boise State (12'9")
  1. Sonia Grabowska—Utah State (12'9")

4.   Jessica Custance—Hawai'i (12'8")

5.   Samantha Weaver—Hawai'i (12'6.25")

6.  Patricia Gauthier—Hawai'i (12'2.5")

7.  Cara Montes—Fresno State (12'1.5")

8.  Alicia Echaverria—Nevada (12'0.5")

 

Analysis:  Dahlgren is one of the best vaulters in the country, yet Bertleson has been improving by leaps and bounds.  Idaho is projected to score 10 to 12 for Hawai'i, 8.5 for both Boise State and Utah State and three for Tech.  An important dual between the Aggies and Broncos here and Bertleson must hold off the Wahine vaulters as well.  Freshmen Heidi Dorling (11'9.75") and Breanne Craig (11'5.25") have been learning from Bertleson and have an outside shot to score points for Boise State.

 

 

Long Jump:

  1. Eleni Kafourou—Boise State (20'8.5")
  2. Isabel Chea—New Mexico State (19'5.25")
  3. Katelyn Jensen—Utah State (18'10.5")
  4. Annett Wichmann—Hawai'i (18'9")
  5. Alice Draser—Idaho (18'6.5")
  6. Latoya Collins—Louisiana Tech (18'5.75")
  7. Ashley Land—Nevada (18'5")
  8. Mallory Gilbert—Hawai'i (18'3.25")

 

Analysis:  Kafourou is the runaway favorite as one of the tops in the country.  The bad news is that she has no teammates near her.  She must show leadership to help develop the younger Broncos.  Boise State gets just the 10 projected points with Nevada and Hawai'i six each, Idaho four and Tech three.

 

Triple Jump:

  1. Eleni Kafourou—Boise State (43'0.25")
  2. Latoya Collins—Louisiana Tech (39'2.5")
  3. Shay Miles—Fresno State (39'0.25")
  4. Brittney Guy—Louisiana Tech (38'9.75")
  5. Quatisha Williams—Louisiana Tech (38'6")
  6. Christiana Tupper—Louisiana Tech (38'2")
  7. Aurella Houston—Nevada (37'0.5")
  8. Renee Elbourne—Hawai'i (36'9")

 

Analysis:  Once again, Kafourou (in her best event) and no Bronco teammates in the mix.  The Broncos once again get the win but just 10 projected points to 20 for Louisiana Tech and one for Hawai'i. 

 

Shot Put:

  1. Nadia Alexander—Louisiana Tech (53'7.5")
  2. Meghan Weaver—Hawai'i (50'9.5")
  3. Mykael Bothum—Idaho (50'4")
  4. Rosario Sanchez—Fresno State (49'7.75")
  5. Kayla Xavier—Fresno State (46'11")
  6. Tierah Hall—Louisiana Tech (46'6")
  7. Inger Appanaitis—Nevada (44'10.75")
  8. Annett Wichmann—Hawai'i (44'8.25")

 

Analysis:  Three of the country's top shot putters on display in this one with Alexander the huge favorite.  No Broncos are ranked in the top 20; it's the field events that are letting the team down.  Tech is projected to score 13, Hawai'i nine and Idaho eight.

 

Weight Throw:

  1. Sharon Ayala—Fresno State (63'9.5")
  2. Constance McAlman—Nevada (56'8.75")
  3. Krista Larson—Utah State (55'10.5")
  4. Phelecia Reynolds—Louisiana Tech (54'5.75")
  5. Inger Appanaitis—Nevada (54'3.75")
  6. Amanda Rollin—Fresno State (53'5")
  7. Jordan Veney—New Mexico State (52'6")
  8. Brittani Daniels—Hawai'i (52'2.75")

 

Analysis:  Ayala is one of the best in this event and is a huge favorite to win the WAC.  Freshman Christine Mendiola (45'1.75") is Boise State's best chance.  Utah State is projected to score eight points to five for Tech and one for Hawai'i.

 

Pentathlon:

  1. Annett Wichmann—Hawai'i (4,027 points)
  2. Mallory Gilbert—Hawai'i (3,691)
  3. Alice Draser—Idaho (3,388)
  4. Darcy Collins—Idaho (3,345)
  5. Molly Burt—Idaho (3,247)
  6. Lindsay Goodman—Idaho (3,140)
  7. Erica Embry—Fresno State (2,716)

 

Analysis:  If Boise State is to have any chance whatsoever of taking third in the WAC, they have to have someone score points in this event.  They simply cannot allow Hawai'i and Idaho to score the kind of points suggested above.  Look for the other WAC coaches to enter their top athletes as well to grab some of the points.  Idaho is the league favorite largely based on this event—if they are held far below the projected total of 18 points, it will be tough for them to win.  Hawai'i is projected to score 18 points and the Broncos need to get a share of that as well.


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