Boise State's Kafourou Wins National Title!

Boise State's Eleni Kafourou has won the National Championship in the long jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in College Station, Texas. This is the latest gem in an incredible career at Boise State for the popular Kafourou. (Photo provided by rights reserved.)

Boise State senior Eleni Kafourou won the women's long jump this afternoon at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in College Station, Texas.  The award-winning Kafourou is the fifth track and field athlete from Boise State ever to capture the national championship and the first woman in Bronco history to win a national championship in any sport.  Kafourou's leap of 21-feet, 5.25 inches broke her own school record to take the national title.  It is Boise State's eighth individual national championship.


Kafourou entered the competition ranked seventh nationally.  She advanced to the championship flight with a jump of 21-2.12.  She then recorded her title winning jump in her second to last attempt, just enough to beat Jeomi Maduka of Cornell, who was second with a mark of 21-4.  


   "I'm really excited," Kafourou said.  "I kind of can't believe it.  I've been training really hard.  I've been trying every day to give all that I have and I don't think I could ask for more.  I tried to be [out practicing hard] every day so that I wouldn't have an excuse.  I think the results speak for themselves."


And do they.


Kafourou very well could be the most decorated female student-athlete in Bronco history.   She has won 10 Western Athletic Conference championships thus far.  In 2006, her freshman season, she won the triple jump at both the Western Athletic Conference Indoor and the Outdoor Championships and was selected as both WAC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year.  She soared 41-feet, .25 inches in the triple at the Indoor Championships, which was the second best jump in school history at the time.  Kafourou placed third in the long jump as well (19-05.50).  She qualified for the NCAA West Regional Outdoor Championships in both the long jump and triple jump, finishing second in the triple jump and placed 18th at the National Championships.  Kafourou set a school record in the triple jump during the season with a distance of 43.2.50 and broke the 13 year-old record in the long jump with a mark of 20-feet, 8.5 inches.  


Eleni was second in both the long jump and triple jump at the WAC Indoor Championships, then won both events at the WAC Outdoor Championships in 2007 and qualified for the NCAA West Region in both.  Kafourou  once again qualified for the Nationals in both events, finishing 23rd in the triple and 25th in the long jump.  


In 2008, Kafourou won the long jump and the triple jump at the WAC Indoor Championships, then repeated the amazing feat again at the Outdoor Championships.  She qualified for the NCAA National Indoor Championships in the long jump, the West Regionals in both the long and triple jumps, the National Indoor Championships in the long jump and the National Outdoor Championships in the triple jump.  Eleni was 11th in the long jump (20-2.50) at the Indoor National Championships, and 21st in the long jump (20-2.25) and 24th in the triple (40-7.75) at the Outdoor National Championships.  She broke her own school records in the long jump (21-1.50)  and triple jump (43-3) during the season.


So far this season, she not only once again repeated the double of winning the long jump (19-10.75) and triple jump (43-7, breaking her own school record once again) at the WAC Indoor Championships last month, she also placed second in the 60-meter dash at the WAC Championships, was named Top WAC Female Track Athlete and very nearly led her team to its first WAC title.


"It's such a great thing, to watch her development as a student-athlete from a freshman to a senior and now an NCAA champion," Boise State Head Coach Mike Maynard said. "To see history being made, that's an honor. It couldn't happen to a better person. No one has worked harder than her."


Kafourou's national title is the fifth in Bronco track and field history.  Eugene Green won the triple jump in 1991, Jake Jacoby took the high jump in 1994 and Gabe Wallin won the javelin in both 2004 and 2005. 


"I want to thank all of my teammates, my coaches; they were all there for me," Kafourou said. "Coach Chris Huffins has really helped me improve this year. In the past I had trouble with my approach. This year I started running sprints, and that helped me a lot."


 "I want to thank everybody who has ever supported our program," Coach Maynard said. "We feel that this is huge for [ Boise State track and field]. We just put down the best year in the history of the women's program, in my opinion, even though we fell just short at the WAC Championships. What the women's team has done is so important for the program. I think [Eleni's win] is kind of indicative of what we have in store for the future."





We salute Eleni Kafourou--quite possibly the most talented female student-athlete ever to wear the Blue and Orange!

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