12 Broncos Compete at Western Championships

12 is the magic number this week for Boise State's track team. The Broncos send 12 to the NCAA Western Championships in Austin, Texas. To qualify for nationals, the Boise State student-athletes must finish in the top 12 in their respective events.

No less than a dozen Boise State student-athletes have qualified for this week's NCAA Western Championships this week in Austin , Texas . 

Eight members of Coach J.W. Hardy's men's team that finished second in the Western Athletic Conference Championships and four stars on the women's team that finished third will represent the Broncos this week.  The top 48 athletes in the western half of the United States will compete in each event.

Senior Zacharias Arnos qualified for the Western Championships in both the long and triple jumps after WAC titles in both.  Arnos set lifetime bests in both events at the Mt. SAC Relays last month.  He is ranked second in the west and fourth nationally in the triple jump (53-feet, 9.75 inches) and 12th in the long jump (25-4).  Texas Tech freshman Bryce Lamb is ranked #1 in the west in the high jump (26-5) while Zuheir Sharif of Texas A & M is the top seed in the triple (54-3.25).

Junior Kurt Felix, who was named the WAC Field Athlete of the Year at the conference championships, will challenge the competition in the high jump and javelin throw.  Felix produced career bests in placing second in both events at the WAC Championships.  He is #22 in the javelin with a toss of 220 feet, 4 inches and is 24th in the high jump with his height of 6-11.50.  If Felix is looking at a height he must clear to win the high jump, he need look no further than the WAC Championships, where Utah State 's Clint Silcock cleared 7-feet 5-inches.  Silcock is seeded #1 in the west.  Oregon senior Cyrus Hostetler sets the pace in the javelin with a throw of 256-6. 

WAC Champion Pontus Thomee continues his career in Austin , joining Felix in the javelin.  Thomee threw the spear a season-best 230 feet, 1 inch, which ranks him #16 in the event.  Sophomore Trevor Kraychir is already making waves in the hammer throw.  Kraychir is 16th with a qualifying throw of 204-1.  Fellow sophomore Alex Nelson punched his ticket to the Western Championships hammer competition with a career-best of 198-3.50 earlier this spring.

Yet another sophomore, Eetu Viitala joins Arnos in the long jump as the #25 jumper.  Viitala's career-best of 24-8.50 at the WAC Championships placed second.

Junior long-distance specialist Sawyer Bosch is #30 in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a career best of 8:57.84 at the Oregon Relays.  Freshman Rolando Trammel stepped up at the WAC Championships to record a career-best of 51.96 and qualify as the #42-ranked hurdler in the 400-meters.

Senior Eleni Kafourou leads the Bronco women into Longhorn country.  Kafourou won her 11th and 12th individual WAC Championships earlier this month in both the long jump and triple jump.  Kafourou, who won the 2009 NCAA Indoor National Championship in the long jump, will try to duplicate the feat outdoors.  She is #5 in the triple jump (7th in the nation) with a season-best of 43-7.25 at the WAC Championships and is #8 in the long jump (10th nationally) with a mark of 20-11.25.  Kafourou is the school record holder with marks of 21-5.50 in the long jump and 43-10 in the triple jump.

 It will likely take jumps of that magnitude or better for Kafourou to have a chance at the national titles.  Blessing Okagbare of UTEP is the favorite with a jump of 22-7 this season while Neidra Covington of TCU is seeded first in the west in the triple with a mark of 44-4.25 

Hardy is pleased with the oncoming hurdlers at Boise State .  Freshman Mariana Maldonado joins senior Megan Olivetti in the 100-meter competition this week in Austin .  Maldonado is #31 in the west (13.70) while Olivetti, the school record holder (13.66) is seeded 40th after a season-best of 13.76 at the WAC Championships.

Junior Sasa Kampic completes the Boise State roster at the Western Championships.  Kampic is ranked #30 in the javelin after a season-best of 155-3 at the Arizona State Team Invite in March.  Kampic needs to meet or beat her career-best of 162-9 to qualify for the National Championships.

North Carolina State hosts the Eastern Championships, being contested this week as well.

The top 12 from each event this week qualify for the NCAA Championships in Eugene , Oregon , in June.


Bronco Country Top Stories