Broncos Put On Show At National Championships

Boise State's Pontus Thomee earned All-American status with a #2 finish in the javelin and Kurt Felix is in fourth in the decathlon at the NCAA National Track & Field Championships in Eugene.

Boise State student-athletes are proving they can compete with anyone in the nation.

Senior Pontus Thomee threw the javelin 241-feet, 5-inches tonight to finish #2 in the country at the NCAA National Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Kurt Felix of Boise State put himself into position to finish in the top five in the nation with a career-best day in the decathlon.

Thomee tied with Kyle Nielsen of Washington in distance but had fewer fould and was thus awarded second place. Craig Kinsley of Brown won the national title with a throw of 250-3.

Washington's Joe Zimmerman was fourth (233-6) while Sam Humphreys of Texas A & M took fifth (230-8), Sam Vidrine of McNeese State was sixth (229-7), Nebraska's Adam Wolkins captured seventh with a throw of 228-5 and Mississippi's Colin Moleton was eighth (227-5).

Thomee was fourth after the first four throws with a best of 238-7 but let it fly on the fifth attempt for his #2 throw.

After the first day, Felix is in fourth place with 4,032 points and he beat everyone in the high jump. Felix is ahead of his career-best after the first five events. Kurt is 28 points ahead of the pace he set on day one in winning the Western Athletic Conference Championship, where he compiled 7,412 points.

Felix had to battle from behind. The 100-meters is not one of his better events, and he was in 15th place with a time of 11.26 and 804 points. Oregon's Ashton Eaton ran a blistering 10.37 to win the 100 and was awarded 1,006 points. Felix then took third in the long jump with an outdoor-best of 23-feet, 10.25-inches. Eaton won his second consecutive event with a leap of 25-11, more than a foot better than anyone else. Felix then set another outdoor best of 42-2.75 in the shot put for 14th place in the decathlon field and 659 points. Miller Moss of Clemson garnered first in the shot (43-7.75). Felix needed a good effort in one of his best events—the high jump.

He got it. One by one, the competition landed on the cushion only to watch the bar fall. Soon, it was down to Felix and Mateo Sossah of North Carolina. Sossah cleared 6-8.75 but failed in three attempts at 6-11. Timing his leap from the left side of the bar, Felix flew into the air. He touched the bar but it did not come down. He won the event. Felix tried three attempts at 7-feet, which is still below his career best, but could not reach it on this day. Still, the Bronco junior picked up 906 points.

The competitors were probably glad for the fifth event in this grueling day. Felix finished the 400-meters in 50.64 to place 18th in that event (785 points). Eaton won his third event of the afternoon with a clocking of 46.25.

Oregon's Eaton is demolishing the field. He set a collegiate day one record of 4,500 points today. Trinity Otto of Texas A & M is second with 4,254 points. Moss sits ahead of Felix in third with 4,119 points. Cal's Michael Morrison is fifth (4,011 points), with Jeremy Taiwo of Washington (3,944), Missouri's Lars Rise (3,915) and Nick Adcock (3,912) seventh and eighth, respectively. Sossah is ninth with 3,891 first-day points followed by Philip Adam of Rice (3,878) and Robert Robinson of Northridge with 3,865.

The final five events of the grueling two-day event begin tomorrow at 11 a.m. Mountain time with the 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1,500-meters.

Felix is outstanding in the javelin, having competed last week at the NCAA Regionals in the event.

Adcock, the nation's #2 seed, is 106 points behind his Big 12 Conference Championship total of 4,018 earlier this month. Teammate Rise is slightly behind his first day total at the Big 12 Championships. Rise accumulated 3,977 on that day and finished second to Adcock with 7,695 points.

Sossah, the #4 seed, is in good position with a first-day total that is just 33 points behind the 3,924 he had in winning his second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title in April. #5 Florida's Gray Horn is in a bit of trouble. Although he finishes strong, he is quite a bit back with 3,789 points. That is 279 points behind the school record he set in winning the South Eastern Conference Championship. Horn accumulated an impressive 4,068 that day.

On the other hand, Morrison and Taiwo are in terrific shape. Morrison too finishes well in the final five events and with his 4,011 points already, he is 153 points ahead of the total he had at the Pac-10 Championships in May. Taiwo had just 3,788 at the Pac-10's and finished second.

Otto has come all the way from the #8 seed to sit in second place with a personal best that is 71 points ahead of the total he had at the Big 12 championships. Robinson is 205 points behind the score he had after the first day of competition at the Big West Championships.

Georgia junior Cory Holman, the nation's #11 decathlete, had to drop out of the competition due to injury. #12 Daniel Keller of North Carolina has 3,790 points to 3,659 for #13 Bjorn Johansson of Akron, 3,820 for 14th seed Moritz Cleve of Kansas State, 3,706 for #15 Wesley Bray of Houston and 3,846 points for #18-seed Nick Trubachik of Portland State.

Keller is 90 points ahead of his pace at the ACC Championships for a projected total of 7,557 while Johansson is an incredible 247 points ahead of the pace he set for himself at the Mid-American Championships. Johansson is on pace now for 7,679 points.

Adam is the #17 seed, just behind 16th-ranked Felix, and although he is 10th, he is right about where he should be. Adam accumulated 3,883 in winning the Conference-USA decathlon.

Felix does not excel in the second five events with the exception of the javelin. At the WAC Championships, he scored 3,408 points on the second day. If he does that tomorrow, he will finish with 7,440, which would place 12th.

The projected totals right now are Eaton winning handily with Morrison (7,710) in second, Johansson (7,679) sneaking in for third, Taiwo (7,677) in fourth and Sossah (7,634) edging Rise (7,633) for fifth. Otto, with a projected total of 7,613 is headed for seventh while Adcock (7,598) could slip to eighth and Keller (7,557) taking ninth ahead of Horn (7,373).


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