Boise State Freshmen Make Immediate Impact

Choosing the 2009-10 Bronco Freshman of the Year is a difficult task. This past year, we saw numerous contributions from student-athletes right out of high school who performed like veterans.

Rarely do freshman make a big impact in their first year on a college campus. There were so many that did so this year at Boise State that we created a special category for them this year—Freshman of the Year!

In fact, these recruits performed so well in their freshman seasons that we need two semifinal polls to honor the top performers in the finals. Here are the 12 freshmen that we believe had the biggest impact for the Broncos.

Michael Cuthbertson, wrestling

Cuthbertson finished his freshman season with a 17-15 record, competing primarily at 165 pounds for the #11 Broncos. He placed fifth at the Reno Tournament of Champions, an early indication of his value to the team. At the Pac-10 Championships, he defeated Joseph Granata of Cal State Bakersfield 6-3 before losing to Daniel Brascetta of Oregon State 5-2 in the second round. Cuthbertson battled his way back to defeat Steven Vaasquez of Cal Poly and was awarded fourth place after a 10-4 loss to Kyle Deberry of Arizona State.

Monisha Davis, women's track and field

Davis was ninth in qualifying in the 60-meter hurdles at the WAC Indoor Championships (8.82), just missing the finals.

She finished third at All-Idaho Collegiate Meet in the 100-meter hurdles (14.45) and recorded a time of 14.16 at the Robison Invitational to finish fourth.

In the Idaho-Utah Border Clash, she won the 100-meter hurdles with a career-best of 14.03.

Monisha had the seventh-fastest time in qualifying for the 100-meter hurdle final at the WAC Outdoor Championships. She beat that with a 13.87 in the final to finish fourth. Davis and teammate Maldonado were the only freshmen in the WAC final.

Davis qualified for the NCAA West Regional Championships and ran a 14.14 to place 39th in the West.

Elyse Edwards, women's tennis

Edwards posted an impressive 18-5 record including her seven victories in a row to close out the season. She was 20-6 in doubles, mostly partnered with Bianca Jochimsen

She defeated her Fresno State opponent 6-2, 6-2 in singles to help the Broncos beat the Bulldogs for their first-ever WAC Tournament title and then downed her Iowa opponent 6-2, 7-5 as the Broncos beat the #21 Hawkeyes in the NCAA Tennis Tournament.

Jeff Howard, cross country, track and field

Howard finished second in the first event for the cross country team (Roger Curran Invitational), with a time of 18:44.72. He was 10th at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational (24:49), fourth in the eight-kilometer course at the Charles Bowles Invite (24:15.86) and sixth at the Bob Firman Invitational (25:45.23).

Jeff finished in 14th place at the WAC Cross Country Championships to earn a spot on the All-WAC Second Team. Howard finished in 27:04.1.

He paced the Broncos at the NCAA West Region Cross Country Championships. Howard placed 54th with a time of 32:04.23.

Jeff then joined the track and field team and promptly ran a career-best of 8:34.36 in the 3,000-meters at the Boise State Team Invitational to place second.

Howard came up big for Boise State at the WAC Indoor Championships, winning the WAC title in the 3,000 (8:23.40), beating his time above by 11 seconds, and then captured second place in the 5,000 (14:44.77).

He began the outdoor season finishing fourth in the 5,000 at the ASU Team Invite (14:39.15).

At the WAC Outdoor Championships, Howard finished eighth in the 10,000 (22:11.72) and ninth in the 5,000. His time of 15:10.02 in the 5,000 was the best of all conference freshmen.

Racquel Jones, women's track and field

Jones proved her versatility for the Broncos. She was fourth in the long jump at the Bronco Invitational (18-10.75). The following week at the United Heritage, she clocked a time of 25.39 in the 200, missing first by .08 seconds, and took second in the long jump (18-7). Racquel won the 60-meters in a time of 7.88.

Racquel was a big leader for the Broncos at the Boise State Team Invite. She finished fourth in the long jump (17-11.50), eighth in the 60-meters with a career-best of 7.80 and 13th in the 200 with a career-best of 25.37.

Jones carried that momentum into the WAC Indoor Championships, where she was third in the conference in the long jump (18-10.50). She had the sixth-fastest qualifying time in the 60 (7.69) and finished seventh in the final (7.79).

Racquel helped Boise State take sixth in the 4 x 100-meter relay at the ASU Team Invite (46.54). She then clicked into a higher gear, winning both the 100-meters and the long jump at the All-Idaho Collegiate. She ran the 100 in 12.12 and then jumped 17-8.75 to win the long jump by over seven inches.

Jones tied for fifth in the long jump (18-01.50) at the prestigious Sun Angel Track Classic. She finished fourth at the Robison (17-9) and helped the 4 x 100-meter relay team to as season-best 46.42 clocking and third-place finish.

She then helped the relay team take second at the All-Idaho Border Clash (47.32). Jones set a new career-best in winning the 100 in 11.98.

Jones headed into the WAC Outdoor Championships and finished eighth in the long jump, leading all freshmen with a mark of 18-11.25. She had the eighth-fastest qualifying time in the 100 (11.88) and finished eighth in the finals (12.07). Racquel also ran the second leg on Boise State's 4 x 100-meter relay team that finished third in the WAC (46.36).

Marjani Maldonado, women's track and field

Maldonado helped the 4 x 400-meter relay team finish second at Jackson's Open with a time of 4:08.53.

She was 12th in qualifying in the 60-meter hurdles at the WAC Indoor Championships (8.92) and helped Boise State finish sixth by running the second leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay that resulted in a time of 3:54.24.

Maldonado moved outdoors in the spring to bigger things. She finished second at the All-Idaho Collegiate Meet in the 100-meter hurdles (14.20) and was sixth at the Robison with a time of 14.29.

Marjani was second at the Idaho-Utah Border Clash with a career-best of 14.07.

She had the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 100 hurdles (13.73) at the WAC Championships and finished third with a sizzling time of 13.70. She also was fifth-fastest in the 400 hurdles (1:02.05) and finished eighth in the final (1:04.01).

Maldonado qualified for the NCAA Western Championships as the #31 seed in the West in the short hurdles and placed 29th out of the 48 preliminary competitors with a time of 13.84.

J.C. Percy, football

Percy was a pleasant surprise for Coach Chris Petersen's Broncos, moving into the starting lineup and excelling. He had 64 tackles, second on the team, with 31 of them solo. Percy had 4.5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks, two pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Marlena Pietzuch, women's tennis

Pietzuch had an outstanding record of 32-8 in her first year at Boise State, including winning her last 11 in a row. She compiled a 26-12 record in doubles, primarily with Stephanie Jasper.

In Boise State's semifinal victory over Hawai'i, she defeated her opponent 6-2, 6-3 in singles and teamed with Jasper to win 8-5 in doubles. Pietzuch downed her Fresno State opponent 7-5,6-1 in singles and combined with Jasper to win their doubles match 8-2 as the Broncos unseated the eight-time defending WAC champion Bulldogs.

Pietzuch and Jasper were named to the All-WAC Tournament Doubles Team.

Shannon Porter, women's cross country

Porter won the Roger Curran Invitational, leading the majority of the race to break the tape at 14 minutes, 19.20 seconds. She placed second out of 74 competitors at the Bob Firman with a 5-K time of 18:05.47 to help Boise State to a third-place finish.

Porter won WAC Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors for each of those races.

Shannon then took sixth at the Charles Bowles Invite with a time of 17:53.68. At the prestigious Santa Clara Invite, she was 28th with a time of 18 minutes.

The freshman then paced Boise State at the WAC Cross Country Championships, finishing sixth out of 73 women (19:38.5). Shannon was named to the All-WAC First Team. She then represented Boise State at the NCAA West Regional and placed 101st out of the best 184 runners in the West. Porter clocked a time of 22 minutes, 59.35 seconds over the 6-kilometer course.

Paul Robertson, track and field

Robertson hit the ground running for the Broncos in the indoor season. He helped the 4 x 400-meter relay team win the Jackson's Open (3:22.31). He won the 400-meters (49.38) and helped his relay team win at the BSU Duals with a time of 3:20.02.

Paul then helped Boise State win the distance medley at the United Heritage Invitational with a time of 10:11.86. He ran the 60-meters and finished third with a time of 7.27. Robertson earned a career-best of 49.11 in the 400 at the Boise State Team Invitational to place second.

At the WAC Indoor Championships, Robertson was fifth in qualifying in the 200-meters (22.00) and had the sixth-fastest 400-meter qualifying time (49.23), earning a spot in both conference finals. He finished fourth in the 400 with a new career best of 48.98 and sixth in the 200 (22.01). Paul also ran the second leg on Boise State's 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished second in the WAC (3:17.03).

Outdoors, Robertson won the 200 at the All-Idaho Collegiate with a time of 22.89, won the 400-meters (49.50), ran anchor for the winning 4 x 100-meter relay team (42.01) and also helped the 4 x 400-meter relay team win in 3 minutes 18.93 seconds.

Paul placed fifth in the 200 at the Idaho-Utah Border Clash with a time of 22.38.

Robertson continued to do well at the WAC Outdoor Track Championships. He placed fifth in the 400 (49.02), 10th in the 200 (22.09) and ran the third leg on Boise State's 4 x 400-meter team that finished third (3:12.94).

Kevin Rosaaen, track and field

Rosaaen helped the Bronco men's cross country team finish third and also competed on the track team, though his track season was cut short by injury.

Rosaaen was third at the Roger Curran Invitational. Rosaaen, who led the race for approximately 5-kilometers, finished in a time of 18 minutes, 53.46 seconds. Moving to the Bob Firman Invite, Rosaaen finished seventh with a time of 25:46.76.

He was seventh at the Charles Bowles Invitational with a time of 24:25.04. Kevin picked up a fifth-place finish (26:25.5) at the WAC Cross Country Championships. Rosaaen was named WAC Freshman of the Year as the top freshman finisher and was also named All-WAC.

Kevin finished fifth in the 3,000 meters for the track team at the Bronco Invitational with a time of 8:46:47. He was eighth at the Boise State Team Invitational (8:49.12) and finished fifth at the WAC Indoor Championships with a time of 8:34.15.

Outdoors, Rosaaen won the 3,000 at the Idaho-Utah Border Clash with a time of 9:10.80 but was injured at the WAC Outdoor Championships.

Rolando Trammel, track and field

Trammel is a multi-talented athlete much in the same mold as Kurt Felix. He finished second in the long jump (22-8) and second in the triple jump (46-5) at the Jackson's Open to begin his indoor career at Boise State.

Trammel placed third in the triple jump (46-4) and fifth in the long jump (21-11.50) at the Bronco Invitational. He was sixth in the long jump with a mark of 20-9.75 at the BSU Duals.

Rolando placed fifth (8.48) in the 60-meter hurdles, finished sixth in the long jump (22-7) and ran the anchor for the 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished third (3:17.21) at the Boise State Team Invite.

Trammel went to town at the WAC Indoor Championships. Rolando was seventh in qualifying in the 60-meter hurdles (8.38) and finished seventh in the final (8.34). He was second in the triple jump and the top freshman by over two feet with a career-best of 47-8.50, fourth in the long jump with a season-best 23-6.25, eighth in the high jump (6-4.75) and he helped the distance medley team place third (10:02.91).

This spring, Trammel moved outdoors and placed eighth at the ASU Team Invite in the 400-meter hurdles (54.57). He helped the 4 x 100-meter relay team place seventh (41.56).

At the All-Idaho Collegiate, Trammel captured runner-up honors in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.11. He and his teammates won the 4 x 100-meter relay with a time of 42.01 and he also helped Boise State to a win in the 4 x 400-meter relay (3:18.93).

At the Mt. Sac Relays, the 4 x 100-meter team took fifth with a season-best time of 41.14. Trammel finished third in the long jump at the Robison Invitation with time of 23-1.25. He scored a big improvement on his personal-best in the 110-meter hurdles, taking third with a time of 14.66 and also finished fifth in the 200 (21.88).

Trammel again proved invaluable to the Broncos at the WAC Outdoor Championships. He finished fourth in the triple jump, recording the top freshman mark by a foot (47-5). Rolando also placed fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with the best freshman time (14.57), fifth in the 400-meter hurdles as the only freshman in the finals with a career-best 51.96, fifth in the long jump with the best freshman jump by nearly a foot (23-2.75) and eighth in the high jump (6-4.25). In addition to all that, Trammel ran the first leg on Boise State's 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished third in the WAC (3:12.94).

Rolando's performance in the 400 hurdles at the WAC Championships qualified him for the NCAA Western Regionals. He bettered that by posting a 51.93 at the Regionals against the best in the west to qualify for the Regional Semifinals. He had a disappointing time of 56.32 and did not qualify for the Regional Finals.

Here are the other freshmen who represent quite likely the greatest collection of freshman talent in school history:

Michael Ames, football

Ames was a spot starter for the Broncos, opening the season on the line and helping Boise State defeat the nationally-ranked Oregon Ducks. Michael went on to start a total of eight games and was part of a unit that led the nation with only five sacks allowed.

Mitch Burroughs, football

The speedy Burroughs played in 13 games for Boise State, recording 11 receptions for 92 yards (8.4 avg.) with a long of 32 yards. He also returned two kickoffs for 17 yards and was 1-1 for 16 yards passing.

Taryn Campos, women's track and field

Campos helped her 4 x 400-meter relay team finish second at the Jackson's Open (4:08.53). She won the 200-meters with a time of 25.52.

Taryn finished 13th in qualifying in the 200 at the WAC Indoor Championships with a time of 25.29 and 15th in the 400-meter qualifying (59.49). She also ran the first leg of the 4 x 400-meter relay team that earned points with a sixth-place finish (3:54.24).

Outdoors, Campos helped the 4 x 100-meter relay team take sixth at the ASU Team Invite (46.54) and ran the second leg for the 4 x 400-meter relay team that captured fourth (3:50.24).

She finished third in the 200 at the All-Idaho Collegiate Meet and finished third in the 100 (12.42). Campos helped the Broncos win the 4 x 100-meter relay with a time of 47.19. She crushed her career-best by nearly four seconds in placing sixth in the 400 at the Robison (56.92).

At the Idaho-Utah Border Clash, Taryn set a career-best of 12.29 in the 100 to finish fourth and topped her career-best in the 200 as well, winning the event in 24.47.

Campos finished 11th in the 400 at the WAC Outdoor Championships (57.04) and ran the third leg on Boise State's 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished fourth in the WAC (3:44.66).

Jeff Daw, track and field

Daw helped Boise State's 4 x 400-meter relay team win at the Jackson's Open with a time of 3:22.31. At the BSU Duals, the relay team improved upon that performance with a time of 3:20.02 to win again.

Jeff scored career bests of 48.38 in the 400 and 21.99 in the 200 at the Boise State Team Invitational, which earned him a win and a seventh-place finish, respectively. He also helped the 4 x 400 relay team to a season-best of 3:17.21.

With the indoor season drawing to a close, Daw placed fifth in qualifying for the 200-meter final at the WAC Indoor Track & Field Championships with a time of 22 flat. He was fourth in qualifying for the 400 (48.87). Daw finished third in the 400 (48.74), the fastest time for a freshman. He was also eighth in the 200-meter final (22.31) and ran the anchor leg for Boise State's 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished second in the WAC (3:17.03).

At the ASU Team Invite in the outdoor season, Daw ran the third leg for the 4 x 100-meter relay team as the Broncos finishes seventh (41.56).

Logan Frederickson, track and field

Frederickson finished 10th in the 1,500-meters at the WAC Outdoor Championships with a time of 4:03.54.

Piper Delaney, women's cross country, women's track and field

Delaney finished 33rd at the WAC Cross Country Championships with a time of 20 minutes, 49.6 seconds.

She took third in the mile at the United Heritage, setting a career-best of 5:17.95. Piper placed seventh in the 3,000 with a career-best of 10:27.45.

Delaney was fifth in the 5,000 in a pretty strong ASU Team Invitational field (18:06.75) and then set a career-best in the 1,500 meters (4:49.40) the following week at the Robison Invitational to place sixth.

Piper finished 11th in the 1,500 meters at the WAC Outdoor Championships (4:54.41) and scored a point for the Bronco women in the 3,000, finishing eighth with a time of 10:35.00.

Emily Funkhouser, women's track and field

Emily won the 500-meters at the Jackson's Open (1:18.25) and helped the 4 x 400-meter relay team win first (4:00.40).

Outdoors, she finished eighth in the 400-meter hurdles at the ASU Team Invite (1:02.34). She won the All-Idaho Collegiate, capturing first place by 2.5 seconds (1:05.35) and placed third in the Robison Invitational (1:02.85).

Funkhouser had the sixth-best qualifying time in the 400-hurdles at the WAC Outdoor Championships (1:02.94). She earned fifth place in the finals with a time of 1:02.16).

Destiny Gammage, women's track and field

Gammage showed hope for the future with a second-place finish in the 200 (25.61) at the Jackson's Open. She was fifth at the Bronco Invitational (25.40).

Destiny finished 13th in the 60-meters at the WAC Indoor Championships (7.96). She was eighth in qualifying in the 200 (25.03) and then proceeded to take sixth-place in the 200-meter final with a season-best of 24.81.

The season moved outdoors, and Gammage would play an increasing role on the Bronco team. She ran the opening leg on the 4 x 100-meter relay team that finished sixth at the ASU Team Invite (46.54). The relay team won at the All-Idaho Collegiate with a time of 47.19. Gammage ran anchor on the Bronco team that finished third at the Robison Invitational with a season-best time of 46.42.

Destiny helped the relay team capture second at the Idaho-Utah Border Clash with a time of 47.32. Individually, the placed second in the 100 (12.24) and third in the 200 with a career-best of 24.79.

Gammage was ninth in qualifying for the 200-meter final at the WAC Outdoor Championships (24.50), missing the finals by one-hundredth of a second. She anchored the 4 x 100-meter relay team that finished third in the WAC (46.36) and had the 13th-fastest time in the 100 (13.07).

Matt Kaiserman, football

Kaiserman impressed in the limited time he was in action prior to injury. He carried the ball 33 times for 150 yards (4.5 avg.) and one touchdown. Matt went over the century mark (122 yards) against Hawai'i. He also had two receptions for 20 yards and completed an 11-yard pass for a touchdown vs. Idaho.

Brenel Myers, football

Myers started two games this past season for Boise State; none of them bigger than getting the call in the Fiesta Bowl against two-time All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes. Myers shocked the world in his first start at right tackle, quarterback Kellen Moore's "blind side" since he is a lefty.

Hughes was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, a two-time All-MWC player, winner of the Walter Camp Award for Collegiate Player of the Year, the Hendricks Award and the Lott Trophy, voted as the #1 defensive end in the nation and will play for the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Hughes' totals for the game: four tackles, 1 ½ tackles for loss, a tipped pass and a forced fumble. Myers held Hughes in check and helped the Broncos upset the #3 Horned Frogs 17-10.

Kirby Moore, football

Moore played in 13 games for Boise State, collecting 21 receptions for 242 yards (11.5 average) with two touchdowns including his first collegiate TD of 61 yards against San Jose State.

Chris Potter, football

Potter played in 12 games for the Fiesta-Bowl Champion Broncos, catching eight passes for 60 yards (7.5 avg.). He also did well in punt return duties, returning 10 kicks for 129 yards (12.9 average) with a high of 32 yards.

Zach Wiles, cross country, track and field

Wiles steadily improved during the cross country season, and finished 25th at the WAC Cross Country Championships with a time of 27:53.5. He was 119th overall at the NCAA West Regionals (33:35.09).

Wiles too joined the track team and immediately finished second in the mile at the United Heritage Invite (4:24.60).

He placed eighth in the 3,000 at the WAC Indoor Championships with a time of 8:48.60.

Outdoors, Zach finished seventh in the 5,000-meters at the ASU Team Invite (9:43.57). He then competed in the Oregon Relays and beat his career-best time by three seconds to finish eighth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:14.09).

Wiles was eighth in the steeple at the WAC Outdoor Championships and led all freshmen with a time of 9:48.10. He also ran the 5,000 for the Broncos and finished behind teammate Jeff Howard as the best freshman with a time of 15:17.36.

With these exciting new Broncos in the fold, one not only wonders about what they will do for an encore next year, but how many conference championships these student-athletes can help their teams win over the next three years!


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