Another record for Idaho track

Vandal pole vaulter MELINDA OWEN set a new UI record today with a vault of of 13-5 1/4, which positions her 6th in the nation and #1 in the WAC. At a meet in Nebraska, senior Vandal shot putter Russ Winger leads the nation with a throw of 65-2. He won the event by seven feet. Sophomore Matt Wauters ranks 4th nationally in the weight throw with an NCAA provisional 68-6.5 throw. There's more...


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From the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite in Nebraska

Vandal senior Russ Winger leads the nation in the shot put.
2/3/2007 LINCOLN, Neb. - For the second-consecutive week, Idaho thrower Russ Winger [the WAC track Athlete of the Week earlier this season] hit a personal best and increased his national lead in the men's shot put Saturday at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite.

Winger's very first throw of the day, a personal-best toss of 65-2, was enough to win the event convincingly. The closest collegiate competitor was over seven feet behind him.

Sophomore Matt Wauters, who placed second in the weight throw on Friday, set a new personal best in the shot put Saturday with a toss of 54-2.

"Not only are they throwing well, they're throwing consistently well," co-head coach Wayne Phipps said.

--------------- Friday Report from Nebraska ------------

Vandal sophomore Matthew Wauters is fourth in the country in the weight throw and set a new UI record this season.
2/2/2007 Lincoln, Neb. – Idaho throwers Russ Winger and Matt Wauters competed well on the first day of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational Friday, both hitting NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the men's weight throw.

Wauters, who currently ranks fourth in the nation in the weight throw, finished second in the event with a throw of 68-6½.

"It was an awful lot of fun. I was happier that I was more consistent, but I think there's a lot more that I haven't done yet," Wauters said. "I'm excited to throw tomorrow, and I'm excited to see Russ throw tomorrow."

Winger, who currently leads the nation in the shot put, finished fifth in the weight throw with a toss of 64-8¾.

"I wasn't disappointed," Winger said. "I felt like I could have thrown farther, but I wasn't too far off what I've thrown before, so I'm not disappointed at all."

Winger and Wauters are competing in Lincoln this weekend to get a chance to compete in a more competitive meet, to prepare them for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.

"You try to go into all meets with the same mindset," Winger said. "Going into local meets, there's not as much of a competitive atmosphere, so it is hard to get a competitive mindset."

The two throwers will compete in the shot put Saturday afternoon, while the rest of the Vandal team will be home, competing Saturday morning in the McDonald's Collegiate at the Kibbie Dome.


Vandal pole vaulter Melinda Owen leads the WAC and set a new Idaho record in the event this weekend.
2/3/2007 MOSCOW, Idaho – The Idaho Vandal track and field team hasn't gone to a meet this season without breaking a record. This time, it was vaulter Melinda Owen breaking a school record in front of a home crowd at the McDonald's Collegiate at the Kibbie Dome.

Owen cleared a height of 13-5¼, breaking her own previous school record of 13-3¾ in the event. The NCAA provisional qualifying mark moves Owen up to sixth in the nation in the vault and increases her WAC lead by nearly a foot in the event.

"I'm still hoping I can go higher," Owen said. "The mark I went out on would have been the best in the nation, so my goal now is to get that."

Despite running tired after a very hard week of practice, Idaho's sprinters came out strong and set many personal-bests and WAC bests.

"The runners trained pretty hard through the week to prepare for Seattle next weekend, so I expected them to be a little tired. I thought they ran really well, though," co-head coach Wayne Phipps said.

Sophomore Sam Michener hit personal bests in both the 60m and 200m, finishing second in both events. His time of 6.94 in the 60m is third-best in the WAC, while his time of 21.81 in the 200m is the best in the WAC so far this year.

"I think Sam has been amazing in practice and is getting more comfortable in competition," Phipps said. "When he puts it all together, he's going to get some excellent times."

Not to be outdone, fellow sophomore Kevin Pabst won the 400m with a personal-best 49.15, which is the top time in the WAC, while also leaping 22-11¼ for a second-place finish in the long jump. That jump is second-best in the WAC this year. Freshman Mike Carpenter took third in the 200m with a personal-best 21.99, which is the third-best time in the WAC this season. His pole vault of 15-1 is also a personal best and is the second-best vault in the WAC this year.

The women hurdlers continue to improve on a weekly basis, finishing one-two-three in the 60m hurdles and setting three personal bests. Heather Bergland won the event with a time of 8.64, Christie Gordon took second with a personal-best 8.84, Molly Burt took third with a personal-best 9.04 and Darcy Collins took sixth with a personal-best 9.18. Bergland is ranked second in the conference, while Gordon is ranked fifth.

The Idaho distance crew was solid, setting four personal bests and moving up the WAC rankings. Newcomer Bastien Tardy ran a 1:54.62 800m to finish second, while senior Kevin Potter ran a personal-best 1:56.71 in the event to take third. The two runners are ranked second and third in the WAC, respectively, in the event. Kevin Friesen and Mike Thompson took third and fourth, respectively, in the mile run. Friesen's time of 4:21.60 is third-best in the WAC, while Thompson's time of 4:22.73 is fourth-best.

The men's 4x400m relay team took first in the event with a time of 3:19.77. That time is second-best in the WAC this year.

"I'm excited about the team's performance today," Teevens said. "We had a bunch of personal bests out there. Everyone's really gearing up for the WAC Championships."

Vandal track heads to Seattle, Wash., next weekend to compete in the Husky Open, which Phipps said will the team's first big test of the season.

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