Idaho men capture WAC indoor track title
The Idaho men’s track and field team won the Western Athletic Conference indoor title by finishing first in the final event – the 400-meter relay – at Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday.
The relay team of Andrew Bloom, Josh Dalton, Kyle Taylor and Ben Ayesu-Attah clocked 3:14.62 to clinch title title after entering the final event leading Utah State by just a point. USU was third in the relay as Idaho won the team championship by five points (217.5) in the three-team field.
Idaho senior Andrew Blaser was chosen the conference’s male field performer of the year after wining the heptathlon on Friday and coming back with victories on Saturday in the high jump (6 feet, 4 1/4 inches) and 60 hurdles (8.03).
“He was willing to do even more if I had asked him to, “ Idaho director of track and field Wayne Phipps said. “to come in today and competing two long, hard days and win the high jump, then come back and get third in the vault, then win the hurdles in a PR time – you just can’t write that script. There’s no way we even have a shot to be close without him on our team.”
Rendel Jones went 47-7 to win the triple jump and Jeremy Klas 17-4 1/2 to win his third consecutive pole vault title.
Idaho’s crown is its first in indoor track and field since winning the 1997 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) title and is the first WAC title by any Vandals men’s team.
The Vandal women finished second in a seven-team field with 110 points behind Utah State, which had 144. Idaho’s Hannah Kiser, won both the mile (4:45.67) and 3,000 (meet record 9:45.11) on Saturday, was chosen the conference’s female track performer of the year. Liga Velvere gave the Vandals another win in the 800 in 2:09.05.
• The Washington State men place sixth in a 12-team field and the women 10th in a 14-team field at the MPSF championships at the University of Washington.
Stephan Scott-Ellis was second in the triple jump (52-1 3/4), Joe Abbott was second in the 800 (1:49.47) and Michael Bolligar third in the heptathlon to highlight the WSU men’s results on Saturday. Aric Walden, a freshman from Newport, was fifth in the 60 hurdles in 8.22.
In a local note, senior Jordan Carlson (Shadle Park) and freshman Baylee Mires (Mead) were part of the University of Washington women’s distance medley relay team that won in an NCAA-leading time 10:55.01 on Friday. The time was a school record and the fifth-fastest in NCAA history. The Huskies men’s distance medley relay team included junior Bradley Whitley (Central Valley) and finished fourth in a school-record 9:35.06.
On Saturday, Carlson won her heat of the women’s 400 in school-record 54.67 seconds, which was good for fourth overall.
Arizona State won the men’s title and Stanford the women’s title. UW’s men were eighth and the women fifth.
• The Eastern Washington men finished third and the women eighth at the Big Sky Conference Championships at Flagstaff, Ariz.
Steven Warner won the 60 hurdles in 8.07, the second-best time in EWU history. The 1,600 relay team of Collin Green Michael Okoro, Brad Michael and Brad Wall broke a 22-year-old school record with a winning time of 3:11.04.
Keisa Monterola, selected as the meet’s outstanding female athlete, won the pole vault with a mark of 14-2. The EWU women’s 1,600 relay squad of Whitney Leavitt, Nicole Nida, Angelica Rodriguez and Chelsea Lawhead, broke a 12-year-old EWU record, finishing second in 3:46.77.
Kyle Sweedman was North Idaho College’s top finisher as runner-up in the 174-pound class as the Cardinals finished sixth at the NJCAA national championships in Rochester, Minn.
Sweedman lost a 3-2 decision to Jahwaon Akui of Iowa Central in their championship match.
University High graduate Ryan Zumwalt pinned Michal Perez of Iowa Central in 58 seconds for third place. He had lost 3-2 in the semifinals to eventual champion Devin Aquirre of Labette CC, which won the team title.
Michael Rodriguez was fourth at 111, Caleb Rivera seventh at 184 and Jarrett Morrill eighth at 141 for the Cardinals.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs continued their perfect start to the season with two more victories at the YMBL Cardinal Classic at Beaumont, Texas, to improve their record to 7-0.
Andy Hunter pitched his first complete game as a collegian in the Bulldogs’ first victory of the day, 7-3 over Illinois. Hunter gave up one earned run on seven hits and struck out a career-high seven.
Steven Halcomb had three hits to lead the GU offense. Eric Lane and Royce Bolinger had two hits apiece. Marco Gonzales and Clayton Eslick drove in two runs each, while Billy Moon hit his first homer of the season.
In the second game, Halcomb collected three more hits, including his 12th-inning single that scored Alex Stanford in the top of the 12th inning to lift the Bulldogs over host Lamar 6-5. David Bigelow (2-0) won in relief. Stanford had two hits and Gonzales two RBIs.
• Washington State’s home game with Nebraska-Omaha postponed and rescheduled as a noon doublheader today.
• Whitworth had a doubleheader with Linfield at Pasco postponed. The Pirates will play two with Linfield today at noon and another doubleheader against the Wildcats on Monday at 11 a.m., all at Pasco.
Nicole Atkinson and Amber Meyers hit home runs to combine for five RBIs as the North Idaho College Cardinals (12-17, 10-10) split a Scenic West doubleheader with Western Nevada (11-14, 6-5) by winning the second game 7-4 at Moses Lake. Jenifer Rosie (3-4) got the win. Atkinson picked up the save.
Western Nevada won the opener 4-3. NIC scored a run in the bottom of the seventh but left two runners on base to end the game. Shelby Carter had two hits for NIC.