Athletes of the week
Hannah Kiser- Cross Country
Kiser has been a part of two WAC champion Vandal cross country teams, but the junior had never won an individual crown at the conference championship meet before Saturday morning. The Wenatchee, Wash., native finished sixth and second in the 2010 and 2011 WAC Championship meets. Saturday in Ruston, La., Kiser beat out New Mexico State’s Courtney Schultz by 10 seconds, completing the 5-kilometer course in 17:05.3. Kiser’s first-place finish was also key to Idaho’s third consecutive title. The Vandals managed 48 points and edged Texas-San Antonio by three points. Kiser was a unanimous first team all-WAC selection.
Barry Britt- Cross Country
Although the young Vandal team failed to claim a team title in Britt’s final WAC race, the senior finished third individually and earned all-WAC first team honors. Britt has never finished lower than sixth at a WAC Championship meet and has finished within the top three twice. Seattle University’s Erik Barkhaus and Utah State’s Kyle McKenna finished ahead of Britt, who ran the course in 24:10.48, 36 seconds faster than the fourth-place finisher.
Erica Hart- Soccer
One of ten Vandal seniors who played their final home match at Guy Wicks Field Sunday afternoon, Hart made the most of the opportunities given to her in a 3-1 win over New Mexico State. Idaho needed a victory to clinch a WAC Tournament berth and Hart netted twice for the desperate Vandal squad. Hart’s first goal, which would prove the be the game-winner, came in the 40th minute, when Jill Flockhart’s cross found Hart, who headed it into the corner of the goal. For insurance, Hart scored again in the 60th and it was Katie Baran on the assist this time, sending a cross into the wide-open Hart, who passed it into the net from a few yards out. Hart, originally from Spokane, scored twice in her first-ever home match as a freshman and accomplished the same feat in her final home match Sunday.
Gordon Webb- Golf
It was a weekend of excellence for Webb and the Vandal men’s golf team, who both finished atop the leaderboard at the UTEP Miner Invite in El Paso, Texas. Webb, who redshirted the 2010 season and had a season-best eighth place finish at the Boise Invitational last year, shot rounds of 70-68-70 for a tournament-best 208. The second-place finishers, Justin Shin of New Mexico State and Benjamin Bankhead of Utah State, each scored a 212. In three rounds of play, Webb had two double bogeys, five bogeys and 19 birdies. As a team, Idaho shot a 13-under 851 to walk away with its first title of the fall. Texas-Arlington came in second with an 860.
Stephen Madison- Basketball
Madison scored 22 points in the first half of Idaho’s exhibition victory against Seattle Pacific University Saturday in Memorial Gym, two more than his previous career-high from a CIT Tournament game against UC Santa Barbara last season. Madison’s 28 points helped Idaho in a big way, especially with the absence of the Vandals’ leading point scorer from last season, senior Kyle Barone. Madison showed his ability to drive the lane and penetrate the post, two aspects that he added to his game last season. Madison’s 28 led all players Saturday and the Portland native connected on 10 of 12 free throws.