After the craziest weekend of track and field the Vandals faced all season, the teams are back in action with two more meets this weekend. Last weekend the Vandals broke school, conference and personal records in a four-meet weekend in Southern California and Washington.
Idaho also earned two WAC Athlete of the Week honors for the week of April 15-21. Idaho junior Hannah Kiser was awarded the WAC Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week while junior Kyle Rothwell earned the WAC Men’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week.
Kiser’s honor came after she crushed the WAC record in the women’s 5000-meter run at the Mt. SAC Relays on Friday, April 19. Her time of 15:44.06 smashed the Idaho school record set in 1984 by nearly 26 seconds and broke the WAC record by 17 seconds. Her WAC leading 5000-meter time ranks fourth in the NCAA West and seventh in the NCAA so far this season.
Rothwell earned his honor after throwing a career-best hammer throw of 204 feet, 10 inches on Friday at the Mt. SAC Relays and a season-best mark in the shot put Saturday with a toss of 49-11.25. Rothwell’s hammer toss secured a second-place finish and moved him to fifth all-time at Idaho in the event. The mark also ranks 15th in the NCAA West and 30th in the NCAA so far this season.
This week, the largest portion of the Vandal squad will compete at the Duane Hartman Invitational on Friday and Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College. A smaller group of runners including seniors Barry Britt, Lauren Schaffer and Liga Velvere head to Palo Alto, Calif., to compete in the more prestigious Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday.
“We’ll have a local meet,” Idaho coach Julie Taylor said. “Not everybody will compete, not everybody will race. I think the distance runners kind of go every other weekend depending on what (coach Wayne Phipps) thinks.”
Last year, Idaho won nine individual titles and made five record breaking performances at the Duane Hartman Invitational. Returning champions include Kristine Leonard (shot put), Ellen rouse (javelin throw) and Ugis Svazs (javelin throw).
Idaho also saw success at last year’s Payton Jordan Invitational one all-time top-10 entry and 12 career-best marks on the men’s side.
“I don’t think we’ll be full bore but we’ll still have plenty of kids that will be running,” Taylor said. “We are all kind of preparing to get ready for the WAC meet. It will be a much lower key meet (this weekend).”
Stephan Wiebe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org