Despite fielding limited squads on both the men’s and women’s sides, both Vandal teams finished third in their outdoor season debuts at the Buc Scoring Invitational Friday in Spokane. The Whitworth men won on their home track while the Northwest Nazarene women took first on the women’s side.
It was mostly field athletes competing for Idaho, and the throwing group took advantage of their chance to compete early in the season. The Idaho women took first or second in each of the throwing events.
Sophomore Johanna Hocketstaller started things off with a 46 foot, 2 inch victory in the shot put. Senior Sarah Nutsch added a victory in the hammer throw with a toss of 174-07 and senior Ellen Rouse won the javelin with a throw of 139-02. In addition to their three victories, the Idaho women also had six top-five finishes in the throwing events.
“It was just overall a good day for throwers,” Idaho coach Julie Taylor said. “We had a number of athletes hit career and season-best marks.”
On the men’s side, senior Charles Joseph took second in the shot put (52-08.25) and junior Kyle Rothwell finished second in the hammer throw (185-10). Idaho’s male javelin throwers didn’t compete at the Buc Scoring Invitational and will make their debut later in the season.
The Vandals didn’t compete many runners in Spokane, but those who competed didn’t fail to impress. Junior Cait Rowland collected a victory in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with her time of 1 minute, 8.64 seconds. She finished right ahead of teammate Nicole Dorsey who finished in second.
As one of the few distance runners competing for Idaho, freshman Santos Vargas claimed the individual title in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, crossing the finish line in 9:42.64. It was an impressive feat considering it was his first time running the water hazard and obstacle filled distance race at the collegiate level.
Idaho is set to continue its success this weekend in the Stanford Invitational at Palo, Alto, Calif., where they will compete with slightly larger squads as they ease athletes into outdoor competition.
“Our kind of big opener weekend will be the beginning of April,” Idaho coach Wayne Phipps said. “These first couple meets are more in preparation for early April.”
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