Idaho track and field looking forward to second meet of outdoor season
With their first meet in the books, the Idaho men’s and women’s track teams will continue the outdoor season Saturday in Spokane at Whitworth’s 10th annual Sam Adams Classic.
Despite the challenges presented by inclement weather, both Vandal teams enjoyed success last weekend when Idaho hosted a slew of Pacific Northwest area teams in the inaugural Mike Keller Invitational. With strong performances from athletes in multiple events, Idaho looks to build off of a good showing and welcomes the opportunity to make the adjustments necessary to remain competitive.
One of the adjustments being worked on is that of senior jumper Emmanuel Panchol. Even with winds exceeding 40 mph, the senior was able to stride his way to a mark of 47 feet, 10 inches in the triple jump over the weekend, which currently leads the Big Sky Conference.
With plenty of room for improvement, Idaho coach Tim Cawley said it would be wise for people to keep an eye on Panchol throughout the season.
“We’re still trying to dial his run in a little bit,” Cawley said. “He had a few jumps that he fouled, but got a good mark in which is now leading the conference, so that’s a good spot for him to be in. I think even in the triple jump that was kind of an average meet for him. He’s definitely got a lot more in him.”
Panchol isn’t alone. In a sport where athletes compete against themselves as much as they do against other contenders, the Vandals are on a perpetual quest for improvement. Cawley said this time of year is “high tinker mode,” and sometimes the tinkering means enduring a transitional phase from one technique to another.
“You look at Zach Trumbauer, who’s a fantastic hammer thrower — he’s always been a three turner and we’re working toward a four-turn release,” Cawley said. “He had a decent day, though. I think it solidified what we’re trying to do with him and the move we’re trying to make.”
This weekend, junior thrower Tayler Feinauer, the 2014 women’s javelin WAC champion, will try to improve on her 133-foot, second place, javelin toss from last Saturday. Just like her teammates, Feinauer has a new plan of execution different from her performance at the Mike Keller Invitational.
“I haven’t thrown since last year, so with the meet last Saturday I was only taking a seven-step half approach going into my throws,” Feinauer said. “This weekend, depending on what coach thinks I should do and how I’m feeling, I’d like to go with a full-speed approach.”
With a full approach, Feinauer hopes to capture a mark in the 140-foot range, but she said this early in the season, her main focus is simply going one day at a time.
“If I can just progress a little bit each week and eventually qualify for conference, I’ll be happy,” Feinauer said.
As Idaho continues to tinker, Vandals fans throughout the Inland Northwest can witness the changes themselves with meets in Spokane and Cheney this weekend and next, respectively. Idaho will also compete April 25 in Pullman at the Cougar Invitational, where the teams will face former Idaho coach Wayne Phipps.
Kyle Schumaker can be reached at email@example.com