MOSCOW, Idaho – (From UI Athletics) Idaho track and field athletes took 19 event titles, got some cooperation from the weather and put together a strong meet on the weekend before the Western Athletic Conference Championships.
"We were basically using it as just another workout and we were fine-tuning some things, so we didn't really go into it with huge expectations, but I think we accomplished a lot of positive things," Idaho co-head coach Wayne Phipps said.
On Saturday, the women added nine titles, while the men added eight to the two hammer throw wins from Friday afternoon. Senior Mykael Bothum was a double winner in the women's shot put (51-1.75, 15.59m) and discus (159-4, 48.56m), while junior Ulrike Hartz cleared 5-5 (1.65m) in the women's high jump and ran a 24.66 in the 200m to also double up on wins.
Senior Sam Michener represented the Vandal men with a double of his own, as he took the 100m title with a personal-best 10.67, then followed it with another personal best of 21.53 in the 200m.
A pair of freshmen also stole the show in the women's triple jump, as Sam Nielson won the event with a personal-best leap of 38-10.5 (11.85m) on her final attempt of the day.
Fellow first-year Vandal Ali Middleton started off her day with a monster personal-best of 37-10.5 on her first jump in the triple, then finished it by hitting consecutive personal bests on her final two attempts. She finished with a best of 38-7.75 (11.78m) with a 3.0 m/s wind, which is legal for NCAA results, but greater than the 2.0 maximum for the Idaho record book. Her fifth jump of 38-4 (11.68m) was wind-legal and ranks eighth all-time at Idaho.
"That wasn't just a fluke," Idaho co-head coach Yogi Teevens said. "Every single jump was over her (Middleton's) PR and the last two were two feet over her old PR and then that got Sam Nielson fired up and she came back and got an outdoor PR on her last jump."
Senior Christie Gordon took the women's 100m hurdles title in 13.54, while senior AshLee Rey ran a 57.67 to win the 400m, sophomore Lauren Schaffer ran a 2:13.59 to win the 800m and senior K.C. Dahlgren cleared a season-best 13-0.25 (3.97m) to win the women's pole vault.
On the men's side, freshman Jeff Osborn narrowly edged teammate Kyle Tylor for the 800m victory in 1:56.55, while sophomore Jeremiah Dubie won the 5,000m run in 15:32.06, sophomore Jeremy Klas cleared 16-8.25 (5.09m) to take the pole vault, freshman Colby Lee soared 22-9.75 (6.95m) to win the long jump and junior Eugenio Mannucci hit 57-2.25 (17.43m) to win the shot put.
While a number of athletes trained through the meet in preparation for next week's WAC Championships, Teevens said that momentum gained by Saturday's good performances will help send the team in to the championship meet with a good edge.
"It's always awesome when this happens the week before conference," Teevens said. "You go into it on such a high with so much confidence, and we're doing this in bad weather conditions, so they're going to be really confident when we get down there to Louisiana with perfect conditions."