The Idaho track and field squad took its second trip out west to Seattle Feb. 9-11, where a number of Vandals found season and life-time bests. Here is everything from Seattle and a look ahead to the USA Championships beginning Feb. 16.
Idaho at Husky Classic and UW Open
Sophomore Rechelle Meade took the first in the long jump with a 5.69-meter jump. Meade currently tops the Big Sky rankings in this event with a 6.17-meter leap. She is also the only athlete to clear the six-meters this season.
Sophomore Karina Moreland also won her event in the triple jump after coming off a win from last week’s Idaho Duals with a leap of 11.84-meters, taking first overall for the weekend.
Two Vandals took the spotlight in the 3000-meter event. Sophomore Kara Story took second with a personal-best time of 9:42.90. This moves her up to the top-five in the Big Sky for the event. Following Story, junior Andrea Condie finished seventh with a personal-best time of 9:48.38.
Junior Erin Hagen moved up in the Big Sky rankings in the mile this weekend after taking second overall with a personal best time of 4:56.57.
Junior Kaleala Bass ran the 800-meters with a season-best time of 2:11.84, a performance that put her in third place.
Junior Kaizer Gillspie took second in the 400-meters with a season best time of 48.18 seconds. Gillspie is currently ranked sixth in the Big sky for this event.
Sophomore Ben Doucette claimed second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.10 seconds. He currently is ranked second in the Big Sky with a season-best time of 7.94 seconds.
Idaho athletes also found plenty of success in the other field events. In the shotput, sophomore Zachary Short took first for the third time this season with a personal-best throw of 18 meters.
Idaho’s 4×400-meter relay squad of Gillispie, junior Rikki McCaw, sophomore Mack Baxter and junior Levi Wintz won their event with a time of 3:21.39.
After the close of the 2018 regular indoor season, the Vandals move forward to compete at the USA Championships.
Idaho Director of Track and Field/Cross-Country Tim Cawley said the trip to Seattle was very successful and the team returns home with a number of career and season bests, which only boosts the athlete’s confidence further heading into the post season competition. Cawley said many of the athletes are still, however, working on their technical skills as the season progresses. “If there is any issue it is kind of on some of the technical events, not quite connecting where they need to be,” Cawley said. “The kids are frustrated and excited at the same time. They’re frustrated because they know they can do great things but excited that they know that but frustrated because the marks aren’t quite coming yet. We are fine-tuning, coming down into the championship season so I think we are in a great place.”
With the level and intensity of competition throughout the Big Sky Conference, Cawley said it is near impossible to guess who will shine and where the athletes will fall at the end of the day.
“The teams that we’re going against are some fantastic,” Cawley said. “Programs out there are doing an excellent job, everyone is going in there to just battle as best as they can and I think a lot of those top names, they all kind of have a shot. That is part of it, they have kind of put themselves in a situation, now it is go and compete and getting it done.”
Idaho will close jumps into the post season with a trip to the USA Championships beginning Feb. 16 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Marisa Lloyd and Meredith Spelbring can be reached at email@example.com