| March 20, 2018

Track and Field: Dome meet advantage

Indoor track and field teams usually don’t get to compete where they practice. In Idaho’s case, it almost always competes at meets away from Moscow. But that changes Friday as the Idaho track and field team hosts the Idaho Collegiate in the Kibbie Dome.

Field events are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and track events are scheduled to start at 12 p.m.

“It’s always a really nice way for people to actually come out and support us,” senior pole vaulter Dylan Watts said.

The Vandals travel to all of their other meets this season, besides the Vandal Jamboree March 28 at the Dan O’Brien Track and Field Complex. That event will be a part of the outdoor track and field season.

“I mean home is just fun,” Idaho coach Tim Cawley said. “It’s nice for the athletes to get a chance to sleep in their own bed. They have a chance for their friends to watch and families that are close around and stuff, so it’s always neat to have a home event.”

Sophomore thrower Adara Winder said there is definitely an advantage to competing at home for the throwers.

“With throwing, it’s nice to have the same knowing about where everything is and when you throw you want to have certain focal points,” she said. “So when you have the same focal point you have every day you practice, that’s a major advantage, and people that have never thrown here or are not used to here, they don’t have that advantage so much. So it’s more of a comfort zone thing.”

Cawley said Eastern Washington and Gonzaga will be at Friday’s meet, but doesn’t know exactly which other schools will be competing. Eastern Washington is a member of the Big Sky, Idaho’s new conference.

“Normally, at home meets, I feel pretty good about all the other throwers and jumpers because they know where to go, what time to be there,” Winder said. “Normally we know the officials if we’ve been here long enough, and we can mess around with them a little bit before because they’re always fun. But it should be good. I’m looking forward to it.”

Idaho opened up its season last Friday and Saturday at the Ed Jacoby Invite and Multi in Nampa, Idaho.

Senior thrower Zach Trumbauer won the weight throw with a 57-foot throw, and was the only Vandal to win an event.

Watts, who is ranked first in the Big Sky for pole vaulting, finished second in Nampa with a height of 16-2.75.

“I want to have a good year,” he said. “I really want to stay healthy because I’ve had a lot of injuries in the past. But, I mean, last weekend started off really great. I want to continue with that.”

Winder had a strong performance in Idaho’s first meet of the season also. She finished second in the shot put with a career-best toss of 48-3.5.

“It (her performance in Nampa) showed a lot of improvement over last year,” Winder said. “My marks last year were not incredibly far back, but I’m starting above where I ended last season, so that feels really good. I know that the training is working so that’s always a good thing when you know that your hard work is worth something.”

Several other Idaho athletes had career-best marks at the invite as well.

“We had a lot of career bests, which was good to see,” Cawley said. “I mean that’s always what we’re looking for. (I’m) never going to be upset with someone if it’s a personal best. So I think it was a great opener.”

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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