The Vandals jumped the border to head to the Washington State Indoor Open. Several Vandals had top finishes in the early meet.
Idaho director of track and field Tim Cawley said he liked what he saw from his team and where they are in the early weeks of the season.
“I thought it went pretty well. I thought that across the board we competed really well,” Cawley said in a news release. “I think we’re further ahead than we were last year at this time, which is exciting. We had four wins over the two days, that’s great to see. They’re working hard, they’ve been working hard through these first few weeks and I think some of those results are starting to show. I think we’re in a good place right now.”
Junior sprinter and jumper Arphaxad Carroll came out on top with a victory in the long jump with a 7.47 meter leap, a new indoor record for Carroll as well as a meet-record.
In the long sprints and middle distances handful of athletes finished in the top five.
Senior Wednesday Walton finished third in the 400 meters with a time of 1:00.58 seconds. Sophomore Kaleala Bass finished the 800-meter in fourth with a personal best of 2:19.84.
On the men’s side, both freshman sprinter Mack Baxter and senior middle distance runner Ian Middleton finished in the top five in their event. Baxter took third in the 400-meters with a 51.30, while Middleton claimed fourth in the 800-meters in 1:59.12.
Baxter was not the only freshman with a strong finish.
Freshman Rechelle Meade won the high jump with a jump of 1.70 meters as well as a fourth place finish in the 60 meters in 7.80 seconds.
In the 200-meters, freshman Silke Berendse grabbed third in a time of 26.75 seconds.
Rounding out the strong freshmen performances is sprinter Ben Doucette.
Doucette claimed the victory in the 200-meter dash with 23.24 seconds as well as a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles.
He qualified with 8.30 seconds in the preliminaries before improving to 8.04 in the finals to finish second behind Washington State freshman Sam Brixley. His 8.04 earned him the new fastest time in the Big Sky Conference.
Doucettes’s performance earned him the Big Sky Conference Athelete of the Week.
Cawley said he was excited about the big performance from Doucette.
“As a freshman coming out and running 8.04, opening up that way, that was pretty exciting to see,” Cawley said.
In the opening weeks of the season, Cawley said he likes what he sees from his team, both on and off the track.
“I think the team support was good, especially here being close to home,” Cawley said. “You can just see people growing, the progression is going really well. We talk a lot about the process and we can see these kids working through that, not getting too up or too down and not get too excited and just working their way through. I thought overall the team did really well, a really good job.”
Idaho heads to the University of Washington Invitational Jan. 27 in Seattle.
Meredith Spelbring can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org