The Idaho track and field team jumpstarted the season with 12 Vandals taking first place in their respective events. The Vandal Indoor Invitational took place in the Kibbie Dome Friday. Idaho Director of Track and Field Tim Cawley said he was impressed with the heart and competition the team brought right off the bat.
“There’s a good fire,” Cawley said in a news release. “They came out, competed well and had fun. If we made mistakes, we were too aggressive.”
Idaho sprinters had a strong opening day. Freshman Rechelle Meade won the 60-meter sprint after a near stumble in the preliminary round. She won with a time of 7.82 seconds.
Sophomore sprinter and hurdler Zion Stuffle also had a successful day in the Dome. Stuffle finished second in the 60-meter hurdle race by 0.01 seconds out of first place. His strong performance in the 4×400 meter relay helped the Vandals gain another first place.
Freshman sprinter Mack Baxter and senior middle distance runner Blake Gerling led the way in middle distance races. Both Baxter and Gerling contributed to the 12 first place wins, Baxter in the 400-meter with 50.58 and Gerling in the 800-meter with 1:56.52.
Rounding out the middle distance was sophomore middle distance runner Kaleala Bass. Bass was the other winner for the women with her victory in the 400-meter with 59.57.
Idaho put away five first place wins in the jumps as well.
On the women’s side, Meade continued her successful day by winning the long jump. She was the only Vandal athlete to take first in more than one event.
Senior jumper Katelyn Peterson won the high jump with a jump of 5 feet 4.9 inches.
Freshman jumper Karina Moreland rounded out the jumping events for the women, and took the victory in the triple jump with 38 feet and 8.2 inches.
The men’s jumps were led by All-American long jumper junior Arphaxad Carroll, who sealed the victory with a new personal record. Freshman jumper Jonny Magee also snagged a win in the triple jump with a jump of 44 feet 4.7 inches.
Headlining for the throwers was junior Kolcie Bates, who collected another Idaho win in the weight throw (53 feet 4.9 inches).
Cawley said he was excited with the way his team performed to start the season.
“It was a solid day,” said Cawley. “We had some pretty good performances. We’re pretty young. We can see some inconsistencies. But it couldn’t have gone much better.”
Idaho hits the track again Saturday in the WSU Indoor Open in Pullman.
Meredith Spelbring can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org