Archive | May, 2009

Post-Championship Comments

16 May

Well, I’m back at the hotel and figured that I’d give another more in-depth recap of what I thought about this weekend.

First of all, I want to throw out a big Thank You to the Vandal Boosters in Southern Idaho for throwing the dinner for the team. They all appreciated it very much and it was great.

I figured I’d sort of make some ‘awards’ for the meet, since we did have some really good performances…so here are my picks for some “Athletes of the Meet”

Men’s Track Athlete of the Meet:  Josh Dalton (Deary, Idaho)
Granted, Paul Dittmer, Markus Geiger, Sam Michener and the men’s 4x100m team were all great on the track, but I just have to say that winner who I probably least expected was Dalton. I think everyone knew that he was capable of a great run, but he went in as such a heavy underdog to the Utah State runner…who was in front of his home crowd on his own track…and the manner in which he came from behind to win that race…it was just awesome. On top of that, he also came back and filled in on a leg of the 4x400m relay just a short while later and ran really well.

Men’s Field Athlete of the Meet:  Lucas Pope (Hayden, Idaho)
This guy is very quietly one of the WAC’s top performers of the last two seasons. All he’s done is win every conference pole vault title since he arrived on campus. It’s tough being a vaulter, because you generally don’t do any other events, so I don’t think he’ll ever receive the kind of hoopla or award recognition that you would expect a four-time WAC Champion to receive. In what I would say is the most unpredictable of all track and field events, Pope has been extremely consistent, and that’s no small feat. Also major credit to Eugenio Mannucci (he won the men’s shot put on his last throw of the day), Beau Whitney (took third in both the discus and shot put after fouling in the hammer), and Elvie Williams (second in the long jump, second in the triple jump, fifth in the high jump, anchor of the champion 4×100 team).

Women’s Track Athlete of the Meet:  Heather Bergland (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
Heather came into this competition ranked sixth and she did what she has always done, throughout her career…she performed. She ran a fantastic qualifying race, then another great finals race to finish third and earn first-team all-WAC in what was the final race of her Idaho career. She came up just a couple hundredths of a second off the NCAA Regional standard, but that shouldn’t detract from what she did this week. I have to give an EXTREMELY honorable mention here to Lauren Schaffer (just .48 seconds away from regional in the 800m, a personal best by a full second, and a great second-place finish).

Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet:  Lindsay Beard (Eugene, Ore.)
Like I said with Lucas Pope…the pole vault is a very unpredictable event…and the women’s portion this week was the perfect example. EVERYONE had trouble early on. Everyone except Lindsay, that is. She cleared all her early heights on first attempts, and when it came time to break ties, she shot to the top pretty quickly. For a true freshman to come into a big meet like this and appear to not even have any jitters or nervousness, that’s pretty impressive. You always want your athletes to have big performances at big times…and I know she really want to get over that 12-7.5 Regional height…but if she can continue to perform well at important meets, she’ll easily get that height and probably much more. More very honorable mentions for the women in this area…Darcy Collins didn’t have her best heptathlon score-wise, but she still came up big when she needed it and took second. Ellen Rouse did really well in the heptathlon, then came right back and threw really well in both the javelin and the shot put. Breeana Chadez came out in the high jump, cleared a season-high and scored two points she wasn’t supposed to score, which is always what you want to see at a conference meet.

Obviously, these aren’t the only great performances of the weekend…everyone, whether it was just one or two points or six or eight, contributed to what the team did, so they all deserve credit. Also, for those of you keeping track at home, take notice that almost all these athletes are young and that most of them are going to be back next year…so all the Vandal fans are going to have some fun over the next few years keeping track of these kids.

WAC Outdoor Final

16 May

Great day for the Vandals. The men came up just short…but there’s nothing to be ashamed about there…Utah State had just a great meet. The best part is that when you look at the scorers on the men’s side, you’ll notice that most of them are going to be back next year, so that’s really exciting.

The women showed that even with our top girls at home redshirting, they weren’t just going to accept it and give up. Those freshmen and sophomores (and a few juniors) fought hard and scrapped for every little point. And if you’re told me coming down here that we were only going to beat one team this weekend…I think you can guess who I’d want that to be…so I can tell you that the lady Vandals are leaving Logan happy this weekend.

Check out shortly for my complete recap.

Final Team Scores:

1. Utah State – 181
2. Idaho – 138
3. Louisiana Tech – 130
4. Fresno State – 101
5. Boise State – 97

1. Louisiana Tech – 150
2. Nevada – 129.5
3. Fresno State – 119
4. Utah State 112.5
5. Hawai’i – 105.5
6. New Mexico State – 88
7. Idaho – 58
8. Boise State 54.50

Utah State pulling away…

16 May

It looks like the Vandal men are going to have to settle for second. We needed to make up some more ground, but right now, they’re first through fifth in the 5,000m (which is in progress) and we’re down about 15 points. Great effort by our guys this week.

Women are currently in seventh (ahead of Boise State) with 55 points. They still have the 4x400m relay remaining.

More gold coming

16 May

Men’s Shot Put:
If there wasn’t any pressure, there wouldn’t be anything really exciting to write about. Sophomore Eugenio Mannucci (Viterbo, Italy) sat in second place behind Utah State’s Bryce Hall entering the final round and Mannucci answered the call with a lifetime-best 59-5.75 to win the event. Junior Beau Whitney (New Meadows, Idaho) came in third at 52-6 and junior James Rogan (Eagle, Idaho) took fourth at 52-5.5.

Men’s Triple Jump:
Elvie Williams (Tacoma, Wash.) scored his fourth total event, as he nailed a lifetime-best 50-3.25 in the triple jump and moved into eight all-time at Idaho and took second. Andrew Blaser (Boise, Idaho) took eighth in the event with a jump of 43-5.25.

Deary, Idaho?

16 May

Men’s 800m:
There must be something in the water in Deary, Idaho (anybody know where that is?)…because sophomore walk-on Josh Dalton just put on a show in the men’s 800m. He stuck with the front pack for about 85% of the race, then somehow kicked it in, slipped inside and blew by the competition over the final 20 meters to take home gold in 1:52.00 (a HUGE personal best). Awesome race for Josh!

Cesar Barquero (Lima, Peru) also ran a 1:54.79 and took fourth.

Women’s 800m:
Freshman Lauren Schaffer (Boise, Idaho) took second in the women’s 800m with a one-second personal-best time of 2:10.93 (with an altitude adjustment, that just might be a Regional time). She ran a great race and caught Utah State’s Elaine Connolly on the back stretch to move into second.

Men’s Pole Vault:
Bad news for Mike Carpenter (Canby, Ore.), as he no-heighted in the vault…but he had to come straight over to the event after running the second leg of Idaho’s champion 4x100m relay team. It took a lot of guts, but you could tell he was just gassed. On the upside, Lucas Pope (Hayden, Idaho) won a jump-off to take the pole vault title, while freshman Jeremy Klas (Moscow, Idaho) took third. Both jumpers cleared 16-0.75.

Men’s & Women’s 1500m:
Freshman James Clark (Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada) had a great effort to go third in the 1500m with a time of 3:53.21. Fellow freshman Teegan Schoch (Kelowna, B.C., Canada) ran strong and came in fourth at 4:40.78. With the altitude adjustment, she becomes the first Vandal woman to regionally qualify this year! Congrats!

Most recent team standings show Idaho in second with 106 points, while Utah State leads with 130.


16 May

Paul Dittmer (Hanstedt, Germany) led from start to finish and exerted himself as the top hurdler in the WAC. He just ran a 14.03 to make it back-to-back 110m hurdles titles. Sophomore Andrew Blaser took eighth in the race at 14.94.

Heather Bergland (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) just stepped up big-time in what will be the last race of her career. She entered this competition ranked sixth and just finished third with a 13.93 to earn first-team all-WAC honors.


16 May

Ladies and gentlemen…your first Idaho champion(x4)!

Sam Michener to Mike Carpenter to Dominic Schmidt to Elvie Williams….never trailed that race and won the men’s 4x100m in a time of 40.65.

Great job guys!

Women’s and men’s 1500m on the track now.

Calm before the storm…

16 May

We’re about 10 minutes away from the start of the men’s pole vault. We’ll be strong favorites in that event to go 1-2-3 (like we did indoors), so I’m going to keep an eye on that.

We’re still about 40 minutes away from the start of the track events. Once those get going, it’s going to be pretty crazy for a few hours.

Day Three Preview

16 May

Here I am…back on location…back with functioning Internet.

Today’s events are just about to get started, so here’s a run-down of what’s coming up in the next hour or so.

Men’s Javelin:
Kyle Hook (Joseph, Ore.) has already regionally qualified and has thrown beyond 200 feet a few times this year. He should be a solid bet for a top-three finish today. Junior Jonathan Marler (Kennewick, Wash.) is a bit of a wild card here. He competed in this event for the first time a few weeks ago and threw in the 180s and then last weekend threw 193 at the Vandal Jamboree. If he throws more than 200 feet today, he’ll literally come out of nowhere to score in this event.

Women’s Triple Jump:
We’ll have two women here, both of them freshmen. Alyssa Covington (Boise, Idaho) couldn’t find the board and fouled out of the long jump yesterday, so I’m betting she’s going to come out with some fire today. Morgan Dunning (Spokane, Wash.) finished 13th in the pole vault yesterday and I think she’ll be a solid outside shot to score today.

For the track events…don’t hold your breath. We’re still a couple hours away from them.

I’m going to go check out the upcoming field events, then I’ll report back and get a little more going.

Technical Difficulties

15 May

Sorry for the big delay…I was in the middle of posting an update about the women’s pole vault when the internet in the press box died. I just got back to the hotel and I’m working on the full story now…but basically, here’s the rundown of everything that has happened.

Women’s Pole Vault:
Freshman Lindsay Beard (Eugene, Ore.) cleared 12-1.5 and had three great attempts at 12-7.5 (Regional qualifying), but couldn’t quite clear it. Not to worry, though…because she had first-attempt success on all her previous heights and that put her all the way in a tie for second place. Not too bad for the first-year Vandal.

Men’s Discus Throw:
Junior Beau Whitney (New Meadows, Idaho) “competed like a champ” according to throws coach Julie Taylor. He moved into third on his final throw of the day, while senior Evan Ruud (Kennewick, Wash.) came up huge in taking fifth place after projecting not to place at all.

Men’s 200m:
Senior Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) completed his sprints double with a 22.12 in the 200m, which was good enough to qualify him for tomorrow’s final. He’ll have a busy day with the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, but I think he’ll be a major point contributor when it’s all said and done.

Women’s 10,000m:
One thing you can always say about Idaho athletes is that they’ve got guts. Julia Veseth (Moscow, Idaho) is no different. Halfway through this race, she almost had to stop because of a stitch in her side and you could tell for a couple laps that she was hurting…but she did not give up and did not drop out. She finished the race in 41:11.69 and took seventh to score two points for the Vandal women. Pretty impressive for a true freshman running a 10,000m race at altitude.

Men’s 10,000m:
Freshman Markus Geiger (Bad Neustadt, Germany) came into Idaho as a top 10,000m runner and he didn’t disappoint. He ran a really good race and stayed with the front pack from start to finish. He took third and nearly overtook second on the final lap to finish with a time of 32:14.76. That’s a second career first-team all-WAC honor for the two-time WAC Freshman of the Year (cross country and indoor track).

Tough luck for senior Matt Racine who also gritted out the race. He came in seventh, just outside scoring position, with a time of 34:04.33. He’ll try his luck again tomorrow in the 5,000m, as will Geiger. Give major credit to those two guys…most people probably don’t even walk 15,000m in a month and these two are going to run that distance in a 24-hour period.

I hope I didn’t miss anyone…but check out and I’ll have a full release out in a little while.

Quick update

15 May

I just made a quick round in the team area and talked to some of our kids. The sentiment among all these athletes was that they all felt comfortable and that they felt the altitude a little…but that they don’t think it’s going to affect them too much.

Josh Dalton (Deary, Idaho) won that 800m heat by a pretty large margin and told me afterward that he didn’t even know he was so far ahead…but he reminded me that last year indoors, he didn’t finish hard in the final during the prelims and ended up missing out on qualifying by .05 seconds, so there was no way he was going to let up at all in the final 100 meters today.

Our hurdlers both said that they felt good in their runs and that they’re eager to go even faster tomorrow. Paul Dittmer (Hanstedt, Germany) officially ran a 13.93, which is a Ralph Maughan Track Facility record (formerly 13.99), so congratulations to him! Let’s hope he goes even faster tomorrow and takes a run at Idaho’s school record of 13.80

800m Heats

15 May

Freshman Lauren Schaffer (Boise, Idaho) looked really comfortable out there today. She took second in her heat at 2:17.76 and qualified for tomorrow’s final with the fourth-fastest time. She’s already run a 2:11.90 this year, so I expect her to be right in the hunt for the WAC title.

Very good race here. Idaho’s men went 1-2-3 in the second heat and all three qualified for the final. SophomoreJosh Dalton (Deary, Idaho) won the heat in 1:53.04, which is a personal best and was the top qualifying time. Freshman James Clark (Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada) ran the second-fastest qualifying time of 1:53.63, which is also a career best. Finally, senior Cesar Barquero ran a 1:54.83 and earned the final at-large qualifying spot for tomorrow’s final.

All three of these guys are going to threaten to take this title tomorrow, which should be pretty exciting.

Next up on the track is the 400m hurdles, which we won’t compete, followed by the 200m. Women’s shot put, men’s discus, men’s high jump and women’s long jump all start in about 30 minutes.

Men’s 100m Final

15 May

Sam Michener (Gresham, Ore.) just ran a season-best 10.75 in the men’s 100m and qualified with the sixth-fastest time.

Tough luck for Mike Carpenter (Canby, Ore.). He ran a career-best 10.87, but he finished ninth by just two hundredths of a second. Sophomore Dominic Schmidt ran an 11.01 and finished 11th.

Women’s 800m heats are starting now.

Women’s Javelin Final

15 May

Sophomore Anne Barnett (Hermiston, Ore.) took sixth in the women’s javelin and freshman Ellen Rouse (Orofino, Idaho) took seventh. Both of them threw season-bests, as Barnett hit 134-8 and Rouse threw 134-3.

Freshmen Justine Belliveau (Oregon City, Ore.) and Danielle Hayward (Salem, Ore.) finished 10th and 11th, respectively.

Long Jump Final

15 May

Elvie Williams (Tacoma, Wash.) ended up in second place, but it was close. He took the lead on his final jump with a leap of 24-6, but BSU’s Ryan Grinnell re-took the lead on the final attempt of the competition.

Heats of the men’s 100m have just started, but I have no numbers yet.


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