2017-2018 Year in Review

Oct 25, 2018 - ic Conference (SCIAC) Male Field Athlete of the Year, in T.J. Randall. ... formance in the long jump was just .01 meters from the winni...

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Dear Vandal Track & Field Family, I had the pleasure of spending some time with one of our newest hall of famers, Melinda Owen, this past summer at the IAFF World Track & Field Championships in London. During one of the practices we were at together another one of the athletes said something inappropriate in the setting we were in. Most people would have just let it go, but without hesitation Melinda spoke up and educated the young man in such a way that was firm, but friendly. I was truly impressed and I knew in that instant what kind of character she has.

Anderson, Idaho Ready for 2018

Character is a big part of what we look for in recruits and emphasize here in the program. So to see a Vandal, especially one as talented and who is such an ambassador of our sport, display it on such a high level, just made me that much prouder to be a part of this amazing Vandal family.

Feature on JR Josiah Anderson prior to first XC meet.

Please enjoy looking over some of the amazing memories from this past year and Go Vandals!

Idaho Women Perfect Scores

Tim Cawley Director of Track & Field/Cross Country

Clash of the Inland NW Meet

2017-2018 Year in Review Women’s Track & Field Team Post 3rd Highest GPA in NCAA! Men’s Team also Achieves All-Academic Status. The women posted a team GPA of 3.69, the third highest cumulative GPA for women’s track & field amongst NCAA division one teams. The men were also outstanding academically, finishing the year with a team GPA of 3.23. To qualify for the team award, programs must finish the year with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00. In total, 361 teams were recognized, including 220 women’s teams and 141 men’s teams. The Big Sky was well represented, with eight men’s teams and nine women’s teams earning recognition. Full Story HERE

SR Andie Condie earns Big Sky AOW Honors

And the Gun Went Off Thacker Becomes a Runner Feature on SO Malaina Thacker.

SO Zack Short Wins Two Big Sky Conference Track & Field Titles! It’s About Improving - Ovnicek leads On and Off the Course Feature on SR Skylar Ovnicek. Sophomore Zack Short had a breakout year that was highlighted by winning two conference titles in the shot put. Zack won a conference title during the indoor championships after leading the conference all winter. He defended his title in the same event at the conference championships in Moscow during the outdoor championships. He posted a personal best of 18.23m (59’ 9.75”) on the year and looks to continue to progress in 2019 and defend his status as the top shot putter in the conference.

Indoor Full Story HERE Outdoor Full Story HERE

SO Rechelle Meade Breaks a School Record in the Long Jump! THANK YOU!

Sophomore Rechelle Meade started off 2018 on an explosive note. During the first meet of the year, she broke a 15-year-old school record in the women’s long jump. The mark was previously held by Idaho legend Angela Whyte. Meade jumped 6.17m (20’ 3”) to post the new school record. Meade now holds both the indoor and outdoor school records in the long jump at the University of Idaho. Full Story HERE

Three Vandals Qualify for NCAA Track & Field Championships!

Three members of the Idaho track & field team qualified for the NCAA Track & Field Championships during the 2018 outdoor season. Junior Andrea Condie qualified in the 5000m, Junior Austin Byer qualified in the javelin, and Sophomore Zack Short qualified in the shot put all competed at the West Preliminary Rounds meet in Sacramento, CA. All three beat their ranking coming into the meet. This was the first appearance for all three and each return this year to join four other Idaho Track & Field athletes who have qualified for the NCAA Championships on the roster for 2019. Full Story HERE

Kasin Pendergrass Anderson Earns Big Sky Freshman of the Year Award

Kasin Pendergrass Anderson was recognized as the Big Sky Freshman of the Year on the men’s side for the indoor season, after he scored 13 points at the Big Sky Championship meet. He finished second in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump at the conference meet. His performance in the long jump was just .01 meters from the winning mark. He posted best marks of 7.46m (24’ 5.75”) in the long jump and 15.05m (49’ 4.5”) in the triple jump.

Full Story HERE

Idaho Cross Country has Historically Successful Season

Women Podium at Big Sky Championships Men Tie Highest Regional Finish

The 2017 Idaho Cross Country season saw a vast amount of success. The women’s team placed third at the Big Sky Cross Country Championships, their highest finish since rejoining the conference. RS SO Krista Story was seventh at the Big Sky meet, earning All-Conference honors. The women’s team went on to place 14th at the NCAA West Regional meet. The men’s team again placed fourth at the Big Sky Championships but went on to place 12th at the NCAA West Regional meet, tying the highest finish ever by an Idaho men’s team at that meet and a giant improvement over their 21st placing in 2016. Big Sky Full Story HERE

NCAA West Full Story HERE

Young Vandals Shine as Idaho Hosts a Successful Big Sky Championship Meet in Moscow

The Idaho Track & Field team red-shirted numerous athletes during the 2018 outdoor season, including conference champions and NCAA qualifiers, but despite the calculated red-shirting of these athletes, the Vandals had very strong individual showings at the Big Sky Championship meet held in Moscow by younger athletes. In fact, every individual scorer at the 2018 Championship meet will return in 2019 for the Vandals. These returning scorers, along with the returning red-shirting athletes, and the addition of very strong freshmen classes bring a lot of excitement and optimism for the Idaho Track & Field team in 2019. Big Sky Day 1 Full Story HERE

Big Sky Day 2 Full Story HERE

Allix Lee-Painter

Melinda Owen

Two Track & Field Alums Inducted into the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame Two incredible alums were inducted into the Vandals Athletic Hall of Fame on September 7th. Allix Lee-Painter (2005-2010) and Melinda Owen, née Withrow, (2004-2008) were recognized for their outstanding achievements as Vandals. Allix was a five-time individual conference champion and two-time NCAA Academic All-American among her many awards in her time as a distance runner at Idaho. Melinda was an NCAA All-American in the pole vault, a six-time conference champion, and an NCAA Academic All-American among her many achievements as a Vandal. Congratulations Allix and Melinda, you continue to make this program and Vandal Nation proud! Read more about Allix and Melinda’s achievements as Vandals HERE.

Idaho Track & Field Hires Brett Olsen as New Throws Coach

“We are tremendously excited to have Brett,” said director of track and field/cross country Tim Cawley. “He has the same vision, the same core principles as what we have and what we’re looking for. He fits in very well with our mission statement.” Brett, most recently, was an assistant with the University of La Verne, a Division III university in La Verne, Calif. There, he coached the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Male Field Athlete of the Year, in T.J. Randall. During his time with La Verne, Olsen coached one All-American, five SCIAC Champions and 12 All-SCIAC members, and the school record holder in the hammer throw. As an athlete, Brett competed this summer at the USATF National Track & Field Championships in the discus. Read the full press release of Brett’s hire HERE.

5 Questions to Get to Know Our New Coach Brett Olsen 1. Why did you get into coaching and what do you enjoy about it? I got into coaching because I like helping people. I like seeing athletes progress and reach the highest level of performance that they can. I really enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to help someone improve. Even on a great throw, there is always something we can work on. 2. If you could sit down for dinner with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be? Bill Murray, because obviously he is really funny. I would also want to know how he carried success for multiple decades and continuing to connect with such a large audience. 3. What piece of entertainment do you wish you could erase from your mind so that you could experience for the first time again? Game six of the 1998 NBA Finals, when Michael Jordan hit a buzzer beater to beat the Jazz and win the finals, then he retired. If I could actually witness that in real time not knowing the result, that would be awesome. 4. What is something about Moscow that you’re already really enjoying? The whole feel of the downtown area, the restaurants and the Farmer’s Market have been very enjoyable. 5. What are your goals here at the University of Idaho? I want to grow professionally as a coach and be known for fostering a group that is nationally recognizable for both their athletic and academic achievements. As a young coach, I also want to grow professionally and develop my coaching skills further.

Current Student-Athlete and Alums compete at World Level Competitions There have been Vandals competing on the World stage over the last year in track & field and the half marathon distance on the roads. Current student-athlete Rechelle Meade and Alum Angela Whyte both competed in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia this last April. Alum Christie Moerman competed this summer at the NACAC Track & Field Championships in Toronto in August, and Alum Kinsey Middleton competed in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, Spain in March. Congratulations to these strong women on competing at the highest levels possible. You continue to make the University of Idaho proud!

Alum Kinsey Middleton Wins Canadian National Title in her debut Marathon 2016 graduate and alum Kinsey Middleton (formerly Gomez) decided to run her first marathon on October 21st at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which also served as the 2018 Canadian National Championships at that distance. She knocked her debut marathon out of the park, running evenly over the 26.2 miles to win in an impressive time of 2:32:09. That mark is under the Olympic A standard of 2:37:00 and puts her in strong contention to make the 2020 team for Canada. Kinsey was a Big Sky Conference Champion and an NCAA All-American on the track as a senior in 2016. She now trains and resides in Boise. Congratulations Kinsey! “This is so much fun!” Kinsey Middleton on her shout of joy, an article on iRun.ca

Follow the Idaho Cross Country team at the 2018 Big Sky Conference Championships Championships Central HERE. Live Results HERE. The mission of Idaho Track & Field/Cross Country is to create and foster a culture that thrives on excellence in character, academics, and athletics, while focusing on the process in a positive and collaborative environment.

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