The Idaho State University Men’s and Women’s Track team kicked off the Spring 2015 season by running and jumping their figurative hearts out at the Snake River Open Jan.16 in Pocatello.
On the men’s side, senior competitor Logan Henderson won the men’s open heptathlon, scoring a total of 5,198 points. Henderson’s first-place performance included a career personal best in the 1000-meter event, clocking in at 2:32.88. Henderson also topped the competition in several other events in the heptathlon, including the 1000-meter open run, the 60-meter hurdles and the pole vault.
Junior pole vault specialist and Ashton, Idaho native Kyle Searle took second in the heptathlon with 4,650 points, and junior Dyllan James took third, tallying 4,355 points.
Among other notable performances for Idaho State was that of junior distance runner and Casper, Wyoming native KC Hunsicker, who took first in the men’s mile race, registering a time of 4 minutes and 21.45 seconds.
Sophomore Justin Franz represented the Bengals well on the throwing side of things as well, his best throw good enough for first place in the competition at 15.02 meters.
Junior Deante Gaines won the triple jump, registering a 14.64-meter jump.
The track team’s success was not limited to the men’s side of things, as the Idaho State women had their fair share of top finishes and impressive performances.
Senior distance runner Kylie Hutchison not only won the 3,000-meter open run, but clocked the fourth-fastest all-time indoor record for an Idaho State athlete with her time of 9 minutes and 58.84 seconds.
Senior distance runner Katie Nicholls took first place in the women’s mile run, clocking in at 5 minutes and 13.65 seconds.
Senior Shayla Neibaur rounded out the impressive performances by the Bengal women, taking second in the long jump event by leaping 5.38 meters.
Though the Snake River Open was the first official meet for Idaho State, the Bengals kept a 28-year tradition by holding the Tie Dye Meet Dec. 11 and 12.
Essentially a tune-up for the upcoming season, the Tie Dye Meet welcomes participants from the current ISU Track and Field team as well as returning alumni.
Senior pole vaulter Caitlin Maulin won the pole vault event with a vault of 12 feet and 3.5 inches, continuing her momentum from last year’s impressive performances, which earned her all-conference honors.
Senior and Pocatello native Brittany Hottel earned top marks in the triple jump compeition with 36 feet and10.25 inches. Senior Hayli Worthington took the 500-meter race with a time of 1 minute and 17.14 seconds, and alumna Camille Marchand topped the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.86 seconds.
On the men’s side, Logan Henderson won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.52 seconds.
Sophomore Christian Brininger won the weight throw event with a distance of 48 feet and 07.25 inches.
Hunsicker finished at the top of the 3200-meter event, clocking a time of 9 minutes and 36 seconds, and senior sprinter Jesse Sorensen triumphed in the 500-meter dash event with a time of 1 minute and 04.64 seconds.
“We have a lot of really positive performers this year,” said Head Coach Dave Nielsen, who is entering his 28th season as head track and field coach at Idaho State University. “The men are strong. The women are not quite as strong, but we are on the right track.”
The Snake River Open is just the beginning of a busy January for the Bengal track and field team.
Jan. 23, the Bengals head to Bozeman to participate in the MSU Duals hosted by Montana State University.
A week later, the Bengals are back in action in Pocatello as they host the Mountain States Games Jan. 30 and 31 inside Holt Arena.
The teams will make consecutive trips to Boise in early February, first for the BSU Open Feb. 6 and 7, hosted by Boise State University.
Idaho State will then spend their Valentine’s Day back in Idaho’s capital city for the BSU Team Challenge February 14.
The BSU Team Challenge will be the final stop for the Bengals before heading to Flagstaff, Arizona for the Big Sky Indoor Tournament Championship Feb. 26, 27 and 28.