Day two of the Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Championships was a good one for the Bengals, but day three was twice as nice.
Junior jumps specialist Deante Gaines and senior distance runner Katie Nicholls each earned individual conference championships on Feb. 28, the final day of the Indoor Championship in Flagstaff, Arizona, two days after senior Logan Henderson also brought home a conference championship for the Bengals.
Gaines leapt his way to a conference title in the triple jump event with a leap of 14.96 meters. The jump was not only a personal best for Gaines but is also the fourth-best triple jump in Idaho State history.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be a Big Sky champion,” Gaines, a Yuma, Arizona native said to ISU Sports Information. “My teammates and coaches have been very supportive and they really pushed me to do my best today. I am very happy to bring back the triple jump gold.”
Nicholls earned her first individual conference title in the 800-meter race, dashing to victory with a time of two minutes and 12.89 seconds.
Henderson took the top spot in the heptathlon on Feb. 27, earning a score of 5,377 points.
The score was good for not only first place, but was also a personal best for the Pocatello native and multi-event specialist.
Henderson’s victory in the heptathlon was highlighted with first-place finishes in the 60-meter hurdles, which Henderson won with a personal best time of 8.37 seconds, and in the 1,000-meter dash, with a time of 2 minutes and 36.10 seconds.
“I had a lot of fun competing today,” Henderson told ISU Sports Information following his victory. “There were a lot of impressive marks from all the competitors. I left a lot of points on the table in the pole vault, but I’m super excited about the win.”
Senior multi-event specialist Billy Phillips placed second in the heptathlon with a personal best score of 5,196 points. Phillips took first in the shot put event with a distance of 48-00.75, and set personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles, long jump and high jump.
The ISU distance medley team took third in their event with a time of 10 minutes and 18.84 seconds.
The team is comprised of junior KC Hunsicker, senior Corbin Latimore, freshman Daniel Garz and junior Ty James.
Junior Samantha Simmons set a personal best in the pole vault event with a height of 12 feet and 08.75 inches, which was good for fifth place and the ninth-best vault in school history.
As a team, the Idaho State men placed fifth overall with a total score of 58 points.
Northern Arizona placed first with 144 points, with Sacramento State coming in second with 127.50 points.
The Idaho State women’s team placed tenth with a total score of 27 points.
Sacramento State narrowly edged out Montana State for the top spot, with the Hornets earning 99.83 points compared to the Bobcats’ 98.33.
The outdoor track season kicks off for the Bengals on March 19 when the Bengals will travel to Northridge, Calif. to participate in the CSUN Heptathlon-Decathlon, hosted by home team Cal State-Northridge.