Colorado State Women, Utah State Men Lead After Day One at the 2016 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Colorado State women and Utah State men lead the 2016 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships after the first day of competition at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The University of New Mexico is the host institution for the event.

The opening day saw just three finals with the men’s and women’s distance medley relays and the women’s pentathlon, along with the first half of the men’s heptathlon.  However, the story of the day was the battle between Nicole Wadden of Nevada and Colorado State’s Jessica Green.

Wadden entered the MW Championships with the conference’s best heptathlon score of the season with 3,873 points (UW Invitational), and even though she was in third after the first event, the 60-meter hurdles, the junior was ahead of her pace.  Her PR of 5-10.75 in the high jump came after the 13th jump of the afternoon (she would clear eight heights overall) scored her 978 points to put her out in front. She came in a strong fourth in the shot put, again with a score that was better than the UW Invitational.  

Green closed the gap down to 34 points, but Wadden won the 800, and her final kick pushed her over the 4,000-point mark with a school record 4,060 points, the fifth-best pentathlon in MW Championship history.

In the heptathlon, Colorado State’s Hunter Price finished first in both the long jump and the high jump to propel him into the lead after four events with 3,222 points.  New Mexico’s Daniel Lam trails in second place with 2,892 points.  Price used a big effort in the long jump, scoring 878 points, to expand on his lead.  New Mexico’s Beau Clafton is in third after taking first in the 60-meter and the shot put, but Price’s consistency through all four events (finishing second in the 60 and fourth in the shot) has him in the lead at the turn for the second-straight year.

The only other finals of the day were in the distance medley relay.  On the men’s side, Utah State and Boise State ran 1-2 for practically the whole race, with Utah State holding off a late charge from the Broncos to win in a time of 9:47.99, just 0:00.35 ahead of BSU.  For the women, Boise State held the lead after three legs, before handing the baton to freshman Allie Ostrander. The national leader in the 3,000 and 5,000 and the 2015 Mountain West Cross Country individual champion, Ostrander, blitzed the field by well over 100 meters as BSU broke the championship record with a time of 11:16.41.  The previous record was 11:37.96 by BYU in 2007.

Day two of the 2016 Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships is tomorrow, with action set to begin at 11 a.m. MT with the final three events of the men’s heptathlon.  The first of six field event finals will begin at 12:30 p.m. and track events begin at 1:30 p.m. with the first of 12 qualifying events.  Two track finals, the men’s and women’s 5,000 will take place beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Men’s Team Scores (through 1 event)
1. Utah State – 10
2. Boise State – 8
3. Air Force - 6
4. Colorado State – 5
5. Wyoming – 4
6. New Mexico – 3

Women’s Team Scores (through 2 events)
1. Colorado State – 13
2. Nevada – 11
3. Boise State – 10
4. Fresno State – 8
5. Air Force – 7
6. Wyoming – 6
New Mexico – 6
San José State – 6
9. San Diego State – 5
10. UNLV - 4
11. Utah State – 2

2016 MW Indoor Track and Field Championships – Men’s Notes 

Men’s Heptathlon:
60 Meters – New Mexico sophomore Beau Clafton won the 60 Meter Dash with a time of 6.96. That mark is a personal best, beating his previous best time of 7.10 recorded earlier this season at the New Mexico Classic Meet.
Long JumpHunter Price (So., Colorado State) placed first with a leap of 7.07 meters (23’-02.50”). 
Shot Put – Clafton won his second event with a toss of 13.12 meters   (43’-00.50”).    
High Jump – Price claimed his second event victory with a jump of 2.08 meters (6’-09.75”). That equals his personal best mark previously set at the Fum McGraw Invitational in 2015.

Men’s Distance Medley Relay:
Utah State (Benjamin Johnston, Landon Watts, Jordan Beutler, and Dillon Maggard) won with a time of 9:47.99. Boise State placed second (9:48.34). USU’s winning time beat the top mark from the 2015 MW Championships (CSU – 9:53.85), but was shy of the all-time meet record of 9:37.88 held by BYU (2011).           

2016 MW Indoor Track and Field Championships – Women’s Notes 

Women’s Heptathlon: 
60 HurdlesKassidy Ellis (SDSU) won with a time of 8.65. That is her best time this season (Previous best: 8.75 at the Lumberjack Team Challenge).
High JumpNicole Wadden (Nevada) placed first in the event with a personal-best jump of 1.80 meters (5’-10.75”). Her previous best mark was 1.77 meters earlier this season at the Ed Jacoby Invite.
Shot PutStella Clemens of UNLV won the shot put portion of the pentathlon with a throw of 11.83 meters (38’-09.75”).
Long Jump – Ellis of San Diego St. was victorious for the second time with a jump of 5.81 meters (19’-00.75”). Her previous best mark was 5.60 meters set earlier this season at the UW Invitational.
800 Meters –Wadden won her second event of the women’s pentathlon to clinch her first MW title.

Pentathlon Final – Wadden captured the women’s pentathlon title with a score of 4,060 points, defeating Jessica Green of Colorado State (3,932 points). Her win marks only the second event title for Nevada in MW Indoor Track & Field Championships history. Wadden’s previous best indoor pentathlon score of 3,873 was recorded earlier this season at the UW Invitational.

Women’s Distance Medley: Boise State (Alexis Fuller, Chassity Love, Sadi Henderson and Allie Ostrander) outpaced the competition with a time of 11:16.41.  That mark was good for the 13th-best mark in the NCAA this year and bested the previous MW Championship record of 11:37.96 set by BYU in 2007.  It was also a BSU program record.  Amazingly, the top five teams, Boise State, Fresno State, Wyoming, Air Force and Colorado State all bettered the previous MW Championship record.