ISU Track and Field
Bengal Track and Field Wins Six Individual Championships Final Day of Competition
POCATELLO, Idaho – Idaho State track and field culminated their regular season Saturday afternoon at the Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Greeley.
The Bengals had an immensely successful championship Saturday with multiple new school records and six new Big Sky Champions.
"This was one of the roughest years for training with losing our facilities for Indoor Season and bad weather for outdoor training and competitions," remarked Director of Track and Field Hillary Merkley. "The staff and the athletes really made the most of everything we gave them and they persevered through some hard things. The championship was not the best circumstances with tornado watches on day 1 of the multi and pouring rain for 10 hours on day 2, then strong winds, and more rain over the last two days. The Men and Women gave their all and we had some outstanding marks and performances despite all this. We even took home the MVP of the Big Sky for Destinee Rose Haas and an Outstanding Performer Award with Axel Tirado Sanchez. I am proud of them! We always take home some learning experiences and overall they have overcome a lot this year. We have several advancing to regionals in a couple of weeks so that will be good to look forward to as well."
The Day started with the women's hammer throw. Heading into the event Destinee Rose-Haas was the clear favorite and on her first throw of the day, she showed why. Her initial mark of 60.78m (199-05) won her the event, her next five throws just cemented it.
Sarah Wilensky followed up in fourth with a throw of 54.17m (177-09) capping off a season of strong growth and resilience.
Due to inclement weather in Greeley on Friday, both pole vault competitions took place Saturday.
The Bengals took advantage of the day of rest and entered the competitions ready.
In the men's competition, Ekhardt Van Der Watt went toe to toe with the best vaulters in the conference and came out victorious. Van Der Watt cleared 5.14m (16-10.25) winning the gold medal and bringing home the first conference title of his career in the Orange and Black.
Cade Ricks followed in fifth with a jump of 4.89m (16-0.50) earning points for the men's team standings.
Following up his all-conference performance the day before, Zack Ramos had a championship in his sights in the men's shotput.
Ramos wasted no time whatsoever and on his first throw of the competition, the Bengal threw the 2nd best shotput in Idaho State team history, 18.53m (60-9.5) beating the competition by almost a meter and earning the gold medal.
Axel Tirado-Sanchez followed with a fifth-place throw of 16.51m (54-2) to bring in more points for the men's team.
After a season's worth of preparation, Zachary Cox was poised to make his mark in the 110m and 400m hurdles.
Cox started by absolutely blowing away the competition in the 400mH running the third-fastest time in Idaho State history, 51.31 seconds, the fastest time for a Bengal since 1983. Cox beat out his competition by close to a second and earned the Big Sky Championship.
He then followed it up with a silver-medal performance in the 110mH, crossing the finish line in 13.83 seconds, a photo finish with the runner from Montana.
Not to let Cox have all the glory in the hurdles events, Kyndal Martin also came to win multiple medals. Starting in the 400mH, Martin duked it out with the top runners in the Big Sky and finished with a silver-medal all-conference run of 60.78 seconds.
Following it up with the 100mH, Martin wasn't satisfied. Staring down the track, Martin exploded out of the blocks and crossed the finish line in front of her competition with a time of 13.46 seconds, earning the Gold Medal for the Bengals.
Presley Timmons entered the 800m finals with the best mid-distance runners in the Conference. Timmons fought hard on the track and crossed the line fifth with a time of 2:12.41 to earn more valuable points for the Orange and Black.
The Bengal women's high jumpers had a strong final day of competition. After brining home gold in the heptathlon, Kylee Dimick came back to finish all-conference third in the high jump with a height of 1.73m (5-8). Kapri Sylvester followed in fourth place tying her personal best clearance of 1.73 (5-8).
Winning the hammer throw wasn't enough for Rose-Haas, who came back to compete in the women's discus throw.
As she did in the hammer, her first throw won her the gold, but Rose-Haas is a competitor and instead of rolling over, she went to work.
On her final throw of the competition, Rose-Haas launched her disc 54.44m (178-07), absolutely shattering the ISU school record she held and marking the new fifth-best throw in Big Sky Conference history.
The Bengals wrapped up the 2023 Outdoor Championships with strong performances on both the men's and women's sides. Wrapping up a regular season where the Bengals dealt with adversity, bad weather and an arena under construction, limiting practice space.
The Bengals had two more awards to receive at the end of it all.
Axel-Tirado Sanchez was named the 2023 Big Sky Men's Top-Performer and Destinee Rose-Haas finished the meet with Big Sky Most Valuable accolades.
The women's team finished in fourth place with a final team score of 87 points and the men's team came in fifth with a final total of 89 points.
The Bengals next send a strong group of student-athletes to the NCAA West Region Championships being held in Sacramento, Calif., at Sacramento State University.