College of Idaho senior Tiana Thomas (Middleton High) won the 400-meter hurdles at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, completing the race in a school-record 59.04 seconds and earning her fifth All-American honor.
Thomas is the Yotes’ first outdoor champion in a non-distance event. She joins C of I’s Hillary Holt (Mountain View High; 2012-14 1,500 meters), Sora Klopfenstein (Meridian; 2013 steeplechase) and Sarah Johnson (2014 5,000) as NAIA outdoor champions.
Two other Treasure Valley athletes won championships during the three-day meet. Eastern Oregon junior Eric England (Mountain View) won the men’s triple jump Saturday (52 feet, 11 inches), and senior Talitha Fagen (Fruitland) won the women’s pole vault Thursday (12-9.5). England added to his third-place effort in Friday’s long jump (24-5.5) to lead the Mountaineers to a fifth-place team finish, and Fagen added an outdoor victory to her three indoor national titles.
The C of I had four women earn NAIA All-American honors Saturday. Sophomore Claire Otero (Vallivue) is the Yotes’ first All-American thrower after finishing fifth in the discus (153-8.25). Junior Lila Klopfenstein (Meridian) became a four-time All-American with a fifth-place effort in the 1,500 (4:32.09), and senior Amy Pfaff was eighth in the 1,500 (4:33.75) and 800 (2:13.42) to increase her All-American count to seven. The Yotes were 16th with 20 points.
Two C of I men had top-eight finishes Saturday. True freshman Billy Godfrey (Salmon) was fifth in the steeplechase (9:20.74), and senior Max Hampton (Eagle) was seventh in his final collegiate race, the 5,000 (14:48.84).
BOISE STATE: David Elliott was second in one of four West Preliminary Round men’s 1,500-meter heats in Lawrence, Kan., to earn a spot at the NCAA Division I Championships. Elliott closed hard in the final 50 meters and finished in 3 minutes, 46.46 seconds — defeating Stanford’s Justin Brinkley by .007 seconds. The fifth-year senior will compete at nationals for the second straight season June 8 in Eugene, Ore. Brenna Peloquin will pull double duty at the NCAAs after placing third in the first women’s 5,000 heat (16:09.14). After qualifying in the 10,000 on Friday, Peloquin finished in 16:09.14 to become the only freshman in the West Region to advance in the 5,000.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE: Payton Lewis (Nampa Christian) finished third in the men’s pole vault at the NCAA Division II Championships in Bradenton, Fla., by clearing 17 feet. The sophomore cleared 17 feet, missing his school record by 0.75 inches, to earn his third All-American honor. Redshirt freshman Ellie Logan was eighth in the women’s javelin (161-11) , eclipsing her NNU record by 10 feet and also becoming a first-team All-American.