Idaho Vandals

Idaho sends 3 to national indoor meet

The Idaho Vandals are sending three athletes to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, which start today in Fayetteville, Ark.

Sophomore Matt Wauters competes today in the weight throw, while junior Russ Winger (shot put) and senior Melinda Owen (pole vault) are on the schedule for Saturday.

Winger, last year's indoor national runner-up, enters the shot put on the heels of a nation-leading, personal-best effort of 65 feet, 5 inches at the Husky Last Chance meet.

Winger has not ranked worse than second in the nation during the indoor season and has won the shot put in every meet this year by at least six feet over collegiate competition.

"I'm not going there to lose. There's pretty much only one way to go, and that's to the place where I am now," Winger said.

Wauters enters the weight throw with the fifth-best toss in the nation (69-9). He is making his first trip to nationals.

"I'm just going to go in and have a good time and not worry about it too much," he said. "I've got two more years, so I'm just going to go in and do the best I can."

Owen enters the women's pole vault with the seventh-best mark in the nation (13-8€). The school-record holder has won three consecutive WAC indoor pole vault titles, but this is her first trip to the national meet.

"I want to go in there and make the other girls beat me," she said.

The Wisconsin men are No. 1 in the nation, while Florida State is No. 2. Arizona State tops the women's ranking, with Michigan and LSU tied for second.

Boise State did not qualify any athletes for the national meet.

The field does include Eagle High graduate Donovan Kilmartin, now at the University of Texas. Kilmartin is the 2004 and 2006 indoor heptathlon champ.