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This Week in WAC Indoor Track and Field - Feb. 8
Courtesy: WAC

Five WAC schools will compete at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. Fresno State, Hawai’i, Idaho, Nevada and Utah State will send competitors to the event on Friday and Saturday. While in Seattle, Fresno State and Hawai’i will also compete in the UW Open on Sunday. Louisiana Tech will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Tyson Invitational on Friday and Saturday. New Mexico State will compete at Air Force Invite in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday. A portion of the Utah State squad will attend the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.

Verizon WAC Women’s Athletes of the Week
Idaho’s Liga Velvere and Nevada’s La Tijera Avery were named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Women’s Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week, respectively, for the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 5.

Velvere, a junior from Saldus, Latvia (Latvian Academy of Sport Education), broke one school record, won two events and added a runner-up finish at the Vandal Indoor and the Idaho Indoor Open last weekend. At the Vandal Indoor, she claimed the women’s 800-meters with a time of 2:07.63, to break the six-year-old Idaho school record by a two-second margin. Her time leads the WAC by more than three seconds and ranks 23rd in the NCAA this season. She also ran the anchor leg of Idaho’s 4x400-meter relay team. At the Idaho Indoor Open, Velvere finished second in the 400-meters (55.70) and took fifth in the 200-meters (25.85).

Avery, a senior from Inglewood, Calif. (Culver City HS), used a personal best in the high jump to claim second place at the New Balance Invitational last weekend. She opened the event with a jump of 1.75-meters (5 feet, 8.75 inches), only a centimeter below her previous personal record. After missing on her first two attempts at 1.80-meters, Avery blew over the bar on the third attempt. Her mark of 1.80m (5-10.75) ties her for 13th nationally. Avery got her first looks at a 6-foot (1.83-meter) bar during an indoor season, but was ultimately unsuccessful on her attempts.

Other track nominees included
: Nevada junior Deborah Amoah … New Mexico State freshman Tamara Lementino … Utah State junior Bailee Whitworth.

Other field nominees included:
Idaho senior Gabby Midles … New Mexico State senior Jndia Cleveland … Utah State sophomore Spela Hus.

Verizon WAC Men’s Athletes of the Week
Idaho’s Barry Britt and Jeremy Klas were named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Men’s Indoor Track and Field Athletes of the Week, respectively, for the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 5.

Britt, a sophomore from New Brunswick, Canada (Georgia State), won the men’s mile run at the Vandal Indoor last Friday with a career-best time of 4:12.84. He won the race by just under three seconds and now leads the WAC in the event by 2.45 seconds. His new mark is over six seconds better than his previous career high.

Klas, a senior from Moscow, Idaho (Moscow HS), was the top collegiate finisher last Friday at the Vandal Indoor, as he tied for second place in the pole vault. His season-best height of 17-7.25 (5.37m) added three more inches to his WAC-leading mark. He followed it up in Saturday’s Idaho Indoor Open with a first-place vault of 17-5.5 (5.32m). Klas has cleared the 17-foot barrier in all four of his competitions this season – the only WAC vaulter to do so – and leads the conference by a foot and a half in the event.

Other track nominees included: Utah State sophomore Silas Pimental.

Other field nominees included: Utah State sophomore Bryce Hall.

Fresno State

Fresno State was off last week ... in its last action, Fresno State competed at the Jacksons Invitational in Boise, Idaho, on Jan. 27-28 ... sophomore Breeauna Thompson finished first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.72, her first time competing in the 200m on an indoor track ... she added a win in the 400-meters, finishing with a time of 55.83 ... freshman Meagan McKee won the shot put with a mark of 50’ 7”....she finished third in the weight throw with a mark of of 18.11m ... this week, Fresno State will compete at the Husky Classic and the UW Open, both hosted in Seattle, Wash. ... the Bulldogs will be joined by competitors from five other WAC schools at the Husky Classic.

Hawai’i hosted the Dr. Donnis Thompson Memorial last Saturday, the second of five all-comer meets during the Sunset Series, which UH will host ... due to the meet taking place outside, there were no official scores ... junior Ashlee Jimenez won the 400-meters with a season-best time of 58.56 seconds ... in the same event, freshman Melody Papalii posted a personal best of 59.18 seconds to place second, while sophomore Ashley Satterwhite took third with a season-best time of 59.48 ... this week, the Rainbow Wahine travel to Seattle, Wash. for two events, the Husky Classic on Friday and Saturday, and the UW Open on Sunday ... the Husky Classic will feature athletes from five WAC schools.

Idaho hosted two meets last weekend, the Vandal Indoor, on Friday, and  the Idaho Open, on Saturday ... during the more competitive event on Friday, the Vandals claimed crowns in six events and capped off the evening by sweeping the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays ... junior Liga Velvere broke a six-year-old school record in the women’s 800-meters, with a winning time of 2:07.63 that ranks 17th in the NCAA this season... sophomore Alycia Butterworth (women’s mile), junior Kristine Leonard (women’s indoor discus throw) and junior Barry Britt (men’s mile) all also claimed first-place finishes ... this week, the Vandals travel to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., on Friday and Saturday.

Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech was off last week ... LTU last competed at the ASTATE Invitational, from Jan. 27-28, setting two school records ... sophomore Trey Hadnot’s time of 21.04 in the 200-meter dash broke Al Fullwood’s school record of 21.25, set in 2010 ... senior Chelsea Hayes broke the school record in the long jump with a mark of 20-11.25 (6.38m) ... that is the second-best mark in the nation this year and leads the WAC by more than a foot and a half ... she also set a school record to win the 55-meter dash (6.91), in addition to victories in the 200-meters (23.76) and as the second leg of the winning 4x400-meter relay team ... LT won seven events as a team during the meet ... this week, Louisiana Tech returns to action at the Tyson Invitational, in Fayetteville, Ark., on Friday and Saturday.

Nevada took three athletes to New York City for the New Balance Invitational ... senior La Tijera Avery cleared 1.80 meters and finished second in the high jump ... the mark was a new personal best and good for 13th in the country this year ... senior Nicole Williams competed in the college flight of the high jump, placing third with a height of 1.70 meters ... junior Deborah Amoah competed in three events at the Invitational ... in the championship sections of the long jump and triple jump, she finished 15th and 20th respectively ... she also finished 19th in the preliminary round of the 60-meter hurdles ... this week, the Wolf Pack travels to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic, on Friday and Saturday.

New Mexico State

New Mexico State competed at the New Mexico Classic last Friday and Saturday ... freshman Tamara Lementino finished fourth in the 5,000-meters with a conversion time of 17:49.85, which placed her fifth all-time at NM State for the event ... senior Jndia Cleveland marked one of her best long jump results, finishing third overall with a distance of 5.83m ... the Aggies totaled 12 top-10 finishes during the event, six of which were individual running events ... the Aggies also added top-5 finishes in the distance medley relay and the 4x400m relay ... this week, NM State will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo., for the Air Force Invite on Friday ... the Aggies will also send three athletes, Courtney Schultz, Camille Schultz, and Madelyn Stoltze, to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.

Utah State

Utah State competed last weekend at the Bronco Classic in Nampa, Idaho ... freshman Rachel Orr won the high jump with a leap of 1.70m ... sophomore Sam Nielson won the triple jump with a mark of 11.91m ... senior Spela Hus won the shot put with a personal-best throw of 14.78m ... junior Bailee Whitworth won the 200-meters (24.32)  ... sophomore Silas Pimentel claimed the 60-meter dash (6.85) ... USU’s squad will be split this weekend, with one group in Nampa, Idaho, for the Boise State Team Challenge on Friday and Saturday, one group heading to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Don Kirby Elite Invitational, on Friday, and select athletes at the Husky Classic, in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday.

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