After a historic run by the Idaho football team in the fall and a less-than-stellar basketball season, it’s time to focus on spring sports.
Some athletes already have left their mark. For example, freshman Mia Sylvester earned Big Sky indoor track and field freshman of the year March 3.
Sylvester earned the honor after finishing first in the women’s shot put and sixth in the weight throw during the conference’s indoor championship meet Feb. 25 at the Kibbie Dome.
Here are some other things you might have missed:
The school unveiled the new Lauren McCluskey track inside the Kibbie Dome on Jan. 20 during the fourth annual meet named in her honor.
McCluskey was a former University of Utah track standout and was murdered on Oct. 22, 2018. McCluskey grew up in Pullman, was a Washington state high school champion in the high jump and trained at UI’s facilities during the winter months.
The new track is 300 meters long with a Mondotrack Super X surface along with Wall 2 Wall commercial flooring. The surface also includes UI branding with the words “Lauren McCluskey Track” in the center. The logo is the largest ever integrated into a track.
At that event, Lorenz Hermann set a school-record time of 4:03.17 in the 1,600.
The junior wasn’t done setting standards, as he broke a 31-year-old school record in the 800 by half a second during the Inland Northwest Invitational on Jan. 28 with a time of 1:48.07. He broke that mark Feb. 11 during the Vandals’ second-to-last meet of the regular season at the Husky Classic in 1:47.39.
At the same event, senior Kelsey Swenson broke the 41-year-old school standard in the 5,000 meters with a clocking of 16:21.44.
Most recently, the Idaho men finished second at the Big Sky indoor meet, with the women placing third.
Hermann and Zac Bright finished first and second, respectively, in the 800. Hermann had a time of 1:48, and Bright finished in 1:50.13.
Camryn Crouch set a school record in the 200 in 23.97.
The Vandal men’s tennis team has found success at the university’s new indoor tennis facility, also inside the Kibbie Dome, posting a 2-0 record.
Idaho is 5-6 overall, winning its most recent dual 5-2 against Chicago State on March 3 in USAF Academy, Colo.
Francisco Gay and Taiyo Kurata swept Chicago State’s Arhaan Pahwa and Rodrigo Alves 6-0, 6-0 during the event.
In singles action, the Vandals won three of the final four matches against the Cougars, including a Bruno Casino 6-3, 6-0 win against Max Sandoval.
The Vandals have competed in one Big Sky match so far, coming out on top 6-1 against Eastern Washington on Feb. 12. Conference play for the men starts resumes March 26 with a dual at Idaho State.
The Idaho women are 2-7 overall, with their last win being a 5-2 decision against Eastern Washington on March 1.
In the fall portion of the schedule, freshman Valentina Rodas notched the singles championship at the ITA Bedford Cup in the Mountains, also in USAF Academy.
Rodas captured the singles title by going 4-0 in the Charlie Singles Draw. She took down Colorado State’s Luana Avelar 7-6 (3), 7-6 (0) to take first place.
The Idaho men’s golf team had its best showing Sept. 26, winning the SIUE Derek Dolenc Invitational at the Gateway National Golf Club in Madison, Ill.
Freshman Joe Sykes had a 4-under-par 67 in the third and final round to lead the Vandals to the title.
Sykes tallied five birdies with just one bogey in the round, jumping six spots from a tie for 10th to earn a fourth-place finish in his first collegiate tournament.
Idaho placed outside the top 10 in the ensuing two tournaments but started the spring with a tie for eighth at the Loyola Intercollegiate at Palm Valley Golf Club in Phoenix on Feb. 28.
As for the women, their best finish was a second-place showing Feb. 7 at the Falcon Florida Classic at Lakewood Ranch (Fla.) Country Club with an 860.
Kyndall Newman finished fourth overall, and four Vandals finished in the top-11.
Newman had round of 68, 73 and 71 to finish at 4-under 212. It was the sophomore’s lowest tournament score of her career and her second-best finish.