Sports

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During the first round of the NCAA competition over the weekend of May 28 through 31, a total of five Boise State track and field athletes secured spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

National champion Emma Bates was the first to gain a spot in the championship.  She took fourth in a 10,000 meter preliminary race on the first day of the competition.

On the following day, Bates’s teammates Jordin Andrade and Marisa Howard qualified in the 400 meter hurdles and the 3,000 meter steeplechase respectively. This brought the total number of qualified Broncos to three at the end of the second day.

The final day brought Bates another qualifying time in the 5,000 meter, along with her teammate Tessa Murray. The final qualifier was David Elliott in the 1,500 meter with a second place finish in the preliminary championships.

All five qualifiers will compete again at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon the week of June 10 through 13.

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While many athletes have made headlines for what they have done on the field, one Boise State athlete is making waves for her performance off the field.

Senior track and field athlete Kate Jette is putting the “student” in student athlete.

Jette was recently named a Top Ten Scholar, the highest academic honor a Boise State undergraduate student can achieve.

To be considered for the award, a student must have at least a 3.8 grade point average and be nominated by their respective deans.

“That was really exciting and one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me,” Jette said.

Academic accolades are something that Jette has grown accustomed to during her time as a Bronco.

In her career, Jette has  earned All-MW Academic honors, All-MW Cross Country Academic honors and an All-WAC Academic freshman Honoree Award.

“I have worked really hard in the classroom in the five years I have been here,” Jette said. “To see all the hard work pay off and be honored is a really great feeling.”

She owes it all to a few simple things.

“I have been very strict with myself,” Jette said. “When I get home, I always make sure I get all my homework done and organize my time well.”

Jette has been able to accomplish all of this while battling injuries over the last two years, which kept her out of track and field.

During her junior year she had a bone removed from her ankle.

Last year she had a cyst growing in the arch of her foot. The doctors had to surgically fuse two bones together.

“I literally didn’t walk for three months and my calf was the size of my forearm,” Jette said. “I had to build all that muscle up by doing physical therapy three times a week for the whole summer.”

Now back, and in her final stretch of her collegiate career, Jette hopes she can end her career on a high note.

“I would like to get personal records and better all my times,” Jette said. “More importantly I would just like to be here for my team by being a good teammate.”

After graduation Jette plans on enrolling at Oregon State in the fall to pursue a masters in secondary education.

While she has been through a lot during her time here, Jette is grateful for all the opportunities she received at Boise State.

“I am proud of who I am after having gone through all those experiences,” Jette said. “I used all of that to fuel me into getting me where I am today and I am ready for the next chapter of my life.”

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Four years ago Sammie Watson was unsure of what her tennis career would hold.

Unhappy as a freshman on Utah’s tennis team, Watson needed a change of scenery.

“Utah was one of the most difficult experiences of my life,” Watson said. “I had been praying a lot for a different situation to happen.”

A different situation did arise, leading her to the Boise State women’s tennis team.

“As soon as I signed off at Utah, Coach Beck, a guy I hardly even knew, called me the next day and said he wanted me on the team,” Watson said. “I was beyond ecstatic and it was a pretty swift transition after that.”

In the three years since,  Watson became the face of the program.

“She was such a great role model to her teammates,” junior Bobbi Oshiro said.  “I watched her grow into such an amazing person and a leader on the court.”

Watson recently capped her Bronco career at the MW Championships by doing what she had done so many times before— win.

Watson won her final career match in a 6-0, 6-2 sweep over Nevada’s Monika Magusiak.

With the win, Watson finished the season with 25 wins and finished with an impressive 58-25 career record.

In doubles, Watson, along with her partner Oshiro, finished with a 17-13 record on the season.

As a result she received an All-MW selection in doubles.

“You always knew what you were going to get from her and that was always 100 percent effort,” head coach Beck Roghaar said. “She was always that role model off the court as she was on the court.  She embodied what our program was all about.”

While her playing days are over, Watson will be back next season as a volunteer assistant coach while she pursues her degree in creative writing.

“It will be a new experience for sure because I won’t be playing,” Watson said. “I am just happy to be around my teammates some more because I love them and want to continue to help them grow.”

For Watson, tennis gave her so much more than just a great career and an education.

“Tennis is life just in sports form,” Watson said. “I have learned so much about myself and life by doing it. I have basically become the person I am today through tennis.”

 

 

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Walton’s Wisdom is a sports column written by assistant sports & rec editor and self-proclaimed sports wizard Brandon Walton.

Wow. It’s really hard to believe that I am sitting here on my laptop, late at night, writing this.

Have three years really gone by? I can remember it like it was yesterday.

When I first arrived at Boise State I would always park at the Lincoln Garage.

While walking from the garage to class I would always walk past it, the Student Media office, wondering what it was, and if it was something that I would be interested in.

After weeks of debating of whether or not to go in, I finally decided to check it out.

It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

Fast forwarding to today, I am not only the assistant sports & rec editor for this paper, but I also have my own show for the The Pulse, and have done several video reports for The Arbiter.

I have been to almost every Boise State sporting event and have correspondingly written about every single sport this great university has to offer.

I have been able to watch football games from high above the Stueckle Sky Center, walk on the court as the men’s basketball team won the MW championship this year and interviewed athletes up close like Jay Ajayi and Derrick Marks.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Find something you are passionate about and don’t give up on it. Instead, revel in every second of it and make the most out of it.

That is what I did, and, as a result, yours truly has landed a job as the sports reporter for The Argus Observer.

Words can’t describe how much I will miss writing for this publication.

I hope you all have enjoyed reading my articles as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

I wish the new staff for next year and, more importantly, all of you, my readers, the best of the luck in the future.

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Summer is a great time to enjoy some sunshine, watch a few games and go outdoors. While planning out your summer calendar, consider these events in the Boise community.

Zip Idaho—Horseshoe Bend, Idaho

Why hike up mountains when you can soar down them? With over 5,000 feet in zip lines, Zip Idaho is a great way to kick off the summer and get a breath of mountain air.

For those who have never zip lined before—no worries. Before zipping, zip liners begin with basic training and safety instruction. The tour includes five zip lines with varying lengths and one suspension bridge. The longest zip line, “Turkey 2,000,” reaches up to 50 miles per hour. All the while, zip liners can enjoy the scenic views of the Boise National Forest and Payette Valley.

Zip Idaho is located about 40 minutes outside of Boise.

Boise Hawks season openerJune 18

Buy some peanuts and Cracker Jack and head on out to Memorial Stadium on June 18. The local Minor League Baseball team, the Boise Hawks, will be opening their season against the Tri-City Dust Devils at 7:15 p.m. If Thursday night doesn’t work for your schedule, the Hawks and Dust Devils will be squaring off through June 22.

Memorial Stadium is located in Garden City. Ticket costs vary and numerous season packages are available for those who want to attend multiple games this season.

Dirty Dash – June 20

While some may enjoy spending time at the pool, others can get down and dirty at the annual Dirty Dash Mud Run on June 20. The 5K course is anything but ordinary—mud pits filled to the brim with slimy mud, a slip and slide to get adrenaline rushing and a foam bath to help keep car interiors a little cleaner for the drive home. The event lasts from 9:00a.m.-2:00 p.m., so attendees can get as dirty as they please.

The course is located 30 minutes outside of Boise.

Honors Wilderness Quest Rafting —July 26-31

The six-day, 73 mile adventure through the Lower Salmon canyon is a great way for honors students to explore the Idaho wilderness. The annual Honors Wilderness Quest Rafting trip is hosted by the Outdoor Program. The registration deadline is July 1.

For those who can’t make the event, floating the Boise River is available any day of the summer. Floaters begin at Barber Park and finish at Ann Morrison Park. The six -mile course allows you to kick back, relax and enjoy the summer sun. Tubes and rafts are available for rent through Epley’s at Barber Park.

Basque Soccer FriendlyJuly 29

The blue turf in Albertsons Stadium will be hosting the event  on July 29. The friendly professional soccer match between La Liga’s Athletic Club de Bilbao and Liga MX’s Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente is the largest soccer match in the history of Idaho. This is all part of the Basque Cultural Festival, Jaialdi.

The event sold 12,000 tickets within the first week of sales. Profits from the game will go towards the Basque Studies Foundation at Boise State and Idaho Youth Soccer Association.

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Rushing out of class, freshman Sage Heyrend dashes for a quick bite to eat and  heads to the Rec Center to workout.

When he is done with his workout he heads to the court in the Rec Center and enjoys some quality basketball time with his buddies.

This is the daily routine for freshman Sage Heyrend, business management major, and for many other students here at Boise State.

“About seven days a week, I’ll show up and stay for about two to three hours, whether it’s working out or playing basketball,” Heyrend said.

A self-described gym junkie, he feels exercise has grown in popularity over the past few years.

“We have seen a steady increase in participation since the facility opened in 2002,” said Lisa Stuppy, senior associate director of the Rec Center.

This trend, however, may be coming to an end.

As of April 22, the Rec Center has been down in total attendance in reference to past semesters.

This past fall semester, the Rec Center saw 137,622 total visitors.

As of April 22, the spring semester has seen 130,619 Rec Center visitors. That is a 7,003 deficit.

Though the semester isn’t quite over, Stuppy is hoping to see an increase before the semester ends.

“Rec Center data is collected through the students that have access as well as part-time students, faculty, staff and alumni that have joined as members,” Stuppy said. “If a student or member comes twice in one day that would count for two for the day.”

She credits this end of semester slump to several factors.

“The beginning of the semester is always busy for us,” Stuppy said. “As the semester goes on students get more busy with homework, papers and finals. So students that are pressed for time may not come as much.”

However, the beginning of the semester doesn’t carry these sort of burdens.

The Rec Center is a part of BroncoVenture Orientation,  the freshmen orientation, and is one of the designated stops on the tour.

“The Rec Center is the first place many students place foot once they get on campus,” Stuppy said.

Although the Rec Center wasn’t Heyrend’s first stop on campus, he attends the gym regularly because he loves to work up a sweat.

Due to crowding at some times, he feels like it can be a hassle to find machines but continues to go in an effort to stay fit and see results.

The Rec Center has a lot of different facilities that their members can enjoy, from swimming, all the way to rock climbing.

“We can be a very good place for people to go when they don’t want to be outside,” Stuppy said.

Stay up to date on campus news at arbiteronline.com.
Catch Arbiter Minute broadcasts in the Student Union Building throughout the semester and online.
New videos are released every Monday and Thursday throughout the semester.
Featuring Brandon Walton
Directed by Farzan Faramarzi
Edited by Holly Hovis
© Boise State Student Media 2015

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Photo courtesy of Miami Dolphins official twitter account.

His draft day slide was steeper than most predicted, but former Boise State running back Jay Ajayi is now an NFL player.

Ajayi was selected in the fifth round by the Miami Dolphins with the 149th overall pick.

Ajayi was predicted by many draft analysts to be a second or third round selection. Concerns about his health caused him to fall to the fifth round.

As he saw his name go uncalled through the first two days of the NFL draft, Ajayi offered only the following tweet:

Ajayi tore his ACL his freshman year at Boise State. Former Boise State head coach Chris Petersen told Chad Cripe of The Idaho Statesman that wondered if Ajayi would ever be able to fully recover from the injury.

Ajayi not only recovered, but thrived. He went on to rush for 3,796 yards and 55 touchdowns in his career at Boise State.

In his senior season, he led the Broncos to a 12-2 season, the progam’s first ever outright MW title and another Fiesta Bowl.

The Dolphins provide an interesting opportunity for Ajayi. Currently on the Dolphins roster is Lamar Miller. Miller ran for 1,099 yards last season and still has plenty of playing time left in his body at the age of 24.

After MIller however, the Dolphins second leading rusher in 2014 was quarterback Ryan Tannehill with 311 yards.

Ajayi should have the opportunity to see playing time early on. Miami has tried to provide as many weapons as possible for Tannehill during this season. The team traded for wide receiver Kenny Stills, signed Greg Jennings and tight end Jordan Cameron, and used their first round draft pick on wide receiver DeVante Parker out of Lousiville.

Ajayi won’t be rushed to start for the Dolphins and will have the opportunity to develop.

Here is a podcast from the Miami Dolphins as they chat with their newest running back.

 

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When David Elliott first started at Boise State in 2011 for cross country and track and field, his goal was to break 15:00 in the 5K.

“I wasn’t very good coming out of high school and  Brad Wick, who used to be the distance coach here, he kind of took a gamble on me and gave me a spot on the team when I probably shouldn’t have had one,” Elliott said. “He developed me a lot and really took me under his wing.”

Within three outdoor track and field seasons, Elliott has improved to 13:50.10 in his favorite race — ranking him eighth in the west region and 11th nationally.

He now holds the second spot for the 5K school record behind Forest Braden’s 13:45.44 from 2004.

Elliott has expanded his success to the 1500m this season as well, posting a 3:41.61 at the Bryan Clay Invitational. The school record time ranks fourth in the West and 10th nationally.

Elliott also won the individual MW cross country title in the fall.

“This year couldn’t be going better,” Elliott said. “Personally, I’ve just grown a lot, not just in my running but I’ve matured a lot. I think it’s helped me develop into a better person.”

Assistant coach Travis Hartke has seen Elliott grow in his confidence and develop into a leader within the two years that Hartke has coached at Boise State.

“Physically, he hasn’t changed that much, but the psychological part is where he is really a different person than when we got here,” Hartke said. “He’s a good example of how hard you have to work to be at the level he’s at.”

Even though Elliott is excited to run his first home meet at Border Clash this weekend, he has already set his sights on bigger goals.

By the end of this season, he not only wants to qualify for nationals, but also place in the top eight to earn All-American First Team.

He already has plans to start training for the Olympic Trials next fall as well. While his goal was to break 15:00 when he first started four years ago, Elliott will now aim for 13:30.

“I told (head coach Corey Ihmels) after fall that I wanted to make the Olympic Trials, and I’m not sure how crazy he thought that was,” Elliott said. “That’s probably a lot more realistic now than it was a couple of months ago.”

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There were 200 athletes vying for the opportunity to make the USA Volleyball Collegiate National Team.

One of those athletes was  Boise State redshirt freshman volleyball player Kaitlyn Oliver.

After waiting nearly two agonizing months, Oliver finally learned her fate.

She became the first Bronco in school history to be named to the USA Collegiate National Team.

“It really is a surreal experience for me.  Knowing that I am the first Bronco to ever do this is such an amazing feeling,” Oliver said. “The fact that I get to represent this school is a true accomplishment.”

If she does well at the tryout,  she could be selected for the USA National Team, while still being a part of the  Boise State volleyball team.

Accolades like this are something that Oliver has become accustomed too this season.

She was named the MW Newcomer of the Year for the indoor season and had a solid sand volleyball season, making an all-tournament team this season.

Her success this year comes as no surprise to head coach Shawn Garus.

“We redshirted her for her potential down the road,” Garus said. “She could have played as true freshman, but the talent she potentially could have as a senior was way more exciting. This is just validating that.”

According to Oliver, the redshirt year made her into the player she is today.

“I went through a lot that year and felt it was a hard transition for me. The pace of going from high school volleyball to college was difficult,” Oliver said.  “That is what drove me to become a better player and compete at this level.”

Oliver will also be playing overseas as part of the MW All-Star team in the Annual European Global Challenge, consisting of teams from around the world, playing against one another.

“My whole summer is practically going to be volleyball, which I am super excited for,” Oliver said. “I will only come back from it with more experience.”

With all of the early success, Oliver doesn’t plan on settling anytime soon.

“This drives me more to be better in these next years, and accomplish even bigger things,” Oliver said.