20 Broncos headed to NCAA Preliminary Championships
20 Broncos headed to NCAA Preliminary ChampionshipsPhoto: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
They say everything is bigger in Texas.
Apparently, that includes the number of Bronco student-athletes headed to the Lone Star State. This year, the Boise State track and field team is sending a record-tying 20 qualifiers to Austin for the NCAA Preliminary Championships.
BSU will send ten men and ten women to fill 22 qualifying spots at the 2013 prelims, which run Thursday through Saturday. It's an impressive total for a team with just 23 seniors on its 107-player roster.
It hasn't been an easy year for the Broncos, either. Coach J.W. Hardy was released from the remainder of his contract in April, just before the team's first home meet at Dona Larsen Park. Interim coach Jeff Petersmeyer thinks that adversity has made his group even better.
"This team is just really gritty," noted Petersmeyer. "I think they have a lot of grit and good character, and that's why we're able to take 20 people."
"Boise state is really coming along track-wise," said sprinter Daveon Collins. "A lot of people don't know about us, but we're really coming together."
"This is the first time I've actually felt we're a respected team and people should fear us," said hammer-thrower Alyssa Osai.
Only four of the 20 Broncos nominated this year have previously competed at the preliminary championships, and at least one of the qualifiers wasn't expecting to make the trip. Shannon Jacobs, a relay runner, was a little preoccupied when she was told that she qualified.
"I was actually starting my summer job that day," laughed Jacobs. "I just jumped up and down and everybody was looking at me in the cubicles. I was excited. I couldn't believe it."