Vandals' Short takes sixth at NCAA outdoor nationals

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Jun. 10—EUGENE, Ore. — Competing 45 minutes from his hometown, Zack Short of the University of Idaho placed sixth Wednesday as the rain-splashed NCAA outdoor track and field got underway at Hayward Field.

Short, who grew up in Lebanon, Ore., north of Eugene, threw 64 feet, 8 inches, for his first national outdoor medal. He failed to qualify for the national meet two years ago, and his 2020 season was wiped out by the pandemic.

The winner at 69-2 1/2 was Turner Washington of Arizona State.

Vandals coach Tim Cawley dealt some credit to UI throws coach Brett Olsen.

"I couldn't be prouder and more excited for Zack and also for Brett," he said. "He had a tremendous year and the two of them worked great together during a tough year with not-ideal conditions."

Short, who was the Vandals' only qualifier for the meet, won Big Sky indoor titles in 2018 and 2019.

Logos of Moscow graduate Paul Ryan, a Washington State senior, qualified for the finals in the 1,500, posting the 10th-best time in the prelims at 3 minutes, 39.12 seconds.

"I felt very good throughout the race and stuck to the game plan of trying to stick in the top three for the entirety of the race," Ryan said. "Grateful to be able to get a chance to run for a NCAA Championship on Friday evening."

Also qualifying for the final was WSU's Colton Johnsen, sixth in the steeplechase semifinal round at 8:32.11, a personal record and the seventh-best in school history.

"I felt good throughout the race," Johnsen said. "It's a little bittersweet to be so close to making the Olympic trials standard of 8:32.00. I'm excited for the final and look forward to representing WSU in one of the best NCAA fields ever."

Failing to advance for the Cougars were Zach Stallings in the 1,500 and Sam Brixey in the 110 hurdles.

Results of WSU and Idaho qualifiers


110 hurdles semifinals — 14, Sam Brixey, WSU, 13.82.

1,500 semifinals — 10. Paul Ryan, WSU, 3:39.12 (qualified). 19. Zach Stallings, WSU, 3:44.08.

Steeplechase semifinals — 6. Colton Johnsen, WSU, 8:32.11 (qualified).

Shot put — 6. Zack Short, UI, 64-8.

FOOTBALLGilbert to become UI offensive line coach

Nick Gilbert announced on Twitter he has become the University of Idaho's new offensive line coach.

Gilbert, who previously was with the Vandals as an offensive graduate assistant, has bounced around. He has been with the University of Memphis twice, the University of Louisville, and with NCAA Division II Concord University.

He replaces Kris Cinkovich, who retired in April. Cinkovich also was the program's associate head coach and offensive coordinator.

In his most recent stint this past season at Memphis, Gilbert helped the Tigers to an 8-3 overall record, including a 25-10 win against Florida Atlantic in the Montgomery Bowl. They finished third in the American Athletic Conference standings at 5-3, second in first downs (23.6), and third in total offense (453.1 yards per game) and passing offense (307.9).

Gilbert has helped to tutor two NFL offensive linemen: former UI standout Jesse Davis, who now is with the Miami Dolphins; and former Louisville standout Geron Christian, who now is with the Houston Texans.

Gilbert was a three-time letterwinner at Division II Tiffin. His father, Joe, is the offensive line coach for the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NEWSBig Sky strikes deal with ESPN

The Big Sky, whose members include the University of Idaho, announced a multi-year media-rights agreement that will add more than 600 of the conference's live athletic events to ESPN's portfolio.

The events will stream on ESPN+, while ESPNU will televise two football games each year in addition to one regular-season men's basketball game and the championship games for the Big Sky men's and women's basketball tournaments.

"This landmark agreement for the Big Sky and our membership rightfully aligns the nation's preeminent FCS conference with the strongest media brand in sports," Big Sky commissioner Tom Wistrcill said.

The first event connected to the new deal is the conference's annual Football Kickoff, which will stream live on ESPN+ on July 26.

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