The Front Row with MARK NELKE June 21, 2012 - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

The Front Row with MARK NELKE June 21, 2012

Locals set sights on Olympics

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Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012 12:15 am

Ian Waltz's quest for a third straight trip to the Olympics begins Monday at the U.S. Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Waltz competes in the men's discus qualifying on Monday, looking to advance to the finals on June 28.

The former Post Falls High and Washington State standout was the Olympic Trials champion in 2008, and was second in 2004. He's a three-time USA outdoors champion.

He was ranked as high as fifth in the world in 2008. He was ranked No. 3 in the USA, 27th in the world in 2011.

The Trials begin Friday and conclude July 1.

The U.S. Olympic swimming trials, which run June 25-July 2 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb., will also sport a local flavor again.

Mason Shaw, a former member of the Coeur d'Alene Area Swim Team, will compete at the Olympic Trials for the second time. Shaw swam for Lake City, and now swims for Stanford.

Ben Lovell, a 2012 graduate of Lewis and Clark High in Spokane and another CAST member, will race in the 100-meter butterfly. Lovell has signed with Stanford.

Bryce Kananowicz, a junior at Lake City and another CAST member, competed at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials March 27-April 1 in Montreal.

IDAHO'S FOOTBALL program hasn't had much good news lately, what with teams bailing from the Western Athletic Conference at an alarming rate, and the Vandals wondering if the they are going to have a conference to play football in in 2013.

But the Vandals got some good news this week with the release of the latest Academic Progress Rate figures, which cover a four-year period starting with the 2007-08 school year through the 2010-11 school year.

Idaho's APR in football for the most current period was 934, which means for only the second time in the past five seasons, the Vandals were not docked scholarships for having a low APR.

The APR measures a team’s academic performance. APR figures take into account eligibility, retention and graduation. So while getting rid of a lot of troublemakers — which coach Robb Akey did when he took over the program in 2007 — may be good for the overall health of the team, it can be bad for the APR.

Idaho lost eight scholarships in 2008, six in 2010 and one last year for low APRs.

No Vandal programs will be punished this year for low APRs.

Idaho’s men’s basketball team APR was 960. Other Idaho men’s teams and their APRs — cross country, 948; golf, 963; indoor track, 963; outdoor track, 948.

Idaho’s volleyball team, coached by former St. Maries High standout Debbie (Martin) Buchanan, posted a perfect 1,000 APR, and received a public recognition award from the NCAA.

Idaho’s other women’s sports APRs — basketball, 961; cross country, 994; golf, 981; soccer, 971; swimming, 978; tennis, 984; indoor track and outdoor track, both 961.

Now if the Vandals could just find some teams to play football against in 2013 ...

Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via email at mnelke@cdapress.com. Follow him on Twitter at CdAPressSports.

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