June 18, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Emma Bates has been selected as the Mountain West Women's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Bates is the first Boise State athlete to attain the honor since Kurt Felix won on the men's side in 2012.
Bates is coming off a week where she won the 10,000m at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., and became Boise State's first women's outdoor track and field athlete to win a national championship. She capped off a successful week two days later when she placed fourth in the 5,000m and earned her ninth All-America honor of her track and field and cross country career.
She began the outdoor season by setting MW all-time records at both the Mt. SAC Relays and the Payton Jordan Invite. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Bates competed in the 5,000m and ran a 15:33.42, edging the previous record set in 2012 that was held by New Mexico's Sarah Waldron (15:37.49). Two weeks later she competed in the 10,000m at the Payton Jordan Invite and ran a 32:20.83, good for the 12th-fastest time in NCAA history.
Bates ran in the 1,500m and the 5,000m at the MW Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Laramie, Wyo., and won both events. The two victories gave her a career total of seven MW titles. The win in the 1,500m was also the first time that the Elk River, Minn., native had run in a 1,500m race all season.
She then moved on to the West Preliminary Championships and competed in the 5,000m and the 10,000m. Bates took second place in the 10,000m and won the 5,000m, ensuring spots in the two races at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Bates' performance at the NCAA Championships led the Boise State women's team to an eighth-place finish in the team standings, giving the Broncos their best NCAA Track and Field Championship team finish in school history. In addition, the finish is also the best women's team finish in school history for any sport at an NCAA Championship.
Bates either set a MW all-time record or won a championship in five out of the eight races that she competed in this outdoor season.
She will likely compete next at the U.S. Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26-29.