LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming senior hurdler Mikalah Skates has been selected to represent the Mountain West on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the conference announced. Skates, who serves as UW's SAAC president, is relishing the experience to represent the conference in an important position on a national scale.
“I am extremely grateful and honored to have been selected to not only represent my fellow athletes here at the University of Wyoming but all of the athletes within the Mountain West Conference,” Skates said. “I've been participating in SAAC for two years and have had the opportunity to also attend MW SAAC Conference meetings, so now being able to participate on the Division I National SAAC as the MW rep is amazing.”
The NCAA Division I SAAC was established in 1989 and is comprised of 32 athletes, one from each Division I conference. The organization meets in January at the NCAA Convention and congregates in July and October in Indianapolis. Skates’ duty as a member of the organization is to serve as a liaison between Mountain West student-athletes and the NCAA, specifically to represent the collective voice of MW student-athletes on matters of NCAA legislation.
Skates, who hails from Casper, Wyo., has been a model leader for the Cowgirls both in the classroom and on the track. She has received Academic All-MW and MW Scholar Athlete honors all three years of her career, posting a stellar 3.52 GPA during the 2015-16 academic year. She is majoring in International Studies at Wyoming.
Skates was Wyoming’s top 60-meter hurdler last season after recording a time of 8.84 seconds at the Powder River Dual on Jan. 30, one of her three wins in the event during the season. Her time of 8.60 in 2014 ranks her No. 7 on UW’s all-time top 10 list for the event. She was also Wyoming’s top 100-meter hurdler outdoors, recording a time of 14.10 at the Utah Spring Classic on April 8. She was a top-four finisher in the event four times in 2016, and placed 11th in the event at the 2016 MW outdoor championships.
Wyoming track & field head coach Bryan Berryhill is elated for Skates to represent the program on a national level. “Mikalah has been a tremendous leader for us as a track program over the last few years,” said Berryhill. “To have her representing the University of Wyoming on a national stage is going to mean a lot to our program. Anytime you can get an opportunity to gain development in leadership, it’s not only going to help our team and help her while she’s here at Wyoming, but it’s going to help her in the future when she graduates.”