UW Track and Field Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Jan. 24, 2009

LINCOLN, Neb. -

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As expected, the University of Wyoming Track and Field teams were a little rusty coming off the holiday break as they competed in the Big 12/Mountain West Conference Challenge, Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

"We knew it was going to take some time to get back into the competition mode, but we made some nice strides today," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "As a team we need to learn how to be aggressive and smarter on the track, and that comes with the young team we have."

The Cowboys were led by their returning All-American, senior Jake Shanklin with his second-place finish in the 35lb weight throw. Shanklin, who already has a NCAA provisional qualifying throw, took second to the redshirt senior Chris Rohr from Missouri, who like Shanklin was an All-American who ended last season at the NCAA Finals.

"We have been working Jake very hard as of late, training with the heavy ball and now is not when we want him to peak," said UW assistant coach Paul Barrett. "He was technically off just a little, he will get there. It was nice for him to get back to competing against some of the best in the nation."

As for the rest of the Pokes, junior Kekoa Chavez ran well in the 400-meter dash with his season best time of 50.42, good for third-place. While second-year man, Greg Miller placed second in the 5,000-meter run with his time of 14:58. John Alderson, the junior from New Castle, Colo., walked away with second-place honors in the triple jump with his leap of 47' 4.25."

"Greg ran a very solid race for us today as we try to re-group and re-focus this men's team," said Yentes. "We had a few nice performances and some guys that were close but not good enough to win."

The Cowgirls were led by sophomore Amanda Aimone who took second-place in the 20lb weight throw. She heaved the weight 57' 9.75" just three feet shy of first-place. Junior Emily Higgins had a solid first meet this season with a third-place finish in both the 1,000-meter run and 1-mile run. Newcomer Afiya Walker gave the Cowgirls a solid effort in the 600-yard run with her second-place finish just seven-tenths behind Leslie Farmer of Missouri.

The three teams from the MWC, (Colorado State, Air Force and Wyoming) came up short as they were beat by the Big 12 (Missouri, Kansas State and Nebraska) 249-118.

"We have a number of very talented athletes on both teams and we will bounce back from this weekend and look forward to traveling to Colorado Springs for the Air Force Quad next Saturday," finished Yentes.

The Air Force Quad will begin at 10 a.m. with the field events while the track events will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday January 31.