Wyoming Track and Field Finishes Competition at the Air Force and Husker Invitationals

Feb. 3, 2007


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The Wyoming track and field program finished up competition at the Air Force and Husker Invitationals today with some strong performances by many Cowboys and Cowgirls. In Colorado Springs, the women finished in fourth place out of 14 teams, while the men finished in eighth place out of 12 teams.

The opening day of the Air Force Invitational was highlighted by senior Chris Schabron's first place finish in the 3000-meter run. The Laramie native turned in a lifetime best time of 9:30.60 to with the event.

Another solid finish came from sophomore Jake Shanklin who placed second in the weight throw with a provisional NCAA qualifying mark of 64' 4-1/2". Senior Shannon Popp finished competition today in first place in the women's weight throw with a distance of 62' - 5.0" and provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet as well.

Senior Amanda Hopper ran a season's best time in the 200-meter dash as she finished in first place with a time of 24.88, while junior Shaylee Babbitt crossed the line in ninth place with a time of 25.83. Also running well for the Cowgirls was junior Maricel DaCosta who finished third in the 60-meter dash event with a time of 7.82. Junior Sheron Larrier won the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 55.48. Newcomer Adriana Friezen continued to run well as she won the preliminary 60-meter hurdle race on Friday, but was forced to sit out of the final due to a minor injury. However, senior Aniis Hopkins and junior Shaylee Babbitt finished in third and fourth place respectively in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.71 second, which is the fourth fastest time in the school history.

"Shaylee and Aniis both set personal records in the preliminaries, and then they went back out in the finals and did it again and I am really pleased with that," said head track and field coach, Don Yentes.

The Cowgirls' 4x440-yard relay team, who is made up of seniors Aniis Hopkins and Amanda Hopper and juniors Sheron Larrier and Maricel DaCosta, took home first place with a time of 3:49.65. This marks the second time this team has won the event this season as they won the Wyoming Open back in December and broke the War Memorial Fieldhouse record in the 4x400-meter relay. Freshman Johnna Jeffries finished up competition in fourth place in the women's high jump, jumping a height of 5'-3.0", while junior Kat Doherty finished in fifth place in the women's pole vault with a height of 11'-5 1/4". Junior Jennifer Collen placed fourth in the women's long jump with a distance of 18'-1.0"

"We're slowly improving," said Yentes. "We had some kids step up and run well today and we're happy about that."

For the Cowboys, senior jumper Blake Jackson continues to shine as he finished in second place in both the long jump and triple jump. In the long jump, Jackson jumped a distance of 22'-9 1/4" and in the triple jump, a distance of 50'-4.0". Junior Vashone West ran a season's best in the men's 200-meter dash finishing sixth with a time of 21.81 seconds.

"Vashone ran a season's best 200 today out of a very difficult lane two and I thought he really ran well," said Yentes.

The men's 4x440-yard relay team finished in eighth place today with a time 3:27.16. The team included freshmen Keith Brauneis and Jay Petsch, sophomore Damien Farmer and junior Vashone West.

Finishing up competition at the Husker Invite today in Lincoln, Nebraska were the Cowboys distance runners. In the men's 1-mile run, it was sophomore Shadrack Too leading the way as he finished in 20th place with a time of 4:23.18. He was followed by sophomore Brett Schuler (4:27.42) and senior Nick Cramer (4:30.14) who finished in 23rd and 24th place respectively. The highlight of the day came with senior Philemon Tanui's sixth place finish in the men's 3000-meter run with a time of 8:38.16.

"They've got a ways to go, but hopefully we'll be able to get them going by the time the outdoor season comes around," said Yentes.

Next up for the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be when the travel to Seattle, Washington to compete in the WA Husky Invitational on Saturday, February 10.