Wyoming Track Teams Finish Up Busy Day

Feb. 11, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of Wyoming track and field program had a busy day Friday, as three sets of tracksters competed in three events throughout the nation.

At Air Force
The largest contingent of athletes, 41, participated in the Air Force Academy Invite in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday.

The women's squad was bolstered by several events. The combination of McKynzie Maher, Kirsten McKen, Diana Long and Brooke Hughes took second in the women's distance medley with a time of 13:28.12, and Erin Urbanoski was eighth in the long jump, hitting a mark of 18-2 ¼. Olivia Heaston was fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 58.27 seconds. Gretchen McCormick was fifth in the 800 (2:22.43).

For the men, Lenyn Leonce won the long jump with a leap of 24 feet, 5 ½ inches, and Caleb Her Many Horses, Sean Wilde, Ken Lane and Nick Ekel were second in the medley distance relay (10:53.47).

But an injury put a damper on the meet for the men, as Stephen Michel, one of the team's best sprinters, was held out due to injury.

At Washington
The UW distance runners took part in the 5,000-meter run in the Washington Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash.

The leader of the day for Wyoming was freshman Christine Nelson, who shattered the UW all-time mark in the event with a time of 16:48.24. That mark was more than 10 seconds faster than Gretchen Johnson's mark, set in 2008. It also was the first time Nelson has run the event on a track.

"That's great for her," Wyoming distance coach Randy Cole said. "She ran a really consistent race."

Greg Miller and Taylor Kelting performed well for the men in the same event. Miller took sixth (14:30.48) and Kelting set a personal record with a time of 14:35.63, which also was good for sixth all-time on UW's top-10 list.

At New Mexico
Fourteen UW athletes hit the track in the Don Kirby Invite in Albuquerque, N.M. Full results weren't available as of Friday night.

There were some standout performances in several areas for Wyoming. Ashley Hutchinson and Amanda Aimone finished second and third, respectively, in the weight throw, while Joe Plante was second in the weight throw (61-10 ½).

The men's team got some bad news in New Mexico as well, as Mario Harris was injured and couldn't compete. Harris also is one of the team's top sprinters.

"When your top two sprint guys get nicked up ... It's kind of a downer," Yentes said regarding the injury news. "You just don't know. Sometimes you get a group of kids and it just happens."

But Travis Gunderson set a new lifetime mark in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.91, and Afiya Walker ran a solid 53.93 in the 400-meter dash to take fourth.

Erin Kirby achieved her personal record in the 60-meter hurdles (8.95), and Chantel Bernabo ran solid in the 800-meter run. She posted a 25.27, good for 15th.

The meet will serve as a warmup for the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships, which are Feb. 24-26.

"They're fighters and they'll get it going," Yentes said. "We'll see what happens here in two weeks."

The Air Force and Washington events will continue Saturday.