Wyoming Starts Strong At Mountain West Conference Championships

Feb. 22, 2002

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The University of Wyoming track and field teams posted some impressive individual performances Friday on the second day of the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Heading into Saturday's final day of competition, the Cowgirls stand in fifth place with 26 team points while the UW men are tied with New Mexico in fourth place with 22 points.

Senior Julie Thomas nabbed Wyoming's first individual conference title Friday with her toss of 62-6.5 in the women's weight throw. Teammate Andrea Batt garnered all-conference laurels in the event, finishing third with her throw of 60-3.7 while Crystal Smith gave the Cowgirls three of the event's top-six placers, claiming sixth a mark of 58-4.5.

"That was a bigtime performance from all three of them," Wyoming head coach Don Yentes said. "Julie really had a great day."

Freshman Shauna Smith of Sheridan won the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries with a run of 8.57 seconds in addition to claiming third in the 400-meter dash prelims, won by teammate Jessica Fox in a time of 55.06. Three Cowgirls qualified for Saturday's final in the 200-meter dash and two more landed top-eight finishes in the 60-meter dash to advance to Saturday's final.

"The women had a great day," Yentes said. "Probably the best second day we've had in the last five years I've been here. They did a great job stepping it up, and now we're in a position to make a run at a top-three finish. I'm very excited about what we're getting done."

The Cowboys made plenty noise of their own Friday, led by junior Quincy Howe's second-place, all-conference leap of 22-11.2 in the long jump. UW junior Seth Billy set a new school record with his second-place time of 47.68 in the 400-meter dash preliminaries, eclipsing his own mark of 47.91 set earlier this spring and also advanced to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles.

Freshman Hal Bromley landed fourth in the high jump, clearing the bar at 6-4.7 while another Cowboy youngster, sophomore Collin Thomas, advanced to Saturday's finals in the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes. Thomas finished second in the 200, clocking a time of 21.38, and fourth in the 60-meter event with a run of 6.92.

Cowboy throwers Dan Williams and John Griffith also fared well in the men's weight throw. Williams brought home fourth place honors with a heave of 60-3 and Griffith placed sixth in the event with a toss of 59-1.5.

"The men are doing a tremendous job," Yentes said. "They're really getting after it and doing a very good job. We've got a lot of stuff going for us as we head into the last day."

Saturday's final day of competition begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Air Force Fieldhouse.