UW Track & Field Teams Finish Strong at WAC Championships

February 22, 1999

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

After three days of competition, the University of Wyoming men placed fourth and the women placed ninth at the Western Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships held in Colorado Springs, Colo.

During Saturdays competition, February 20, Wyoming had one individual champion. Freshman Quincy Howe won the mens triple jump with an effort of 49' 7". Mervin Swaby took third in the same event with a jump of 48' 11 3/34". With those performances, the Cowboys earned 16 team points in the triple jump.

The Cowboys also earned points in the mens shot put, where Jason Gervais finished fourth and Kevin Mannon placed fifth.

Gregg Sawyer continued to perform well for Wyoming with a third-place finish in the pole vault. Sawyer vaulted 17' 3/4", which is a personal record and also broke the previous school record.

On the womens side, in the shot put, Tamara Hawkins placed third and Robin Lyons was fourth. Both throwers ahead of Hawkins were national placers last year and are upperclassmen.

"We made big improvements on both sides, mens and womens," said Larry Judge, University of Wyoming head track and field coach. "With Hawkins and Lyons, I was really pleased. Both competed well and we scored very well in the event.

"The future is bright for our women. The women throwers had an outstanding meet. It was just a great effort by them.

"I was real proud of Howe and Swaby, they competed well. Sawyer set the school record in the pole vault and had an outstanding meet. It was a great team effort, we made huge strides. I look for a really strong showing at the nationals and we will improve during the outdoor season.

"Overall, a lot of progress has been made on both sides. The program has really improved and I think we opened some eyes down here. The women improved from twelfth to ninth and the men went from ninth to fourth."

Following Friday's competition, 2/19 ---

After two days of competition, the Wyoming mens track and field team sits in first-place, while the women are in sixth. The Cowboys have 40 team points, and they are followed closely by Brigham Young with 35 points. For the Cowgirls, they have 21 team points, which is only ten points out of second-place.

Kevin Mannon and Gregg Sawyer have each captured individual championships. Mannon won the mens 35-pound weight throw with an effort of 71' 10 1/4". That was almost four feet further than the second-place thrower, Xavier Tison of SMU. Sawyer won the mens pentathlon with 3948 points. Sawyers closest competition was Rashad Stafford of Rice with 3928 points.

Robin Lyons came in second in the womens 20-pound weight throw. Her best toss of 65' 7 1/2" was the same as the champions, but Florence Ezeh of SMU won the event because of a better second throw.

Also earning points for Wyoming on the mens side were Jason Gervais in the 35-pound weight throw, (fourth-place, 65' 4 1/4"), Derek Woodske in the 35-pound weight throw, (sixth-place, 64' 11 1/4"), Mervin Swaby in the long jump, (third-place, 24' 1 3/4"), and Chris Lee in the mens 5000-meter race, (fifth-place, 15:41.86).

Other than Lyons, Cowgirls to earn team points were Tamara Hawkins in the 20-pound weight throw, (third-place, 60' 5 3/4"), Dana Dillon in the 20-pound weight throw, (fifth-place, 58' 10 1/4"), Julie Thomas in the 20-pound weight throw, (seventh-place, 57' 9 3/4") and Renee Guy-Garth in the long jump, (eighth-place, 18' 4 1/2").

"We scored 20 of our 21 womens team points in the 20-pound weight throw," said Larry Judge, University of Wyoming head track and field coach. "It was a good competition for us, it was a close match-up for Robin. Weve come a long ways, we dominated that event and that speaks well for the future, because we will return everybody.

"For Kevin, to put it to last years NCAA Champion (Libor Charfreitag of SMU, who placed third with a throw of 67' 8 3/4") like that, it just shows where he stands. Jason Gervais also had a good showing. Woodske had a bad back, so he had a subpar performance, but hopefully he will be healthy for nationals.

"Swaby placed third in the long jump, which is excellent for a freshman. And Chris Lee passed three people on the last lap of the 5000 to earn his spot.

"The men are positioned very well for a top three finish. And the women look solid to place in the upper half. Overall, we have made lots of progress on both sides."

One more day of competition remains, and the men look to score more points in the triple jump, shot put, pole vault and 3000-meter race. The women will also be strong in the shot put and triple jump.