Wyoming Teams Finish MWC Championships With Several Outstanding Performances

Feb. 23, 2002

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The University of Wyoming track and field teams closed the curtain on the 2002 indoor season with several outstanding performances on the final day of the Mountain West Conference Championships.

UW picked up a pair more individual conference titles today, giving the team three conference champions overall for the indoor season. Junior Quincy Howe leaped 53-4 1/4 to win the men's triple jump while record smashing Cowgirl freshman Shauna Smith of Sheridan blazed her way to a conference title in the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.47. The duo joined senior Julie Thomas, winner of the women's weight throw Friday, as UW conference champs.

Spurred on by Smith, the UW women tied their highest finish ever with a third place showing, moving up after ending Friday's competition in fifth place. "The women really came through today," UW coach Don Yentes said. "Tying our best team performance ever was big, and we had some outstanding performances."

Smith played a large role. Named the MWC women's Freshman of the Year Saturday, she edged out teammate Kelly-Ann Charles with a new school record in the 60-meter hurdles. Charles, whose record Smith broke, finished runner-up with her time of 8.56. "That was a big start to the day for us," Yentes said. "That 1-2 punch really got us going."

Smith added another outstanding performance with her second place run of 53.54 in the 400-meter dash, eclipsing the school mark she set earlier this month.

Andrea Batt earned all-conferenc recognition and second in the shot put with an NCAA automatic qualifying throw of 52-10. Adelaide Harper and Fiona Lindo-Jeffrey garnered all-conference laurels in the 200 meters. Harper finished second and tied her own school mark of 24.31 with Lindo-Jeffrey right on her heels with a third place run of 24.43. Lindo-Jeffrey also brought home all-conference honors with a third place run of 7.62 in the 60-meter dash.

"Overall, the women really did a great job," Yentes said. "We scored 101 points, and I can remember five years ago when we scored about 10. We were fifth at the indoors a year ago, and we moved up to third this year. The kids are really getting it going. We've made strides, hopefully we can keep it going."

On the men's side, junior Quincy Howe kept his impressive streak at the championships going. After finishing second in the long jump Friday, Howe won the triple jump with a leap of 53-4 1/4, good enough to automatically qualify for the NCAAs. "What can you say about Quincy?," Yentes said. "The guy is fantastic."

Sophomore Collin Thomas tore up the track, racking up a pair of all-conference performances by finishing second in the 60-meter dash with a run of 6.79 and second in the 200, clocking in at 21.57. Craig Suter rounded out the Cowboys' individual all-conference performers Saturday, checking in with a throw of 55-11 3/4 to grab third in the shot put.

The Cowboys 4x440-meter relay squad also turned in a big performance, finishing third with a time of 3:13.99 to help lead Wyoming to a fourth place team finish.

"The men just did a great job," Yentes said. "We had nine all-conference performers on the women's side and six for the men, so they did a lot of good things."