Feb. 25, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of Wyoming track and field program rewrote much of the school record book Friday on the second day of the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
Fifteen new entries were made on UW's all-time top-10 indoor performance list as both teams competed well versus the rest of the conference. At the conclusion of events Friday, the Wyoming men's team was in third with 37 points, while the women's team was in seventh with 18 points.
"I think we competed well. In fact, that's probably the best we've competed in two or three years," UW coach Don Yentes said. "We've come here in the past and the last couple of years, we were a little wet behind the ears, and just didn't show up. Today, we had a lot of top-10 performances and personal records.
"Unfortunately, we weren't always rewarded by making the finals, but you just can't do that all the time. In track, you usually don't have a lot of control over what the other athletes do. I'm very pleased with our kids. Our women have grown up before my very eyes."
Freshman Christine Nelson ran to a fourth-place finish in the women's 5,000-meter run, while two of Wyoming's men finished in the points in the men's 5,000-meter run. Greg Miller and Taylor Kelting finished sixth and eighth, respectively. Both set new personal bests, and with altitude conversion, Miller's time was 14:20.01 and Kelting's was 14:24.90. Miller now is second and Kelting is third on UW's all-time list.
Senior Jeremiah James continued his dominance at the indoor long jump, winning his fourth-straight indoor title, hitting a mark of 23 feet, 8 inches. Sophomore teammate Lenyn Leonce was fourth with a distance of 23-3 ¼. UW now has won the indoor long jump title five consecutive times.
Two of Wyoming's women weight throwers scored points as well, as Ashley Hutchinson and Amanda Aimone were third and sixth, respectively. Hutchinson threw to a distance of 62-1 ¼, while Aimone hit a mark of 58-10. Hutchinson's throw was ninth all-time in UW history, and Aimone's throw was a season-best mark.
"Ashley and Amanda stepped up and competed well," UW throws coach Paul Barrett said.
The men's 60-meter hurdle prelims put two Wyoming athletes in the finals Saturday. Brandon Douglass' time of 8.18 seconds was fourth among the competitors, and Michael Tasker was sixth, 8.25. Their times put them first and second in Wyoming all-time history, respectively. Both will try their luck in the finals Saturday.
Mario Harris qualified for the finals Saturday in the 60-meter dash, with the day's second-best time of 6.811 seconds. Teammate Travis Gunderson just missed qualifying for the finals, and was one spot out in ninth with a time of 6.90, which was a new personal best.
Afiya Walker, Erin Kirby and Lindsey Simmons all ran well in the 400-meter dash, and their reward is an appearance in the 400-meter dash finals Saturday. Walker hopes to defend her 2010 title in the event, while Kirby and Simmons will make their finals debut. Walker had a time of 54.26, Kirby had a mark of 55.38 and Simmons got a mark of 55.87.
Candace Wollert will be in the 800-meter run finals Saturday after taking seventh in the prelims with an altitude-converted time of 2:11.29, which is a new UW record in the event.
Both the men's and women's distance medley relay teams came away with times that made it on UW's all-time list. The women ran to an altitude-converted time of 12:05.58, good for third on the list, while the men's team got a time of 9:54.86, good for second all-time.
"I don't have a clue how we're going to end up tomorrow as a team, but the one thing I can say is that this group is going to keep on working and laying it on the line," Yentes said.
The action will begin at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, the last day of the MWC Championships.