The University of Wyoming won three individual titles and notched eight all-time top-10 performances on Friday at the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships. The strong performance has the Cowgirls tied for third with 32 points and the Cowboys fourth with 34 at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
"We talked this morning at our team meeting about how important today is to put ourselves in position," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "We had to advance some people into Saturday's finals and compete hard in the events that were final today and we did that. We really carried our momentum from yesterday into today and now we have to do it all over tomorrow."
Freshmen Emelda Malm-Annan and Ja'la Henderson had maybe the most impressive performances, as the two collected the 22nd and 23rd individual MW indoor titles for the Cowgirls. Malm-Annan topped the field in the weight throw with a toss of 62-10 1/2 to become the first freshman ever to win the event in the 17-year history of the conference. She also became the seventh Cowgirl to win a conference title in the event and first since 2009. Henderson won the long jump with a leap of 19-4 3/4 to become the first Cowgirl ever to win the event indoors. In the only track event that was a final on Friday, junior Audra DeStefano placed third in the 5,000 meters in a personal-best 16:35.84 to move up to second in UW history.
The rest of the track events on Friday were prelims, but that didn't deter the Cowgirls. Sophomore Lauren Hamilton posted the top qualifying time in the mile at 4:48.90 to move ahead of DeStefano for second in Cowgirl history in the event. Junior Cassidy Meade qualified eighth in the 800 meters in 2:11.12 to move to third in UW's record books, while senior McKenzie Brogan advance to sixth in Cowgirl history with a 54.82 in the 400 meters to qualify fourth. Sophomore Kim Robertson missed qualifying for the final in the 400 meters by one tenth of a second, but did run the 10th-fastest time by a Cowgirl at 55.79. Freshman Jerayah Davis qualified third in the 60 meters in 7.37, just one thousandth of a second off her personal best.
Colorado State leads the field in the women's race with 46 points and is followed by Boise State with 41.5, while San Diego State is tied with the Cowgirls at 32.
Senior Tyler Anderson paced the Cowboys by notching 63-6 1/4 in the weight throw to win and claim Wyoming's 34th individual MW indoor title. Like Malm-Annan, he became the seventh UW student-athlete to win the event in the MW era. Fellow senior Aaron Derner ran the fourth-fastest 5,000 meters in Cowboy history in 14:21.54 to place fourth on Friday, while junior Caleb Seeton posted the sixth-highest total in the heptathlon by a Cowboy at 4,955 points for fifth place. Senior Scott Carter placed third in the long jump at 23-10 3/4 and junior Damon Unland was fourth in the weight throw at 57-7 3/4 in other events that went final Friday.
In prelims, junior Jordan Charles moved up to sixth in Cowboy history in the 200 meters with a 21.53 to qualify seventh. He also qualified second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.00 and just missed qualifying in the 60 meters by one thousandth of a second. Sophomore Ricky Faure ran a season-best 1:51.42 for the second-fastest time in the 800-meter prelims, while Carter advanced in the 60-meter hurdles with an 8.14 for fourth. Sophomore Clay Carlson didn't advance in the 400 meters, but did run 48.63 for fifth in Cowboy history.
Colorado State leads the men's race with 69 points, followed by Air Force with 43 and New Mexico at 41.
Saturday's final day of the MW meet begins with field events at 10 a.m. MT and track events at noon.