Batt And Herl Take Weight Throw Crowns at Day Two of 2004 MWC Track & Field Championships

Feb. 27, 2004

Colorado Springs, Colo. - Four University ofWyoming track and field athletes earned All-Mountain West Conferencehonors in their respective events Friday at the second day of the 2004MWC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.Cowgirl Andrea Batt took home first place in the women's weightthrow, while Cowboys Kyle Herl and Zack Shaefer finished first andsecond in the men's weight throw and Jared Grant placed third in themen's high jump.

Batt, a senior from Six Mile, Mont., earned her first ever MWC titleFriday with her first place finish in the weight throw. She hadpreviously placed in the top three the last three seasons but neverclaimed the top spot. Her distance of 63' 3 1/2" dominated thecompetition as Natasha Eldridge of Utah finished a distant second witha mark of 57' 7". Batt will go for anther conference titleSaturday in the shot put.

Also scoring team points for the Cowgirls on Friday was JenniferThompson in the women's 5,000 meter run. Thompson's time of18:22.3 is a personal best time for the junior from Cheyenne, Wyo andwas good enough for sixth place.

Herl, a junior from Hays, Kan., took the No. 1 spot in the men'sweight throw with a distance of 67' 5 1/2". The mark is a careerand season best and currently ranks as the ninth best throw in thenation. Herl's performance increases his chances of making the cutfor the 2004 NCAA Championships.

Finishing in second place in the men's weight throw was junior ZackSchaefer. Schaefer, from Battle Ground, Wash., recorded a distance of66' 1 1/2". This is Schaefer's second consecutive top threefinish in the weight throw as he place third at last season's indoorconference meet.

UW's Jared Grant, a freshman from Lovell, Wyo., surprised many onFriday with his third place finish in the men's high jump. Grantcleared the bar at 6' 8 1/4", a career and season's best markgiving the Pokes seven team points.

Brett Zowada completed the men's heptathlon with solid performancesin the 60 meter hurdles (8.95), pole vault (12' 1.5") and the1,000 meters (2:49.78). Zowada placed fourth overall and finished witha career high 4,832 points.

Two other Cowboy's picked up some solid team points Friday as BlakeJackson and Devale Johnson both placed in the men's long jump.Jackson's mark of 23' 4 1/2" was good enough for fifth placewhile Johnson's mark of 22' 6 1/2" placed him seventh.

Four Cowboy runners qualified to compete in tomorrow's finalscompetition. In the 800 meter run, Jeremiah Johnson had the best timeof the day clocking in at 1:52.92. Jeremy Thompson also qualified forthe finals with his time of 1:54.38.

Dwight Neptune and Jermaine Kelly will be competing in the finals ofthe 60 meter dash on Saturday. Neptune finished with the fifth besttime of the day, 6.93, to qualify. Kelly made the cut with apreliminary time of 7.02.

For the Cowgirls, Kima Wells turned in the fastest time of the day inthe prelims of the women's 60 meter dash. Her time of 7.37 is a newUW school record and improves her NCAA provisional qualifying chances.

Jessica Fox finished with the best qualifying time in the women's200 meter dash. Fox crossed the finish line in 23.74, breaking herprevious Cowgirl record of 24.19. The time is also an NCAA provisionalqualifying time.

Shauna Smith qualified for the finals of the 60 meter hurdles withher time of 8.35, the best time of the day. Smith did not compete inthe 400 meter dash due to illness and will be questionable fortomorrow's competition.

UW's Tanice Barnett turned in a solid performance in the prelims ofthe 800 meter run. Her time of 2:17.08 was the second fastestpreliminary time and qualifies her for the tomorrow's finals.

In the team standing's the BYU women are in first place with 71team points, the Cowgirls are in fifth place with 21 team points. TheColorado State men's squad holds the first place position with 63points, the Cowboys are in third place with 40 points.

"Overall I thought we had a pretty good day," said UW head trackand field coach Don Yentes. "We had our ups and our down's today,but the meet is not over and our kids are really giving it a battle.There is a long way to go before the end of this thing and we are upto the challenge."

The MWC Indoor Track & Field Championships conclude Saturday,February 28, following the men's mile relay at 3:45 p.m. MST and theannouncement of the individual and team awards.