Two More Individual MWC Championship Titles for UW Track and Field

Feb. 27, 2010


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The 2010 Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships came to a close on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M., with the Cowboys finishing in fourth place and the Cowgirls ending in seventh.

The Cowboys scored a combined 98 points over the three-day meet, trailing the leading BYU Cougars with a total of 159.5 points. For the Cowgirls, they totaled 37 points, while the BYU Cougars completed the sweep for the second straight year with a total of 193 points.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls each had one individual champion on Saturday with junior Jeremiah James winning his second straight title in the indoor triple jump and eighth overall championships combining both indoor and outdoor seasons. James also earned his third straight indoor high point award for the `Pokes. Cowgirl junior, Afiya Walker won the 400-meter dash by three one hundredths of a second over Kristal Juarez of TCU. Her time of 53.40 was an NCAA provisional qualifying time and ranks third best all-time at UW, as well as 14th fastest in the nation.

The sprinters once again had a very solid day and had great performances by athletes in different events. Freshman Mario Harris led the way as he once again wrote his name in multiple top-ten lists on Saturday. Harris placed fifth in the 400-meter dash and his time of 48.03 was second best in Cowboy history. He also competed in the 60-meter dash where he finished in fourth and had the sixth-fastest time in history for the `Pokes, 6.80. Redshirt freshman Stephen Michel trailed Harris in the 60-meter dash and placed fifth, as well as finishing in second place in the triple jump only a quarter of an inch behind James.

In the 60-meter hurdles, two freshmen and two seniors took to the track. For the men, freshmen Brandon Douglass and Michael Tasker placed fourth and seventh respectively. Tasker's time of 8.43 was ninth best all-time for the `Pokes. Senior Jay Petsch, fresh off his third place finish in the men's heptathlon placed eighth and scored one more point for the Cowboys. Senior Cowgirl, Jennifer Schmitz also finished in eighth with her time of 8.93.

The throwers took to the ring in the men's and women's shot put where Cowgirl Ashley Hutchinson placed seventh with her throw of 44' 2" while adding two more points for the Cowgirl total. The Cowboys had sophomore Joe Plante and freshman Mark Sparks in the brown and gold, and finished 12th and 16th respectively.

Both relay teams competed in the 4x400-meter relay and both entered their respective names in the record books. The men's team of Keith Brauneis, Chavez, Petsch, and Harris combined to run a time of 3:14.75, which was fast enough to rank number four all time, while they also finished the race in fourth. The Cowgirl squad of Taylor Gardner, Erica Anderson, Schmitz and Walker ran the seventh fastest time in school history and placed fifth at the meet with a time of 3:50.08.

"Both teams are much improved and very young," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "We are really close in some areas and they are all right there. We are lucky enough in track to have two chances at improving your team at the conference meet, we are looking forward to moving outdoors."