Track Teams Battle Through Second Day at MWC Championships

Feb. 28, 2003

Laramie, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming track andfield teams turned in solid performances on day two of the Mountain WestIndoor Track and Field Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Going into Saturday's final round of competition, the Cowboys are holdingstrong to fourth place with 34 points while the Cowgirls are in sixth placewith 21 points.

Senior Mervin Swaby took home second place in the men's long jump with aleap of 24' 1 3/4" to earn all-conference honors for the fourth straightseason in the event. Fellow senior Dan Williams also nabbed second placehonors in the weight throw with a mark of 64' 6" (a provisional qualifyingmark) to earn all-conference honors as well. Sophomore Zack Schaefer andsenior John Griffith finished behind Williams in third and fourth place withthrows of 63' 9 1/2" and 61' 3 1/2", respectively.

"These guys did an excellent job for us today," said UW head track andfield coach Don Yentes. "Swaby has been strong in the long jump all seasonand our three throwers all set personal records today and got us some bigpoints."

The UW women's throw crew also turned heads in the weight throw as threeCowgirls finished in the top four in the event. Senior Crystal Smith notchedsecond place with a mark of 62' 1". Junior Andrea Batt took third in theevent for the second straight season with a personal record throw of 60' 63/4", and sophomore Melissa Vallejos placed fourth with a distance of 56' 33/4".

Sophomore Jessica Fox took the spotlight for the Cowgirls on the track byqualifying for three events in tomorrow's final round of competition. Foxset a new school record in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.27 secondsto move on, while also qualifying in the 60 meter dash (7.59) and 400 meterdash (55.83). Junior Kima Wells will compete in two events in tomorrow'sfinal round. Wells' time of 7.46 seconds in the 60 meter dash was the secondfastest time of the day, she also had the fourth best time in the 200 meterdash with a time of 24.67 seconds. Other Cowgirls who will be competingtomorrow that posted qualifying times in their events include freshmanJanine Brathwaite in the 60 meter dash (7.80), sophomore Tanice Barnett inthe 800 meters (2:16.59), freshmen Christine Michel in the mile run(5:26.05), freshman Maggie Diller in the mile run (5:26.44) and sophomoreShauna Smith in the 60 meter hurdles (8.54).

However, Brathwaite and Smith both suffered injuries that might keep themout of action on Saturday. Braithwaite pulled her hamstring competing in thelong jump and Smith twisted her ankle crossing the finish line in theprelims of the 60 meter hurdles.

"It is unfortunate that the two girls qualified for the finals in theirevents and might not compete tomorrow," said Yentes. "The fact of the matteris that if they can't compete tomorrow it is going to cost us some points."

The Cowboys also have several athletes competing in Saturday's finals.Senior Mervin Swaby turned in the best time in the 60 meter dash (6.89) tomove on. Freshman Robert Harris' time of 7.08 seconds in the 60 meter dashadvances him into the finals, as well as his time of 49.39 seconds in the400 meter dash. Freshman Jeremiah Johnson took second in his heat of the 800meter prelims with a time of 1:54.88 seconds to advance, and sophomore MattHudson's time of 4:24.36 seconds moves him into the finals of the mile run.

"The men couldn't have done a better job today," added Yentes. "I am verypleased with they way they performed today and we have a chance of moving upfrom fourth place tomarrow. The women did a great job as well. Unfortunatelywe had some things go wrong, but those things happen. Overall, I am verypleased with where we are."

Saturday's final round of competition begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Air ForceFieldhouse.