Six Wyoming Athletes Win Event Titles At MWC Track & Field Championships

Feb. 28, 2004

Colorado Springs, Colo. -- The University ofWyoming track and field teams wrapped up competition at the 2004Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships onSaturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Cowboys finished in fourthplace with 85 team points while the Cowgirls also placed fourth with88 team points.

The BYU programs took home both the men's and women's team titleswith 169.5 and 224.5 points, respectively.

The Cowgirls dominated the sprinting events on the final day of themeet. Senior Kima Wells, from Alpine, Wyo., took home the MWC crown inthe women's 60 meter dash with a NCAA provisional time of 7.30,breaking her old school record of 7.33 she set yesterday in theprelim's. Wells was also the runner-up in the women's 400 meterdash with a time of 54.75.

Junior Jessica Fox won her second consecutive MWC Indoor crown in the200 meter dash. Fox crossed the finish line in 23.71, breaking herprevious UW record in the event she set yesterday, 23.74. Fox's timeis also an NCAA provisional qualifying time. Fox, a native of Burns,Wyo., also earned All-MWC honors in the 60 meter dash taking thirdplace with a time of 7.49.

Wyoming's Shauna Smith shrugged off a bad case of the flu to placefirst in the women's 60 meter hurdles. Smith, from Sheridan, Wyo.,crossed the finish line in 8.34 seconds to edge out Mirian Fisher ofBYU, 8.37.

After posting the second best time in the 800 meter run yesterday,sophomore Tanice Barnett took third place in the finals of the eventon Saturday. Barnett's time of 2:15.38 earned her All-MWC honors forthe first time in her two-year career.

In the women's shot put, UW's Andrea Batt took second place witha distance of 50' 2 1/2". Batt is a now a four-time All-MWCperformer in the event. Batt also took first place in the women'sweight throw on Friday with a mark of 63' 3 1/2".

Two Cowboys took the top spot in their respective events. SophomoreJeremiah Johnson raced to a first place finish in the men's 800meter run. Johnson's time of 1:51.04, which set a new MWC IndoorChampionship met record, defeated Brian Kelly of Colorado State bynearly a full second, 1:52.03.

Junior Kyle Herl took the No. 1 spot in the men's weight throwFriday with a NCAA provisional mark of 67' 5 1/2". On Saturday,Herl earned All-MWC honors in his second event by placing third in theshot put with a distance of 59' 9", another NCAA provisionalqualifying mark.

In the men's 60 meter dash UW's Dwight Neptune captured secondplace with a time of 6.85. His time is a career and season bestperformance for the freshman from Gaspirillo, Trinidad.

Wyoming's Blake Jackson took home runner-up honors in the triplejump. Jackson's distance of 51' 1/4" was the top mark going intothe final round, but was outdone by Rodrigo Menedes of BYU who jumped51' 1 3/4". Jackson's mark was a career best for the Cheyenne,Wyo., native.

Also earning All-MWC honors for the Pokes was freshman Jared Grantwho placed third in the men's high jump on Friday clearing a careerbest height of 6' 8 1/2".

UW head coach Don Yentes was named the Mountain West ConferenceWomen's Coach of the Year. Since taking the reigns of the UW trackand field program in 2000, Yentes has coached 24 MWC Champions and 10 All-Americans.

"Our athletes really competed their tails off today," saidYentes. "Everyone really stepped it up today and fought hard. We hadseveral school records broken and career best marks put up. I am verypleased with the effort they all gave."

Several UW athletes will now prepare for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Trackand Field Championships which is scheduled for Friday and Saturday,March 12-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.