Feb. 28, 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
At the conclusion of the Mountain West Conference Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., the University of Wyoming track and field teams were on the outside looking in, as the men scored a total of 77 points and finished sixth while the women scored 26 points and finished in ninth.
On both the men's and women's side the championship went to Brigham Young as both teams scored 224 team points. The `Pokes were only one point from TCU and fifth place while the Cowgirls trialed UNLV by only 10 points.
Individually senior Jake Shanklin and sophomore Jeremiah James came away with their own hardware as they were awarded with the top-performance and high-point awards. Shanklin won the award for the second straight year for his 71' 9" throw in the 35lb weight throw. James who came away with the title in both the triple jump and long jump earned 20 points for the Cowboys and shared the honor with Air Force senior Sean Houseworth who won the 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter run.
As far as the jumps, James took the championship in the men's triple jump with his leap of 49' 6.5". James backed up his long jump championship from day one with his best triple jump of the season on day two. Junior John Alderson finished right behind James with his fourth place finish and leap of 48' 10.25". As for the Cowgirl jumpers, sophomore Britney Jackson placed 10th in the high jump while senior Lindsey Fuller finished in 14th in the triple jump.
"Jeremiah was third heading into the finals and had enough in the tank to pull out the victory," said assistant coach Quincy Howe. "John competed very well and stepped up at the right time and had a nice season best today."
The throwers had a very solid day as they competed in the shot put events. Senior Cowboy Sam Lambert took fourth place honors with his toss of 51' 9.25" while true freshman Toby Wood finished in ninth. The Cowgirls were represented by true freshman Kelly Gray who failed to make the finals and finished in 18th out of 24 competitors.
The distance crew competed in the 3,000-meter run and the 1-mile run on Saturday. Leading the charge for the Cowgirls was junior Emily Higgins as she placed sixth in both events. As for the men, senior Michael Huntington finished sixth for the Cowboys in the 1-Mile run with his time of 4:25.38. While sophomores Greg Miller and Taylor Kelting placed 11th and 14th respectively in the 3,000-meter run.
The sprint team only had three competing in the finals of their events on Saturday. The Cowboys competed in the 400-meter dash as they sent junior Kekoa Chavez to the track. He placed seventh with his time of 48.83. Fellow junior, Jay Petsch qualified for the 60-meter hurdles with his record tying time of 8.10, today he finished in seventh with his time of 8.38. The Cowgirls sent junior Erica Anderson to the starting line of the women's 400-meter dash. She ran the tenth best time in Wyoming history during the preliminaries, but was unable to match it as she finished in seventh place with her time of 59.35.
"We had some tremendous performances this weekend from some very good kids, now if we can get the rest of the team to compete at that level we would be pretty tough," said head coach Don Yentes. "Both teams just left too many points on the board and allowed other teams to take them. We need to take advantage of every opportunity or this is what happens. We have our work cut out for us."
Up next for the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be the NCAA Championships for senior Jake Shanklin in the 35lb weight throw on March 13-14 in College Station, Texas.