Feb. 29, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
The University of Wyoming track and field teams came away with four individual titles in the second day of competition at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships on Friday in Colorado Springs. The UW men sit in second place, just five points behind BYU, while the UW women are in fourth place just five points behind TCU.
With a toss of 71' 1 1/4" in the 35-pound weight throw, Jake Shanklin became the first back-to-back conference champion since assistant coach and Wyoming great Quincy Howe did it in 2002 and 2003 in the triple jump. Shanklin was followed by Cowboy newcomer Sam Lambert in third place and freshman Alan John in eighth place and a total of 17 points for the men's team.
In the last turn of the 5,000-meter race junior Mark Korir outkicked Matt Williams of Air Force to take the lead and the win with a time of 14:25.06, adding 10 points to the team score for the Pokes. Korir will defend his title in the 3,000-meter race tomorrow at 3:15 p.m.
In the men's long jump, Wyoming freshman Jeremiah James and sophomore John Alderson were a nice one-two punch as they finished first and third respectively with their jumps of 24' 3/4" and 23'. James, in his first MWC Championships also placed third in the high jump with a leap of 6' 6 3/4".
Qualifying for the men's 60-meter hurdle finals was sophomore Jay Petsch who also finished the heptathlon in seventh place with a total of 4,566 points, good for fourth all-time in Wyoming history. Senior Vashone West qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash, along with Seth Grossman and Shadrack Too who both qualified for the 1-mile run finals. In the 800-meter race Noel Limo qualified for the finals to be completed tomorrow.
"To have three individual champions after one day of competition is great," said head coach Don Yentes. "Our guys are really hunkering down and are here to make a statement."
With the best toss in the MWC coming into today's Championships, Cowgirl senior Kate Burton did not disappoint. She kept her crown and won the 20-pound weight throw with her personal best toss of 63' 11 1/2". Burton was followed closely by junior Courtney Gougler in third place with a toss of 57' 8 1/4".
Gretchen Johnson's record in the 5,000-meter race is now 16 seconds faster with her time of 16:58.30. That was good enough for second place and eight points towards the Cowgirl total. She will also compete tomorrow in the 3,000-meter race.
Junior Shaylee Babbitt qualified for the 60-meter hurdle finals along with the 200-meter dash. In the 60-meter dash senior Maricel DaCosta ran a 7.68 and failed to qualify for the finals tomorrow. In the 1-mile run, sophomore Emily Higgins qualified with a time of 5:04.94. The women have three runners that qualified for the 400-meter dash finals in Sharon Larrier, Amanda Gordon and Allie Childers.
The Cowgirls currently sit in fourth place as they move into the third and final day of competition tomorrow.
"Our women had a great effort today with Burton winning and two others earning All-Conference, in Gretchen Johnson and Courtney Gougler. The kids did great today and I am looking forward to tomorrow," said Yentes.
Day three will begin with the triple jump and be followed by the 60-meter hurdles at 1:00 p.m.