March 1, 2008
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
As the 2008 Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships came to a conclusion Saturday, the University of Wyoming men's team finished in fourth place while the women took fifth.
There were three UW individuals that were honored for their achievements this weekend as freshman Jeremiah James was awarded with the meet's high point award, junior Jake Shanklin won the top performance for his win in the 35lb. weight throw and for the fifth time in his tenure, head coach Don Yentes was awarded men's coach of the year, he shared it with Air Force's Ralph Lindeman and BYU's Mark Robison.
James scored a total of 21 points as he took the title in the long jump, placed third in the high jump and finished in fourth in the triple jump.
"Jeremiah (James), did a great job this weekend for us, he is a very talented freshman that we have very high expectations for," said Don Yentes. "What more can you say about Jake (Shanklin), he is a tremendous athlete who competes and leads this team day in and day out."
For the Cowboys, they finished with five members on the All-Conference list: junior Mark Korir (1st, 5,000m, 2nd, 3,000m), Shanklin (1st, 35lb weight throw), James (1st, long jump, 3rd, high jump), sophomore John Alderson (2nd, triple jump, 3rd, long jump), and junior Sam Lambert (3rd, 35lb weight throw).
Today was highlighted by Korir who was looking to regain his title in the 3,000-meter race, only to place second with a time of 8:13.23. It came down to the last lap when he and Air Force junior Sean Houseworth were stride for stride and Houseworth pulled away with 60-meters to go. Senior Vashone West placed fourth in the 200-meter dash with the second best time in UW history, 21.40. Alderson took second in the men's triple jump with a leap of 49' 3", he was closely followed by James in fourth with a jump of 47' 9". Finally, Lambert who was selected All-Conference for his weight throw, placed fourth in the men's shot put with a toss of 51' 11 3/4".
For the Cowgirls, there were six All-Conference selections: junior Shaylee Babbitt (2nd, 60m hurdles), sophomore Emily Higgins (2nd, 1-mile, 3rd, 3,000m), senior Sharon Larrier (1st, 400m), senior Gretchen Johnson (2nd, 5,000m), senior Kate Burton (1st, 20lb weight throw), and junior Courtney Gougler (3rd, 20lb weight throw).
Higgins was the top performer for the Cowgirls with her performance in both the 1-mile and the 3,000-meter race, where she placed second and third respectively. Her time in the 1-mile run inches her that much closer to Molly Moulton who holds the best time in UW history.
In the closest race of the day, Babbitt was edged out by TCU junior Kishelle Paul by four one thousandths of a second in the 60-meter hurdles, they both ran NCAA Provisional times of 8.37. That time was Babbitt's personal best and second all-time in UW history behind Shauna Smith with a time of 8.33.
Larrier won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.65, her season best and third best all-time and a NCAA Provisional mark.
"Both teams made big improvements today and I was very proud in how we competed and never gave up," said Yentes.