March 1, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -
Individual titles from sophomore Kereston Thomas in the 200 meters and senior Mason Finley in the shot put guided the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams to a historic Saturday at the 2014 Mountain West Indoor Championships in Cadet Field House. The Cowgirls notched their highest finish ever at the event in second with 84 points, their most since 2004, while the Cowboys placed fifth with 86 points, their most since 2010.
"It was just one of those weekends as a coach where every kid went out there and competed to the best of their ability," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "Just when you thought they couldn't give anymore, they did. Every girl that was supposed to score this weekend did and I don't think I've ever been a part of that happening before. As a head coach, I couldn't be more proud of the group of kids and assistant coaches we have here."
Thomas' victory, along with Holly Page's in the 5,000 meters on Friday, gave the Cowgirls their most individual titles at the MW indoor meet since 2008. Finley's second-straight shot put title at the event put Wyoming at three total titles, its most since 2011.
"Mason has been so successful throughout his career because he is just a competitor," Berryhill said. "He is one of those kids that makes everyone around him better. He competed well today, but he has a much bigger task in front of him in two weeks at the NCAA meet. Kereston continued to make strides in the right direction for us this weekend. She is really a coach's dream. She gives her all in everything she does."
Thomas blazed through the 200 meters in a personal-best 24.27 to move her into second in school history in the event, while senior Audrey West was sixth in a personal-best 24.68 to rank ninth. Thomas, who also finished fifth in the 60 meters in 7.56, is the first Cowgirl to win the 200 meters at the indoor conference meet since Jessica Fox in 2005. Senior Jenna Mann continued a solid MW campaign by finishing third in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.47 to tie her personal best. Fellow senior Katy Hall claimed sixth at 8.67. Senior Candace Wollert ran 2:14.51 for fourth in the 800 meters and was followed one place back by freshman Kerry White in 2:15.21. Redshirt junior Erin Kirby crossed the line in the 400 meters in 56.60 for fifth, while sophomore McKenzie Brogan was sixth at 56.73. Junior Holly Page ran to a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters in 10:00.80 and redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano was seventh at 10:05.05.
Finley took the title in the shot put for the second-straight year with a throw of 64-7, a mark which tied for the third-best distance in MW Championship meet history. Wyoming also got runner-up finishes from freshman Jordan Charles in the 60-meter hurdles and graduate student Harry Fisher in the 800 meters. After tying the school record on Friday, Charles set a new one at 7.89 to place second, while Fisher ran 1:51.13, just five hundredths of a second behind the winner. The Cowboys actually earned a whopping 18 team points in the 60-meter hurdles after junior Colin Herold placed fourth at 8.19, senior Aaron Praska sixth at 8.27 and senior Jacob Edwards seventh at 8.28. Graduate student Thomas Atkinson crossed the line in the 800 meters in 1:53.38 for fifth. Three Cowboys also scored in the 3,000 meters with sophomore Amos Bowen fourth in 8:28.21, junior Aaron Derner sixth in 8:29.17 and senior Garrett Zans seventh in 8:29.68.
Wyoming now waits to see which athletes will qualify for the NCAA Championships on March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.