Several UW Student-Athletes Travel to Last Chance Qualifying Meet in Seattle

March 5, 2007


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The University of Wyoming track and field program took six athletes to the University of Washington Last Chance Qualifier meet in Seattle, Wash. this past Saturday. Of the six athletes, two won their individual events while three others placed second.

For the Cowboys, sophomore 35lb. weight thrower Jacob Shanklin improved his chances for an NCAA Championship appearance as he won the event, throwing a distance of 69'-2.50". This distance moves him into fifth place all-time in Wyoming history.

"Jake just threw extremely well this weekend," said UW assistant track and field coach Paul Barrett. "His performance this weekend puts him in fifth place all-time in Wyoming history and that just goes to show how tough Wyoming has been in the past in this event."

Also competing well for the Cowboys was sophomore distance runner Mark Korir. On Saturday, Korir ran a time of 13:57.60 in the men's 5,000-meter run, which placed him second at the meet, but more importantly, set a new school record in the event. Korir now moves into first place all-time in Wyoming history. He also holds the third fastest time in school history in the same event for outdoors with a time of 13:58.85. Korir was the MWC champion in the men's 3,000-meter run last weekend in Albuquerque, N.M.

Senior Blake Jackson ended the meet in Seattle in second place in the men's triple jump event. Jackson jumped a distance of 48'-1.75", leaving him short of a provisional qualifying mark of 50'-6.25". Jackson has already provisionally qualified for nationals twice this season, the first time back in December at the Wyoming Open at War Memorial Fieldhouse, and the second coming at the MWC Indoor Championships last weekend in Albuquerque.

For the Cowgirls, all three athletes were looking to improve their marks from last weekend in order to better their chances of making an appearance at this coming weekend's NCAA Championships. Senior weight thrower Shannon Popp placed second with a distance of 64'-4.00", and moved her into third place all-time in Wyoming history.

Sophomore sprinter Adriana Friezen won the women's 60-meter hurdle event with a time of 8.42 seconds. This time officially puts her into second place in school history behind former All-American and National Champion Shauna Smith. Friezen was also the 2007 MWC indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles as she finished in first place at last weekend's championships with a time of 8.84 seconds. Junior Shaylee Babbitt also competed in the 60-meter hurdles in Seattle, as she placed fourth with a time of 8.77 seconds.

"I am just really pleased with the way our athletes performed here and the way they represented the University of Wyoming," said Barrett.

Shanklin's performance this weekend ranks him seventh in the country and significantly improves his chances of making the NCAA meet this coming weekend. Selections of those who qualified for nationals will be made later today.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will begin outdoor competition on March 17, as they travel to Boulder, Colorado for the Potts Invitational.