Sickness Slows Cowgirl Track at NCAA Indoor Nationals

March 13, 2005

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The Cowgirl 4x400 meter relay team ran into some adversity Saturday at the Indoor NCAA Nationals Meet in Fayetteville, Ark. Senior All-American Shauna Smith was forced to scratch by doctors from the 400 and 4x400 meter relay events due to sudden sickness.

Smith was scheduled to run the 400 meters in the faster of two heats at 5:55 p.m., but the unexpected happened around 4 p.m. Smith suddenly started feeling sick and was barely able to hold herself up. Doctors shortly after deemed Smith incapable of competing in either the 400 or 4x400 meter relay, due to a virus.Smith was attempting to earn her fourth consecutive season as an All-American had she been able to run.

Even with this unfortunate sequence of events, the Wyoming relay was still run. Senior Tanice Barnett, an 800 meter and mile runner, replaced Smith to run the third leg in the relay. Senior Jesssica Fox (54.5) started the race before turning it over to freshman Sharon Larrier (55.6). Barnett (58.9) then followed and was relieved by sophomore Amanda Hopper (55.0) to close the race. The teams' time of 3:44.00 was good enough for 12th place in the race. This time was nearly 11 seconds slower than the qualifying time of 3:33.66 they ran last week.

"Things went kind of the way they went all season," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "The girls gave one heck an effort considering the circumstances. I feel bad for them because they have worked hard all season and they deserved better."

"Now we will just have to get things going in two weeks for the start of our outdoor season."

The Wyoming track and field teams will start their outdoor season when they travel to Tucson, Ariz. for the Jim Click Invite on March26.