Seven Cowboys and Cowgirls Qualify for NCAA Regionals

March 25, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Complete ASU/Clif Bar Invite Results
CSU/Rob Upton Invite Results
Arizona Multi-Event Results

The University of Wyoming track and field program finished up competition today at the 2007 Arizona State University/Clif Bar Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. This meet was significant for the Cowboy and Cowgirl squads as they qualified seven athletes for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet later this year. Having one athlete, Adriana Friezen, qualify in two events, UW has already qualified the same amount of athletes they did in the entire 2006 outdoor season.

"I'm really impressed with the way we competed this weekend," said UW head track and field coach Don Yentes. "We had several kids qualify and many others just miss out on qualifying for regionals and that gives us a lot to look forward to."

Kicking things off for the Cowgirls was newcomer Adriana Friezen. Friezen placed fourth in the women's 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.89, which qualified her for regionals in May. Friezen also competed in the 400-meter hurdles where she finished in sixth place and qualified for a second time. Also competing in the 100-hurdles was senior Aniis Hopkins and junior Shaylee Babbitt. Hopkins finished the race in 12th place with a time of 14.63, while Babbitt finished close behind in 13th place with a time of 14.65.

The women's 4x100-meter relay team finished the meet in sixth place with a time of 46.98, while junior sprinter Sharon Larrier finished the 400-meter dash in fourth place with a regional qualifying time of 54.32. In the 800-meter run, freshman Brenna Dooley ran a seventh place time of 2:11.89 and finished just shy of the qualifying mark of 2:09.80. Junior Nikki Peterson also competed in the 800, and finished in 12th place with a time of 2:13.45. Distance runner Gretchen Johnson finished the 3,000-meter run in the top ten with an eighth place time of 9:47.31. The 4x400-meter relay team also competed well as they finished in fifth place, running a time of 3:42.87.

Making things happen for yet another meet, senior weight thrower Shannon Popp finished the meet in style as she took third place in the hammer throw event, throwing a regional qualifying mark of 192'-5.0". This mark also puts Popp into third place all-time in Wyoming history. Junior triple jumper Ashley Knight finished the meet in eighth place, jumping a distance of 35'-11.25".

For the Cowboys, senior Philemon Tanui finished in first place of the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase, running a time of 9:05.71. That mark also qualified him for the regional meet later this spring. Senior Dwight Neptune finished the 100-meter dash with a 11th place time of 10.84, while senior Nick Cramer ran a sixth place time of 1:51.01 in the 800-meter run. Junior Vashone West competed in the 200-meter dash, finishing in seventh place with a time of 21.59.

One of the highlights of the day for the Cowboys came with sophomore distance runner Mark Korir. Korir ran a regional qualifying, meet record and second place time of 8:18.15 in the 3,000-meter run. Another highlight came with junior weight thrower Jake Shanklin, who recently competed in the 2007 NCAA Indoor National Championships. Shanklin threw against several All-American candidates this weekend as he finished the meet in seventh place in the hammer throw event, throwing a distance of 201'-5.00" and qualifying for the 2007 Regional meet.

This mark puts Shanklin into the Wyoming record books by throwing the eighth furthest distance in UW history. Senior Blake Jackson placed eighth in the long jump event, jumping a distance of 21'-10.75", while freshman John Alderson finished the event in fifth place with a distance of 22'-8.50". Both Jackson and Alderson competed in the triple jump event as well, having Jackson win the event with regional qualifying mark of 49'-7.75", while Alderson finished in third place with a distance of 47'-1.50".

"We're really excited about the rest of the season," said Yentes. "We will have more kids qualify in the coming months, and that's exciting."

Also competing this weekend for the UW track and field program in Tucson, Ariz. at the Arizona Multi-Event was senior decathlete, Phillip Thomas. Thomas finished the meet in seventh place overall and took first place in the high jump with a height of 1.95-meters.

In addition, UW had athletes competing in Fort Collins, Colo. this weekend at the Upton Invitational. The highlight of the meet came with the women's long jumpers as Buffalo native Jennifer Collen won the event,jumping a distance of 17'-9.00", while sophomore Lindsey Fuller finished in second place, jumping a distance of 16'-3.75".

The next event for the UW track and field program will be this coming weekend when they travel to Palo Alto, California for the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday, March 30-31. There will also be a group traveling to Greeley, Colorado for the Tom Benich Invite.