March 28, 2010
PUEBLO, Colo. -
For the first weekend of the outdoor season, the weather cooperated with the University of Wyoming Track and Field teams. They split their squads up and competed in both Tempe, Ariz., or Pueblo, Colo.
In the first day at the Arizona State Invitational three Cowboys took to the hammer event. Senior Sam Lambert led the way for the `Pokes and finished 12th with a toss of 181' 2" while sophomore Joe Plante finished in 23rd with a throw of 161' 8".
Day two brought more athletes to the field with junior Afiya Walker competing in the 200-meter dash and placing 11th with a time of 24.60. Freshman Taylor Gardner ran the 10th fastest 400-meter hurdle time in Wyoming history with her time of 1:02.78. Senior Johnna Jeffries finished third in the high jump crossing the bar at a height of 5' 5". Finally, freshman Maria Cress competed for the first time and placed eighth in the javelin throw and distance of 137' 8".
For the men, senior Kekoa Chavez placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdle event with his time of 52.89. Junior Jeremiah James finished fourth in the long jump in a very talented field with his leap of 24' 3". Plante also competed in the discus throw and led the way, placing fifth with a throw of 171' 4", with freshman Mark Sparks following with a ninth place finish.
"We had a nice opening meet and competed well in a very competitive meet," said head coach Don Yentes. "Unfortunately we had a few guys catch some cramps and were unable to compete. It's early in the season and we need to keep healthy, but I am happy with how we competed this weekend."
Back in Pueblo, Colo., the rest of the Cowboys and Cowgirls competed in the CSU-Pueblo Open. They combined to finish in the top-five in 18 events and had a very successful day.
The Cowgirls were led by freshman Diana Long in the 400-meter hurdles with her first place finish and time of 1:03.62. Junior Francis Gipson also finished first in the 10,000-meter run, and was followed by junior Emily Byra in second place. Sophomore Chantel Bernabo finished fourth in the 100-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash. Freshman Brooke Hughes placed second in her first ever 3,000-meter steeplechase, after an altitude adjustment it ranks second all-time in Wyoming history.
As for the men, sophomore Ryan Griesbach placed fourth in the 10,000-meter run with his time of 34:11.75. Two freshmen, Mark Flegel and Tyler Gifford placed fourth in their respective events, the 110-meter hurdles and 3,000-meter steeplechase.
"It turned out to be a great day for track and field and a good rust buster for the kids," said UW assistant coach Randy Cole. "We are very grateful that CSU-Pueblo would take the meet and put on a very good meet and we couldn't have asked for a better day."
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will compete in the Benich Invitational in Greeley, Colo., on Saturday April 3.