Tough Conditions for Wyoming Track and Field

April 3, 2010


Greeley, Colo., (April 3, 2010) - Under blistery conditions, the University of Wyoming track and field team completed action at the Tom Benich Invitational in Greeley, Colo., hosted by Northern Colorado.

"I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to get anything out of this day because of the terrible conditions but I was pleasantly surprised with the way that our kids competed and performed," said head coach Don Yentes.

The Cowboys began action on Friday as the men's and women's hammer throw was performed in Fort Collins, Colo., on the campus of Colorado State. The men were led by senior Sam Lambert who was the first collegiate to finish and had a personal best in the event with a throw of 191' 10".

The Cowboy throwers kept the good feeling as they competed in the discus on Saturday in Greeley. Sophomore Joe Plante ended up finishing second, but the first collegiate, with his throw of 177' 8" in the windy and cold conditions. Freshman Mark Sparks had a tremendous day with a throw of 171' 2" which moves him into ninth all-time in UW history, and good for third at the meet and second collegiate.

"I was very impressed with the way that our guys and girls competed today, they really battled through some tough conditions," said assistant coach Paul Barrett. "Mark really stepped up and showed that he is a competitor and Sam did a great job for us yesterday."

On the track, two freshmen really battled it out in the 400-meter hurdles. Taylor Gardner and Diana Long ran great races finishing first and second with times of 1:00.98 and 1:01.53 respectively. Gardner's time was sixth fastest while Long's time was eighth best in Cowgirl history. Junior Afiya Walker won the 400-meter dash with a time of 56.61 in windy conditions that were measured up to 30 mph gusts.

"The races were sometimes hard to watch as they came around the last corner and you could see the wind stand everybody up," said Yentes. "They ended up running all the sprints into the wind as well so there were some slower times in those events."

It was a tough day for the jumpers as well with junior Jeremiah James finishing first in the long jump with a leap of 24' 3". He also took the title in the triple jump with a leap of 51' 1", good for fourth best all time.

"Hopefully the weather will break for us and we can catch up to the rest of the country with some warm weather," said Yentes.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will split their squads and compete in the Colorado Invitational in Boulder, Colo., and in the Nebraska Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, April 10.