April 19, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Gem City Dual presented by Qdoba Mexican Grill brought beautiful weather and record breaking action to the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex on Sunday, as Colorado State and Wyoming combined to break nine track records.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls set five records on their own and added 11 names to the Midwest Regional list. The Cowgirls added four individuals into the top-10 list, while the Cowboys entered five.
"Overall it was a very successful meet, the weather cooperated and we were able to have some very impressive performances today," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "To have as many qualify for the Midwest Regional is great and it shows just where our program is headed."
Junior Johnna Jeffries led off the festivities for the Cowgirls as she cleared 5' 8.75" in the high jump with the second-best jump in UW history, qualifying her for regionals. Sophomore Britney Jackson followed Jeffries' lead and placed second in the high jump with the sixth-best jump of 5' 7".
Fellow sophomore Amanda Aimone had a solid day in the throws as she placed second in the discus with her 10th-best toss of 154'. She also finished third in the hammer throw with a toss of 170', her personal best. Rounding out the record books for the Cowgirls was junior Emily Higgins with her personal best time in the 1,500-meter run of 4:25.31. Her time also breaks the track record as well as regionally qualifies her to run in Norman, Oklahoma.
As for the men that entered their names in the record books, senior Jake Shanklin led the way. His performance in the hammer throw not only qualified him for the regional meet but also for the USA Championships in Oregon in June. His throw of 214' 2" is fifth-best at Wyoming and in the Mountain West Conference as well as a track record. Freshman Joe Plante qualified in the discus throw as well as setting the eighth-best toss in UW history at 174' 1".
The middle distance runners for the Cowboys had strong representation from Eldoret, Kenya with Philemon Kimutai, Eliud Chirchir and Mark Korir all entering their names in the books. Kimutai's 1,500-meter run was second best in UW history with his time of 3:45.23, also setting the track record. His day was not done however, as he ran in the 3,000-meter run and set yet another track record with his time of 8:19.01. Chirchir followed with his fifth-best time in the 800-meter run of 1:49.38. Rounding out the Kenyan trio was senior Mark Korir in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. His personal best time of 9:06.04 is good for 10th-best at Wyoming.
"It was great to have so many put their names in the record books and qualify for regionals but we also had quite a few athletes perform better than they have all year," said Yentes. "It gave a lot of kids some much needed confidence and hopefully will propel them in the weeks to come."
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will split their squads and travel to Eugene, Ore., and Fort Collins, Colo., for the Oregon Relays and Jack Christiansen Invitational next weekend April 25th.