April 21, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming track and field program continued to show improvement today as they finished up competition at the Jack Christianson Invitational in Fort Collins, Colo. and the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, Ore.
On Friday, junior distance runner Gretchen Johnson earned her first career qualification to the NCAA Midwest Regional meet next month as she finished fifth in the women's 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:41.21. Johnson's qualification brings UW's total number of qualifiers to nine on the season and places her second all-time in the history of Cowgirl track and field.
The highlight of that meet came with sophomore weight thrower Brad Charters' personal best distance of 198'-4.00", which was good enough to place him fourth. Charters' performance also puts him ninth all-time in Wyoming history in the hammer throw event. Junior Jake Shanklin threw a third place distance of 198'-8.00". Senior thrower Shannon Popp also competed well as she finished the day fourth overall and the third best collegiate athlete in the hammer throw. Popp threw a distance of 193'-1.00".
Also competing well were senior distance runners Philemon Tanui and Nick Cramer. Tanui ran a time of 8:50.80 in the first section of the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase to place seventh, while Cramer finished the day in third place as he ran a time of 1:52.67 in the 800-meter run. Sophomores Shadrack Too and Brett Schuler competed in the steeplechase event as well. Too finished fourth in third section of the event with a time of 9:13.95, while Schuler ran an 11th place time of 9:28.88.
In Fort Collins on Saturday, junior Sharon Larrier ran a time of 54.40 in the 400-meter dash, which was good enough to place her first, while senior Amanda Hopper finished in second place with a time of 54.88. The women's 4x100-meter relay team (A) got things started as they finished the day in second place with a time of 46.83, while the 'B' team finished in fifth place overall with a time of 49.39. In the 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Adriana Friezen placed first with a time of 14.08, while freshman Jennifer Schmitz placed fifth, running a time of 14.40. Junior Shaylee Babbitt also finished in the top ten of the 100-meter hurdles, as she ran a ninth place time of 14.69.
In the long jump event, junior jumper Jennifer Collen jumped a distance of 18'-6.00", which was good enough for fifth place. Collen was followed by sophomore Lindsey Fuller (17'-7.00") and senior Janine Brathwaite (16'-7.25"), who placed sixth and 11th respectively. In the high jump event, freshman Johnna Jeffries placed fourth after jumping a height of 5'-5.00". In the pole vault event, senior Kat Doherty achieved a height of 11'-1.75", which was good enough for second place.
In the discus event, sophomore Courtney Gougler placed second, throwing a distance of 152'-4.00", while freshman Lindsey Fuller (37'-7.25") and junior Ashley Knight (36'-7.50") placed third and fourth in the triple jump event. Junior sprinter Maricel DaCosta ran exceptionally well as she placed second in the 200-meter dash, running a time of 25.22. Rounding out the day for the Cowgirls was the 4x400-meter relay team who finished in first place with a time of 3:40:18, which is a regional qualifying mark.
"We did some good things today," said head track and field coach, Don Yentes. "Especially with our women's 4x400-meter relay team and how we were able to get them qualified."
For the Cowboys, the highlight of the day came with red shirt freshman jumper John Alderson, who jumped a distance of 48'-11.00" in the triple jump event, placing him first. The 4x100-meter relay team finished in fourth place with a time of 42.14, while senior Phillip Thomas finished the long jump event in fourth place as well, jumping a distance of 21'-3.25".
In the high jump, senior Jared Grant placed second with a height of 6'-8.75", while senior sprinter Dwight Neptune ran a third place time of 10.62 seconds in the 100-meter dash. Freshmen Jay Petsch and Jake Morrison both competed well for the Pokes as they finished tied for fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.39. Morrison (53.79), Petsch (54.57), and freshman Damien Farmer (55.20) competed in the 400-meter hurdle event, placing fourth, sixth and seventh respectively.
"We felt like this was the first meet we've been to in a month," said Yentes. "These last few weeks we've been dealing with weather conditions that haven't been that condusive and today was a perfect day for our kids to get out and compete."
Next the Wyoming track and field program will host the first annual Wyoming Invitational. UW has not hosted an outdoor track and field meet in over twenty years. With the recent addition of the Louis S. Madrid and Memorial 8 Track complex, the Cowboys and Cowgirls will have an opportunity to continue competing from the confines of Laramie and at an altitude of 7,220 feet.