May 17, 2008
FORT WORTH, Texas -
As the Mountain West Conference Championships came to a close Saturday, the University of Wyoming Track and Field teams walked away with six all-conference selections and three conference champions. The UW men finished in sixth and the women in seventh.
Junior Shaylee Babbitt was finally crowned 100-meter hurdles champion as she crossed the tape in 13.62 seconds, one one-hundredth behind her regional qualifying time she ran at the Front Range Invite in Laramie two weeks ago. Babbitt who placed third in last year's race and a very close second in the Indoor 60-meter hurdles, finally won her first conference championship.
As for the rest of the Cowgirls, sophomore Johnna Jeffries placed sixth in the high jump clearing the bar set at 5' 5". Also scoring points for the women was junior Nikki Peterson who ran a season best time in the 800-meter with a time of 2:16.75, as well as sophomore Emily Higgins who placed seventh in the 1,500-meter run and a time of 4:32.68. Freshman Erica Anderson ran a 57.59 in the 400-meter dash and took eighth for the Cowgirls.
Earning all-conference honors with her win in the hammer throw yesterday and a toss of 192' 9", senior Kate Burton earned third place in the discus throw with her personal best and regional qualifying mark of 158' 5". She was closely followed by junior Courtney Gougler in fourth place and a mark of 149' 2". Senior Gretchen Johnson also earned all-conference honors, as she did in the indoor season, with her third place finish in the 5,000-meter run.
For the Cowboys, sophomore John Alderson earned all-conference for the second straight outdoor season with his third place honors in today's triple jump. He leapt 46' 7 1/4, five feet short of defending champion and national leader Jonathan Jackson of TCU. Freshman Jeremiah James, coming off his win in the long jump yesterday, took fifth with a flight of 44' 7 1/2". In the 1,500-meter run freshman Eliud Chirchir ran a 3:53.19, good for ninth place, just missing scoring for the Pokes. Junior Kekoa Chavez ran a personal best 52.98 in the 400-meter hurdles to take sixth place and score three points for the men's team.
"Our young team got to see just how they stack up against the rest of this very strong conference," said head coach Don Yentes. "They will have all summer to rest and improve their skills for the next indoor season. I look forward to our competitors in the up-coming Regional meet to make some noise and qualify for Nationals."
Up next for a handful of Pokes will be the NCAA Midwest Regional meet held in Lincoln, Neb., on Friday and Saturday, May 30th and 31st. Competing for the Cowgirls will be senior Kate Burton (hammer throw and discus), senior Gretchen Johnson (5,000m), junior Courtney Gougler (discus) and junior Shaylee Babbitt (100m hurdles). Competing for the Cowboys will be senior Vashone West (100m), freshman Jeremiah James (long jump), sophomore John Alderson (triple jump) and freshman Alan John (hammer throw).