May 26, 2007
DES MOINES, Iowa -
The University of Wyoming track and field program completed their second day of competition in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday at the 2007 NCAA Midwest Regional Outdoor Championships.
The highlight of the day for Wyoming came with senior hammer thrower Shannon Popp's performance, as she finished in fifth place overall, having thrown a distance of 196'-10.00". That distance was good enough to place her third all-time in UW history. Popp has now joined junior hammer thrower Jacob Shanklin and senior decathlete Olav Roe, to compete in the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif., June 6-9. Popp was also the 2007 Mountain West Conference champion in the hammer throw, which solidified her trip to the Midwest Regional.
"Shannon really stepped up today," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "She came out and did what she needed to do and was able to get a great PR (personal record)."
Also competing today was junior sprinter Sharon Larrier in the 400-meter dash. Larrier finished the meet in eighth place overall with a time of 54.75 seconds; just shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Larrier's time did, however, earn her All-Region honors. The women's 4x400-meter relay was the last event of the meet as UW's Larrier, Amanda Hopper, Maricel DaCosta and Adriana Friezen gave their best effort to try and earn a trip to Sacramento next month. The squad, however, finished the race in 11th place, having run a time of 3:43.38; which was not good enough to qualify.
The one surprise of the meet came with sophomore discus thrower, Courtney Gougler. Gougler was ranked 28th in the Midwest Region coming into this week's competition, however, she finished in ninth and was able to make her first final round appearance in a Midwest Regional meet as a member of the Cowgirl track and field squad. Gougler finished her event with a distance of 156'-2.00".
Leading the way for the Cowboys today was senior distance runner Philemon Tanui. Tanui finished the 3,000-meter steeplechase in sixth place with a time of 8:58.43; also just shy of an automatic qualification. However, considering Tanui's previous national rank of 20 heading into this weekend's regional qualifier, he may still have a chance to make the NCAA Championships with an at-large bid. That decision won't be made official until early next week.
Senior jumper Blake Jackson and redshirt freshman John Alderson competed in the triple jump event. Jackson was 16th after jumping a distance of 44'-6.75"; while Alderson ended his season in 15th place with a distance of 45'-10.00".
"We really had a nice meet," said Yentes. "It was a nice competition and I thought our kids competed well."