UW Track and Field Competes in First Day of NCAA Midwest Regional

May 27, 2005

NORMAN, Okla. -

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The University of Wyoming track and field teams completed their first day of competition on Friday night at the 2005 NCAA Midwest Regional, in Norman, Okla., on the campus of the University of Oklahoma.

Senior All-Americans Jessica Fox and Shauna Smith had their usual days at John Jacobs Track. Fox, a two-time All-American from Burns,Wyo., came into the meet with the second fastest 400-meter time in the region. She cruised and won her heat, with the fourth best overall time of 53.27 in the preliminaries, to advance to the finals on Saturday. Fox's time will put her in lane six for the finals on Saturday night slated for 5:45 p.m. C.S.T.

Smith, a three-time All-American from Sheridan, Wyo., came into today with the second fastest time in the 400-meter hurdles in the region behind Melaine Walker of Texas. The two were not put in the same heat together, but both came out of the preliminaries with the top two times. Smith won the first heat of four, with a time of 56.82 to qualify for finals on Saturday. Her time will put her in lane five, right next to Walker in lane four. The race is set for 6:30 p.m.C.S.T. and will look to go down to the wire with the top two intermediate hurdlers in the nation.

In the first competition of the day, the Cowgirl 4x100-meter relay team's time of 45.83 came only seven tenths of a second from qualifying for finals. The team consisted of Smith, Fox, junior Adewunmi Abudu, and sophomore Amanda Hopper.

Freshman Sharon Larrier came up just a little short of qualifying for the finals in the 400-meters, when she finished 11th in the preliminaries with a time of 54.26.

The only Cowboy competing on Friday was senior Kyle Herl in the shot put. Herl's season best throw of 56' 2" would not be good enough to make finals. He, along with senior Zack Schaefer will compete in the hammer throw Saturday. Herl comes into the event with the second best mark in the region, while Schaefer is ranked sixth.The event is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. C.S.T.

"Things went the way we thought they would," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "We hoped to get a couple more kids qualified for finals, but we will just have to come back and battle again tomorrow."

Senior Tanice Barnett also competes tomorrow in the 1500-meters. Barnett's time of 4:26.83 enters Saturday as the tenth fastest time in the region.

The Cowgirl 4x400-meter relay team, made up of Fox, Smith, Hopper, and Larrier, look to qualify for nationals. They come into the race with the fifth best time in the region of 3:33.31. The relay is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. C.S.T.

Competition for Saturday is set to begin at 12:00 p.m. C.S.T. with the field events and 5:00 p.m. with the track event finals.