May 27, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. -
The second day of competition at the West Region NCAA Preliminary meet was not kind to the Wyoming track and field student-athletes.
In cool, wet conditions, the Cowboys and Cowgirls hit the track in Eugene, Ore., for four events Saturday, but no one wearing the Brown and Gold could advance to NCAA Nationals.
Senior sprinter Afiya Walker finished her Wyoming track career with a 23rd-place finish in the 400-meter run quarterfinals. She crossed the finish line with a time of 56.69 seconds. Walker finished her career among the most decorated Cowgirl athletes in school history.
"She just didn't have enough left in her legs for it," Wyoming coach Don Yentes said. "We'll save her for the (4-by-400-meter) relay on Saturday."
Sophomore Tyler Skinner failed to make the qualifying height in the high jump, with the starting height set at 6 feet, 7 inches.
Ashley Hutchinson finished 35th in the hammer throw with a toss of 174 feet, 6 inches. Hutchinson was seeded 43rd, but managed to make up eight spots, despite the rainy and cool conditions.
"She threw fairly well, and beat some kids she hadn't all year," Yentes said.
Freshman Garrett Zans ended the day's action running in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He finished 23rd overall and ninth in his heat with a time of 9:02.44.
"He ran well and did a nice job as a freshman," Yentes said.
The day's results may not have been what the athletes and coaching staff had in mind, but Yentes applauded the effort.
"The kids competed, and put a lot of effort into representing their university," Yentes said. "This is the best talent in the nation. It's a little unfortunate, but that's the way it goes."
Wyoming will wrap up the meet Saturday with six athletes in competition, including freshman Christine Nelson in the 5,000-meter run. Senior Taylor Kelting will run the 5,000 on the men's side, and the foursome of Walker, Erin Kirby, Lindsey Simmons and Candace Wollert will compete in the 4-by-400-meter relay.