May 29, 2004
College Station, Texas -- Several UW track and field athletes opened up the first day of competition at the 2004 NCAA Midwest Regional meet, on Friday, in College Station, Texas. The meet serves as the qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held June 9-12, in Austin, Texas.
Senior Andrea Batt got things started off for the Cowgirls as she placed eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 181'2". She was followed by sophomore Melissa Vallejos who notched a personal best with a throw of 179'9" falling just out of the points. Loree Smith of Colorado State came away with the first place spot with a mark of 198'9".
In the 400-meter dash, junior Jessica Fox moved on to the finals on Saturday after recording the fourth best time of day with a time of 52.79. Unfortunately, senior Kima Wells finished a disappointing 14th with a time of 54.74 in the event. Shauna Smith also secured a spot for herself in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles. The Sheridan, Wyo. native turned in the second best time in the preliminaries with a time of 58.26 just behind Raasin McIntosh of Texas who recorded a time of 56.38.
The Cowgirls wrapped up their day with the 4x100 meter relay team continuing their great run on the outdoor season. The relay team of junior Jessica Fox, sophomore Amanda Hopper, junior Shauna Smith, and senior Kima Wells recorded a blazing time of 44.65 just .02 short of their MWC Championships time of 44.63 set just two weeks ago.
On the Cowboys side, Zack Schaefer came up just shy of earning any points in the hammer throw. The junior from Spokane, Wash. recorded a throw of 195'3" which was a foot short of the eighth place competitor. Jerome Bortoluzzi of SMU won the event with a mark of 217'8".
Laramie native Jeremiah Johnson also had a strong performance in the 800-meter run preliminaries. The sophomore finished with the fourth best time of the day with a fast time of 1:49.97 to move on to the finals on Saturday. Unfortunately, sophomore Matt Hudson NCAA Midwest Regionals came to an end as he failed to move on to Saturday's competition in the 1,500 meter run preliminaries with a time of 3:56.53, along with Robert Harris in the 400-meter dash who ran a disappointing time of 48.44.
"We had some great performances and some disappointing ones today," said Wyoming's head track and field coach Don Yentes. "I thought Jessica (Fox) ran a nice race to qualify for the finals in the 400-meter dash, and Andrea (Batt) got us on the board with an eighth place finish in the hammer throw. I also thought Zack Schaefer had a nice performance, but he came up just short. Matt Hudson also did a nice job in the 1500 meter run and I was pleased with his effort, unfortunately he just hit the wall at the end of his race. Overall, we need to regroup and get ready for tomorrow."
The competition in College Station will wrap up on Saturday with several individuals scheduled to compete.