May 30, 2003
Lincoln, Neb. (May 30, 2003)-- Several University of Wyoming track andfield athletes took center stage at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and FieldMidwest Regional Friday in Lincoln, Neb. The meet features 40 Division Imen's and women's track and field programs from the states of Colorado,Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas andWyoming. The top five athletes in each event and the top three relay teamsadvance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-14 in Sacramento, Calif.
Senior John Griffith stole the spotlight for the Cowboys on Friday. TheSheridan, Wyo. native qualified for the NCAA Championships by throwing apersonal best distance of 195' 4". Griffith's fifth place finish was one ofthe best underdog performances of the meet.
"John was ranked 59th in the country in the hammer coming into the meet,"said UW head track and field coach Don Yentes. "He stepped it up and gave aperformance that shocked everybody. He definitely earned his trip toSacramento."
Dan Williams also competed in the hammer throw. The senior recorded apersonal best distance of 188' to take 12th place. The senior also recorded
Senior Mervin Swaby ended his Cowboy long jump career with a disappointing11th place finish. His distance of 23' 11" took second in his flight but didnot qualify him for the final round. Swaby still has a chance to earn a tripto Sacramento when he competes in the triple jump tomorrow.
Sophomore Shauna Smith highlighted the Cowgirls by qualifying for thefinals in two events. In the 400 meter hurdles, Smith recorded the secondfastest time of the day and broke her own school record crossing the finishline in 57.99. In the 100 meter hurdles Smith ran a personal best time of13.57, ranking sixth on the day and the second best time in UW history. Alsoin the 100 meter hurdles senior Kelly Ann Charles ran a personal best timeof 13.71 but did not qualify for the finals.
Jessica Fox dominated her heat of the 400 meter dash cruising to a firstplace finish with a time of 52.10. Her time was the second fastest on theday and qualified her for the finals tomorrow. In the 200 meter dash seniorAdelaide Harper set a new UW record with a time of 23.68. However, her timemissed the qualifying cut for the finals.
In the 4x100 meter relay Fox, Smith, Charles and Harper raced to the finishline in 45.53, the second best time in UW history. The team managed to postthe eighth best time of the day and qualify for tomorrow's final despite apoor baton exchange.
Junior Andrea Batt completed competition in the shot put with an 11th placefinish with a mark of 47' 1". Batt will have two more chances to qualify forthe NCAA Championships tomorrow as she is slated to compete in both thehammer and discus throws.
"We had a very good first day," said UW assistant track and field coachPaul Barrett. "Our athletes are competing in some very high pressuresituations. All our kids stepped up today and competed very well."
The 2003 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Midwest Regional concludes tomorrowat Ed Weir Track