May 30, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -
At the final day of the NCAA Midwest Regional meet the University of Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls sent eleven competitors to the track and field in Norman.
Seniors Jake Shanklin and Mark Korir highlighted the meet for the `Pokes as Shanklin finished second in the hammer throw and Korir finished fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, qualifying them each for the NCAA Championships. Shanklin's final toss of 219' 1" was good for second-place behind Dimitrios Fylladitakis from Texas-El Paso with his throw of 220' 8". Korir ran his personal best time of 8:54.21 which is good for sixth best all-time in UW history.
"Jake competed great today in hot and muggy weather. It made for a perfect stepping stone and preparation for nationals," said UW assistant coach Paul Barrett.
"Mark really hung in there and he has been one of the best competitors I have ever seen in the 12 years I have been coaching," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "I am very happy that both of these guys will have the opportunity to finish their careers at the NCAA Championships."
Also on the men's side, freshman Joe Plante competed in the discus throw and finished eighth with his throw of 178' 2", just 22" short of qualifying for the national meet in his first year. Sophomore Jeremiah James finished 13th in the triple jump with his leap of 50' 4.5", in the most talented region in the nation. Along with Shanklin, junior Sam Lambert finished the hammer throw in 20th place with his throw of 178' 2".
Junior Emily Higgins competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the Cowgirls and finished 10th with a time of 10:35.79. The Cowgirls also had a relay team that competed in the 4x400-meter relay that was comprised of freshman Lindsey Simmons, junior Erica Anderson, sophomore Afiya Walker, and senior Sharon Larrier. They ran a time of 3:42.21 which was good for ninth place. Junior Johnna Jeffries competed in the high jump and failed to record a height with the bar starting at 5' 7" just an inch lower than her personal best.
"I am really proud of the way that everyone competed this weekend and hopefully we can all build from the experience we had here," said Yentes.
Shanklin and Korir will compete for the Cowboys at the NCAA Championships on June 10, in Fayetteville, Ark., on the campus of the University of Arkansas.