Smith Qualifies for Finals at NCAA Championships

June 10, 2005

Sacramento, Calif. - Senior Shauna Smith advancedto the 400-meter hurdle finals on Friday at the 2005 NCAA Championships, in Sacramento, Calif. Senior's Jessica Fox and Zack Schaefer also competed today in their individual events.

Smith, of Sheridan, Wyo., ran in the second round of the 400-meter hurdles where she needed to either finish in the top-two of her heat or be in the top-six of the nonautomatic qualifiers. The senior took care of it on her own when she placed second in the first of two heats. She ran a relaxed race with a time of 55.51, behind Melaine Walker of Texas (55.32). She heads into Saturday's finals with the third fastest time, behind Walker and Tiffany Ross-Williams of South Carolina (55.37). The 400-meter hurdle finals are scheduled for 6.55 Pacific Time.

"Shauna did everything she was supposed to do today," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "She ran smooth and put herself into great position for tomorrow's finals."

Fox, a Burns, Wyo. native, unfortunately was unable to advance to the final round in the women's 400-meters. Only the top two winners of each heat and top other six times overall advanced to Saturday's finals.

The Wyoming senior, running in the second of two heats, finished seventh in her heat and 13th overall with a time of 53.24.

"It is unfortunate that Jessica was not able to move on to the finals," said Yentes. "She is and will always be one that put this program where it is today."

Schaefer, a native of Battle Ground, Wash., ended his UW career on Friday afternoon in the hammer throw. Heading into Friday's finals, Schaefer was ranked ninth and hoped to become an NCAA Outdoor All-American for the first time in his career. However, the throwerwas unable to post a mark and end up in 12th place.

"Zack and senior Kyle Herl are a couple of special athletes that put our throw's program among the best in the nation," said Yentes. Coach Yentes also talking about Herl who made it to NCAA Nationals this week, but was unable to make the finals.

In addition to Smith's 400-meter hurdle final on Saturday, Wyoming's 4x400 women's relay team will also compete in the finals. Wyoming enters Saturday's finals ranked fifth after the preliminary rounds. That race will be run at 8:45 Pacific Time.