July 11, 2004
Sacramento, Calif. -- University of Wyoming's ShaunaSmith ended a brilliant 2004 outdoor season Sunday with a sixth placefinish in the finals of the women's 400 meter hurdles at the U.S.Olympic Team Trials in Sacramento, Calif. The junior from Sheridan,Wyo. needed to place in the top three to earn a spot on the U.S. Trackand Field Team and a trip to the 2004 Summer Olympic games.
Smith, who was seeded seventh heading into the meet, raced to a sixthplace time of 54.42 seconds. Her time breaks her previous UW andMountain West Conference record in the event, 55.23 seconds, which sheset Friday in the quarterfinals of the event.
"She ran a great race," said UW head track and field coach DonYentes. "She laid it all on the line, but just came up a bit short.I couldn't be more proud of her efforts. She had great spilts on allten hurdles and ran fantastic. This season, she cut two seconds offher record time in the 400 meter hurdles. That is simply amazing."
Sheena Johnson of Nike took the top spot with an Alex G. SpanosSports Complex stadium record time of 52.95 seconds. Brenda Taylor,also of Nike, finished second in 53.36 seconds.
Smith ends her junior season with numerous honors. She earned NCAAAll-American honors in the 400 meter hurdles and indoor 400 meterdash, All-MWC honors in the 60 and 100 meter hurdles and the 4x100and 4x400 meter relays, and also set five new Cowgirl records.
Wyoming's last competitor at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field TeamTrials, junior Jessica Fox, will try and earn a trip to Athens,Greece, Monday when she competes in the quarterfinals of the 400 meterdash at 8:20 p.m. (MST). The USA Network will be broadcasting livecoverage of the meet Monday starting at 8:00 p.m. (MST).