Solid Start to the Season for UW Track and Field at the Wyoming Open

Dec. 9, 2006

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The University of Wyoming track and field program opened their 2006-07 season today at War Memorial Fieldhouse in Laramie by hosting the Wyoming Open. UW received solid performances by both the men's and women's teams. Schools competing included: Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, and the University of Wyoming. Also attending the Wyoming Open were the Colorado Flyers Track Club.

"Today was a good starting point for us," said head track and field coach Don Yentes. "We accomplished more in some of the group events today than we did in the whole indoor season last year."

The story of the day came with the women's 4x400 meter relay event where senior All-American Amanda Hopper, senior Aniis Hopkins and juniors Sharon Larrier and Maricel Da Costa broke the War Memorial Fieldhouse record with a time of 3:53.84.

"That was an excellent performance by our relay team today; breaking the fieldhouse record," said Yentes. "It was a good record to break and I think they had a fun time doing it."

Also on the women's side, Shannon Popp 18.93m won the 20lb. weight throw event, while junior Kate Burton 18.80m finished second and JUCO transfer, Courtney Gougler 16.88 finished third.

"The women's throwers really did a nice job today," said Yentes. "Shannon (Popp) did well; along with Kate (Burton), Courtney (Gougler) and Sara Lindemood all did a nice job."

In the 55-meter hurdles, Shaylee Babbitt and Aniis Hopkins came across the line in fourth and fifth place with times of 8.34 and 8.36. In the women's pole vaulting event, Kat Doherty finished in first place, clearing a height of 11 feet. Carley Grubbs finished the women's 400 meter run in second place with a time of 1:01.00. She was followed by Amanda Gordon and Allie Childers who crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place with times of 1:01.30 and 1:01.61 respectively.

The 600 yard run was won by Cowgirl freshman, Marion Chebet, who finished with a time of 1:34.62. She was followed by Danna Herbert, who finished third with a time of 1:39.18. Babbitt followed her fourth place performance in the 55 meter hurdles with a first place finish in the womens's 200 meter run with a time of 25.99. The Cowgirls' top finisher in the 55 meter run was Maricel Da Costa, who finished third of ten competitors with a time of 7.27. She was followed by Nicole Harris, who finished tenth with a time of 7.66.

For the Cowboys, senior Blake Jackson continued his winning ways from seasons past, as his provisional NCAA qualification in the triple jump placed first in the event with a distance of 15.73m. Jackson was followed by sophomore John Alderson, who finished second with a distance of 14.48m. Senior Nick Cramer led the way in the one mile run with his first place time of 4:36.45. He was followed by senior Chris Schabron, who finished second with a time of 4:43.12. In the 35lb. weight throw event, JUCO transfer Jake Shanklin led the 'Pokes with his third place finish and a distance of 18.59m. He was followed by returning NCAA Regional qualifier, Brad Charters. Charters finished in sixth place with a distance of 16.80.

Sophomore Terrence Fenton found himself in a tight 400 meter race with CSU's Ryan Friese, as Fenton finished second with a time of 50.45. Junior Jonathon West opened his first season with the Cowboys with a dominant performance as he finished in first place in the 200 meter run with a time of 22.61. In the long jump event, Jackson furthered his dominance in the jumping events as he finished in first place with a distance of 7.32m. He was followed by John Alderson, who finished third with a distance of 6.83m.

"The men's jumpers did a really nice job today with Blake and John's performances," said Yentes. "We've got a lot of work ahead of us, but that's why there's five more months left in the season, but it's just a great starting point."

Next up for the UW track and field program will be when they travel to Colorado Springs for the Air Force Academy All-Comers on January 13, 2007.