Track & Field Hosts Robert Shine Invitational

February 15, 1999


The Wyoming track and field program hosted the annual Robert Shine Invitational last Saturday, Feb. 13, and two Cowboys had huge days in the 35-pound weight throw.

Senior Kevin Mannon and sophomore Derek Woodske both threw 74' 8 1/4" in the 35-pound weight throw. Mannon officially won the event because of a better second throw.

With that mark, Mannon broke the American Collegiate National Record and Woodske broke the Canadian National Record. Mannon and Woodske rank second and third in the world in the event.

Three Wyoming Cowgirls provisionally qualified in the 20-pound weight. Dana Dillon, Julie Thomas and Tamara Hawkins all had provisional throws.

Hawkins also broke the 50-foot barrier in the shot put, with a throw of 50' 2 3/4". With that mark, Hawkins has improved over eight feet this year in the shot put.

Senior Gregg Sawyer prepared for the pentathlon at next weeks WAC Championships and took part in the pole vault, long jump and shot put.

"I feel like we had been progressing steadily through the year," said Larry Judge, University of Wyoming head track and field coach. "All year the throws have been our strongest point and I feel like we really turned the corner this weekend. We competed well last week at the Husker Invite, but we didnt have the really big marks.

"Weve started to taper for the conference championships, weve cut down the volume of work and I thought the kids looked a little more rested.

"Kevin Mannon was amazing. He broke the American Collegiate Record, set a new school record and put himself back out in front in the NCAA.

"Derek was the surprise of the meet. He broke the Canadian National Record, which has been there for 20 years. He had the exact same throw as Kevin. And Derek is only a sophomore, so he will be a force for the next couple of years.

"In the long jump Mervin Swaby looked good and Gregg Sawyer had a real good day. Sawyer was very consistent in the pole vault and had a really good long jump.

"We had a huge breakthrough from Tamara Hawkins in the shot put. That is a provisional qualifier and that may make it into the NCAA Championships. Its been just a wonderful improvement for her this year.

"I think we can be a force next week, especially because of how everything breaks down. SMU will be our biggest competitor in the throws, they are real similiar to us on the mens and womens side. It will be a challenge for us, but it will help prepare us for NCAAs."

The next action for the track program is Feb. 19-20 at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.