Feb. 13, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowgirl Track and Field team is in position to put itselfamong the top teams in the Mountain West Conference in 2002. With theexperience, depth and talent the women have going into this season, theyare very capable at placing in the top three in the conference andpossibly have an opportunity to win the MWC title.
The Cowgirls return an extremely gifted team which could be the best UWwomen's team ever fielded. Back this season for Wyoming are eightAll-Conference performers, two All-Americans and one conference championfrom 2001. Wyoming head coach Don Yentes feels the women are inposition for great things in 2002.
"We are looking to make a move on the top teams and jump into the topthree in the conference this year. We feel like we have the tools inplace for a run to the top this season. If we can stay injury free wefeel like this is a group that can really do a great job this year."Yentes said
Wyoming returns a successful group of veterans from last seasons teamwhich placed fifth at the MWC Indoor Championships and fourth at theconference outdoor championships in 2001.
Leading the way this season for the Cowgirls will be sophomore AndreaBatt, who earned All-American honors in the javelin in 2001.
Other Cowgirl returnees who will be counted on and will contend forconference titles this season are junior Kelly Ann Charles, junior KimDemers, junior Adelaide Harper, senior Fiona Lindo-Jeffrey, senior JulieThomas and junior Kima Wells.
Giving the Cowgirls even more weapons in 2002 are a talented group ofnewcomers including junior college transfer Crystal Smith , transferEnioma Haynes, freshmen Jessica Fox and Shauna Smith.
"For the first time in a long time at this school we have a lot of topline girls who have the chance at being conference champions in avariety of events. We think that we have stepped this program up toanother level and we're hoping to go up a step higher this season."Yentes said.
2002 Cowgirl Track and Field Event-By-Event Breakdown:
- Distance -
It's been awhile since the Cowgirls have scored points at theconference meet in the distance events but this years Cowgirl distancecrew is hoping to step things up to the next level and get into thescoring mix at conference.
All of UW's leading distance runners are back and will be joined bysome solid freshman. LeeAnn Forbes, Stephanie Hanks, Jennifer Manselland Jennifer Vessa are the core group of experienced runners Wyomingwill depend on in 2002.
Freshman Ashley Mecham and Jennifer Thompson really came on during thecross country season and will provide Wyoming with two more young,quality athletes.
- Hurdles -
The Cowgirls will be solid in both the short and long hurdle eventsthis season and will be a major threat in the conference. Leading theway are juniors Kelly Ann Charles and Kim Demers who both earnedAll-Conference honors in 2001.
Charles, who placed second in the 60-meter hurdles last season, is theteams top short hurdler and will once again be among the best in theMWC.
Demers is the conference's top returning 400-meter hurdler and has agreat shot at winning the conference title in 2002. ChallengingDemers for the top spot in the conference in the 400 will be freshmanShauna Smith, who was among the elite hurdles in the nation in highschool. She'll also compete in the 60-meter hurdles.
Adding depth in the hurdles will be sophomore Melissa Laycock andsophomore Liz Mickelson.
- Jumps -
Although the Cowgirls will be young in most of the jump events, theyhave plenty of skill and depth to compensate for their inexperience.
Senior transfer Enioma Haynes will be counted on to pace the Cowgirlsin both the long and triple jump events. Junior Kim Demers will be theonly other upperclassman to compete in the long jump for UW. SophomoreAmber Perryman and freshman Whitney Rothleutner will be solidcompetitors in the long jump as well.
Joining Haynes in the triple will be sophomore Melissa Laycock andfreshman Courtney Schlegel. Both have the potential to place and scorepoints at the conference meet.
The high jump is an area the Cowgirls should be improved in from lastseason as they return their top two athletes. Sophomore Chan Johnson andjunior Lisa Throener could be major contributors if they can stayconsistent throughout the duration of the season.
The Cowgirls also return their top pole vaulters from last season whichinclude school record holder Stephanie Anderson and fellow sophomoreJody Sanborn. Anderson is looking to move into the top three in theconference in 2002.
- Sprints -
The 2002 Cowgirl sprint squad looks to be the best group of sprintersin the history of the school. UW is loaded with talent and an abundanceof speed in both the short and long sprint events. Wyoming could winconference championships in a number of sprint events this season.
A pair of seniors, Fiona Lindo-Jeffrey and Adelaide Harper, return asthe Cowgirls' top short sprinters this season. Both will be among thebest in the MWC and should challenge for a conference title.
Junior Kima Wells has established herself as not only one of the top60-meter but also 400-meter sprinters in the MWC. She has a legitimateshot at winning a championship in these events.
Freshman Shauna Smith will make a huge impact in the 400-meter dash inher first season with the Cowgirls. The Smith and Wells tandem will benot only be one of the strongest in the conference but also the wholewestern region.
Junior Kim Demers and freshman Jessica Fox will give UW two morequality long sprinters who should finish near the top of the league.
- Throws -
Wyoming's throw crew could be one of the best in the conference thisyear. The Cowgirls return two All-Americans in sophomore Andrea Battand senior Julie Thomas and have added junior college national championCrystal Smith.
Batt is the returning MWC champion and record holder in the javelin andhas the tools in the other throw events to be among the best in theleague.
Thomas, a 2000 All-American, should be the conference's leading athletein the weight throw and hammer events. JC transfer Smith solidifies atremendous group of throwers which will be a strong force in theMountain West Conference.