Feb. 13, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboy Track and Field program has experienced its share ofsuccess over the past few seasons, but the one thing that has eluded ithas been a conference championship. The Pokes are hoping that 2002 isthe year they finally break through and capture the MWC title.
Wyoming head coach Don Yentes returns a very talented and promisingmen's team in 2002 which has the potential to be among the elite teamsin the Mountain West Conference this season.
"This should be one of our better teams in recent years," saidYentes. "We have a chance to compete at a very high level in ourconference this season if everything goes right for us and we compete toour abilities. We have a lot of seasoned veterans who can score a lotof points for us and we have some young guys we're counting on heavilythis season to step it up. Our young guys are probably the key towhether or not we are one of the top teams in the conference or middleof the pack."
The Cowboys return a solid core of veterans which include All-AmericanQuincy Howe, who is one of the premier triple jumpers in the country andMervin Swaby, who is the top long jumper in the conference. Bothcompeted at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships.
UW junior Seth Billy also returns to help lead the Pokes in 2002.Billy won the conference title last season in the 400-meter hurdles andwill be the favorite again to win the championships this season.
Joining Billy, Howe, Swaby and the remainder of the returning Cowboylettermen are a quality group of gifted newcomers.
Two transfers, Collin Thomas and Craig Suter, will bolster the Cowboysthis season in the sprints and throws, giving the Pokes even moreweapons in which to make a run at a title in 2002.
"On the whole it looks like we have a great opportunity at being acontender this season for the conference championship. We just need tostay healthy and get some breaks along the way. I'm really excitedabout and looking forward to watching this team compete this season."Yentes said.
2002 Cowboy Track and Field Event-By-Event Breakdown:
- Distance -
Probably the biggest question mark for the Wyoming men this season iswhether or not the distance crew can step it up and score points at theconference meet. UW has a young distance team this season with not alot of experience. Joining the three returning athletes from lastseason are four promising freshman and an extremely fast juniortransfer.
Returning this season are senior Chris Jons, junior Joel Hess, andsophomore Jason Delaney. Of the three, Delaney has the best chance atchallenging the top runners in the conference in the longer distanceevents.
In the middle distance area, transfer Carlon Harrison could prove to bethe best 800-meter runner in the league. Wyoming will also look for bigthings from freshman Matt Hudson, Arte Huhn, Nick Smith and JeremyThompson.
- Hurdles -
The Pokes will be exceptionally strong in the long hurdle events in2002 with the return of junior Seth Billy, who was the 2001 MWC Championin the 400-meter hurdles. Sophomore Jay Olson has improved from lastseason and has the chance to score points at the conference meet.
Wyoming hasn't been real productive in the short hurdle events over thepast few seasons but could make big strides in this area in 2002.Quincy Howe and Mervin Swaby are much improved from a year ago and willlead the team in this event. Both have a shot at placing in the topfive at the conference meet.
Freshman Brandon Inman has a lot of potential and will add depth toboth the long and short distance hurdle events.
- Jumps -
The long and triple jump events are by far the strongest areas for theCowboys. Wyoming returns the top two athletes in each event in QuincyHowe and Mervin Swaby. Combined, both have won eight individualconference titles in the long and triple jump events. The two alsoswept the jump events titles at the 2001 MWC Indoor Championships.
Freshmen Brian Sinner and Bret Zowada are both skilled enough to scorepoints at the conference meet in their first seasons with the Pokes ineither event.
Wyoming will have two true high jumpers in 2002, an area where theyseverely lacked last season. Leading the way will be two freshman, HalBromley and Zowada. Both should be among the top young high jumpers inthe conference.
The pole vault will be contested by sophomore Darren Niedermeyer.
- Sprints -
Wyoming enters the 2002 season with a highly gifted sprint team whichshould be one of the best in the conference.
Transfer Collin Thomas, a steal in recruiting according to coachYentes, could possibly be the fastest sprinter ever to run for UW. Hewill most likely be among the elite sprinters in the conference and hasa shot at qualifying for nationals.
Teaming up with Thomas in the short sprints are Quincy Howe, EronSamuels and Mervin Swaby. Howe and Swaby have improved in the sprintsthis season and could both be forces in the MWC. Freshman Samuels willpose a strong threat in the shorts as well.
In the long sprints Wyoming has three experienced athletes returning inSeth Billy, Karal Davis and Cody Millemon. All are capable of placingin the top five at conference.
- Throws -
Despite the loss of three All-Americans and three conference championsfrom last season, Wyoming should once again have deepest and bestthrowing crew in the conference.
Returning from last season are John Griffith and Dan Williams, who bothscored points at last years conference championships, have bothprogressed and worked hard in the off season to better themselves in2002.
Transfer Craig Suter, the 2001 junior college national champion in theshot put, has a great chance at winning a MWC title this season. SeniorJoshwa McMullen and freshman Brad Vodika will add quality depth and bothhave the ability to score points at the conference meet.