LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 2004-05 Cowgirl track and field program is looking to make some noise in the Mountain West Conference this season. They are returning some exceptional experience and welcome some talented new faces to the line-up. Coming off a fourth place finish in both seasons last year, the Cowgirls are very confident and look to compete for a conference title.
Leading the way for the Cowgirls again this season will be returning All-Americans Jessica Fox and Shauna Smith. Fox, a two-time NCAA qualifier has established herself among the elite 400 meter sprinters in the nation and earned All-MWC honors six times during both the indoor and outdoor seasons last year. As for Smith, she comes into her senior season with high expectations to make it a fourth consecutive season of reaching All-American status. Smith is one of the best hurdlers in the nation and is also emerging as great sprinter as well. Another leader for the Cowgirls this season will be senior Jennifer Thompson. Thompson is coming off one of the best cross country seasons in UW history. She earned All-MWC and All-Mountain Region honors and will look to carry over her success from the fall into the track seasons.
"I feel as though our top athletes in their particular events can compete with anyone in the country," says UW head track and field coach Don Yentes.
"I am excited about this season and believe if we stay healthy we can compete for a MWC title."
The Cowgirls will put the weight on the shoulders of sophomore Marjorie Bovey. Bovey is a transfer from Spokane Community College and is a great addition to the squad. Last spring, she was the conference champion in the shot put and placed fourth in the hammer throw. The coaches are excited to have Marjorie and look forward to see her contribute to the Cowgirls.
Under the tutelage of cross country/distance coach Randy Cole, the Cowgirls are coming off the best cross country season in 15 years.
The Cowgirls are led by senior Jennifer Thompson. Thompson led the Cowgirls in every race this last fall and was the first UW athlete to qualify for NCAA Nationals in 15 years. She earned All-MWC and All-Region honors and looks to carry that momentum over to the track seasons where she is the school record holder in the 5000 meters.
Tanice Barnett is another All-MWC performer from last year. Barnett is one of the best middle distance runners in the MWC. Emerald Reid, Maggie Diller, Michelle Kvernmo, Natalie Kean are also returners that will look to contribute this season.
Several new additions have already been major contributors for the distance team this past fall. Junior Brooklan Grimes, freshmen Gladys Jerotich, and Gretchen Fagley. They are coming off successful cross country seasons where Grimes steadily improved and Jerotich and Fagley were among the top 30 performers at regionals.
When it comes to hurdles, who is better to have than three-time All-American Shauna Smith. Smith has re-written the Wyoming and MWC record books and looks to continue in her senior season. Smith also contributes to both relay teams.
Another Cowgirl hurdler returning this season is senior Ainsley Thrailkill. Thrailkill proved herself last year as she scored points with a sixth place finish in the 400 meter hurdles and a seventh place finish in the 100 meter hurdles at the MWC Outdoor Championships. Look for Thrailkill to continue off last years late success into this coming season.
The horizontal jumps look to be strong for the Cowgirls in 2004-05. Courtney Schlegel, Janine Brathwaite and Aniis Hopkins will power UW in the long and triple jump events. All three are very capable jumpers and will look to make noise in the MWC.
Lauri Smith is the top returner for the Cowgirls in the pole vault event, an area that has been improving over the past years for UW. Kat Doherty and Anna Hardy are newcomers coming in that will look to be immediate contributors to the Cowgirls this season.
The sprints is where enlies the strength and depth in the Cowgirl line-up. That is pretty easy to say when you are returning two All-Americans in Jessica Fox and Shauna Smith. Fox is one of the best 400 meter runners in the nation and placed 12th at NCAA Outdoor Nationals last season. Smith showed she was one of the best in the 400 meters last year by placing sixth at NCAA Outdoor Nationals. Not only are they dominant in their own events, but also played vital roles in sending both relay teams to NCAA Nationals for the first time in UW history.
Amanda Hopper is another sprinter who as a sophomore has the ability to compete with the best in the MWC. The coaches are excited about her maturity and her potential this season. Another sprinter the coaches are excited about is newcomer Sharon Larrier from Barbados. Look for Larrier to be one of the top young sprinters for not only UW, but in the MWC as well.
Carstens is one of the most versatile athletes for the Cowgirls. After one year of competing in these events, she showed signs of improvement and used last year as a learning experience in the multi-events. Look for her to make noise in the MWC and return to her All-MWC status from two years ago.
Shriver is the most versatile newcomer added to the Cowgirl line-up. She is coming off a very successful high school career and will look to carry that success into her collegiate career.