Feb. 22, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming track and field teams are set to compete at the 2006 Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., this weekend. The Cowgirls will have 24 women competing, while the men will send 20 athletes for competition.
This season, both the men's and women's squads for BYU will be the odds on favorite again, as they have taken home the team title 11 of the 12 times the award has been given out.
Leading the way for the Cowgirls will be returning All-American Sharon Larrier. The sophomore has posted the third fastest MWC time in the 400-meters (55.25) so far this season. She will also run a leg on the 4x400-meter relay team that has posted the third best time (3:50.20) in the conference. Senior Ingvild Carstens will also be on that relay team as she looks to have a good weekend with not only the relay team, but in the open 400-meters, as well. Another Cowgirl who has had a good year is sophomore Shaylee Babbitt. This sprinter/hurdler has improved almost every week and will look to put it all together this weekend.
As far as the distance events, the Cowgirls are led by senior Michelle Kvernmo. Kvernmo holds the seventh fastest MWC time in the 3,000-meters of 9:57.47 this season and will also compete in the 5,000-meters for the UW women.
The Cowgirl field event athletes have shown some promise during this season and will look to have some All-MWC performances this weekend. Sophomore Kate Burton has the second furthest MWC toss in the weight throw (60' 7-1/2"), just ahead of junior Shannon Popp who is currently third (60' 2"). Freshman Lynnae Fox's season best throw of 45' 2-3/4" in the shot put is the seventh best throw heading into the weekend, while senior Marji Bovey holds the league's ninth longest toss in 44' 4-1/2".
"We going to go down there and get some good experiences for this young women's team," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "Hopefully we will get a taste of what competition is like and continue to get better."
On the men's side, the Cowboys will look to improve on their fourth place finish last year. One person who could help that cause is senior Jeremiah Johnson. He currently has posted the second fastest MWC time in the 800-meters (1:50.95) and will look to gain back the conference title he earned two years ago in the event. Senior Robert Harris, who currently holds the seventh fastest time in the 400-meters (48.96), looks to earn All-MWC honors in the single event for the first time in his career. Also, junior Dwight Neptune has the ability to have a good day in the 60-meters with his season best time of 6.99 (tenth overall).
Both Cowboy relay teams will also have the chance at a successful weekend. The distance medley relay team has posted the fastest MWC time (9:57.77) this season, while the 4x400-meter relay team holds the third best time (3:14.70).
Senior Brian Knight and sophomore Philemon Tanui will be leading the distance teams this weekend that will be looking to be major point contributors for the Cowboys. Both will be running in the 3,000-meters along with freshman Shadrack Too. Too will also be competing in the 5,000-meters with senior Ragan Driver.
In the field events the Cowboys have junior Jared Grant in the high jump who cleared 6' 6-1/2" (currently seventh) this season, while juniors Phillip Thomas and Olav Roe continue to get better and will look to contribute points in the heptathlon.
"I believe our men's team has the potential to do some good things this weekend," add Yentes. "One thing is for sure, we are going to lay it all on the line."
Competition is set to begin on Thursday with the multi-events at 10:30 a.m. The multi-events will continue into Friday morning and then the rest of the events will begin at 1 p.m.