Feb. 24, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The 2010 Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships have finally arrived for the University of Wyoming track and field teams. The Cowboys and Cowgirls will travel to Albuquerque, N.M., for the three-day event at the Albuquerque Convention Center that will begin this Thursday, Feb. 25 and will run through Saturday, Feb. 27.
The men's heptathlon and women's pentathlon will kick off the competition with senior Jay Petsch and junior Britney Jackson representing the Cowboys and Cowgirls respectively. Petsch enters the competition with the third-best heptathlon score in the conference, 4,974 points, while Jackson has the seventh best.
For the rest of the men's team they are led by junior Jeremiah James who is the reigning long jump and triple jump champion from a year ago and enters the 2010 championships in the lead once again in both events. The Cowboys are represented well in both the long jump and triple jump with redshirt freshman Stephen Michel on James' tail entering the championships with the second-best jumps in the conference.
Freshman Tyler Skinner cleared the high jump bar last week at a height of 6' 9.75" at the Robert Shine Invite and leads the conference at that height.
In the sprints, Michel leads the way in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.83 which ranks third in the conference. Freshman Brandon Douglass and Petsch sit four, five in the 60-meter hurdles with their respective times of 8.19 and 8.30. Douglass is only six hundredths of a second out of first place.
"We are much improved from a year ago and are a little deeper in many events," said tenth-year head coach Don Yentes. "We have some guys that have an opportunity to become conference champions and hopefully we can feed off of those guys and have a great weekend."
The Cowgirls enter the championship weekend with junior Afiya Walker leading the way in the 400-meter dash with her second best time of 54.62. In the same event freshman Taylor Gardner has the 11th-best time of 57.24. Senior Jennifer Schmitz enters her final indoor conference championship meet with the sixth best 60-meter hurdle time in the conference. Freshman Katy Hall and sophomore Larissa Edwards are currently 12th and 13th respectively in the same event.
In the throwing ring, junior Amanda Aimone is the reigning champion in the 20lb weight throw and enters this weekend with the fourth-best throw in 2010. She is followed closely by fellow junior Ashley Hutchinson in sixth-place in the weight throw and ninth in the shot put.
For the distance squad, junior Alysha Davis enters the 3,000-meter run with the seventh best time in the conference. She looks to improve on her 14th-place finish from a year ago.
"We have a young squad that is very enthusiastic about this weekend," said Yentes. "They just have to believe in themselves and compete to their abilities. It should be a great learning experience for many of our athletes."
Live stats are available on the championship website located at www.themwc.com. Thursday will be the start of the men's heptathlon and the conclusion of the women's pentathlon.