March 5, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming track and field program finished their indoor season on a positive note with sophomore weight thrower Jacob Shanklin being selected to the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships and head coach Don Yentes recently being selected as the co-Mountain West Conference Men's Coach of the Year.
Shanklin, a transfer from Spokane Falls Community College, earned his first trip to nationals as a Cowboy by throwing a distance of 69'-2.50" this past Saturday at the University of Washington's Last Chance meet. Shanklin's distance ranks him seventh in the nation and moved him into fifth all-time at Wyoming.
"We're just really excited about Jake's qualification," said Yentes. "He has struggled with a bit of a shoulder injury for most of the season and he's really starting to come around."
It's not the first time Wyoming has been represented at the national level in the weight throwing events. Since 1998, UW has produced ten All-Americans in the weight throw event; many of which were multi-honorees. Shanklin has already moved into the top five all-time at UW, but he now has an opportunity to join an elite group of athletes in Jason Gervais the current school record holder, Kevin Mannon, Derek Woodske, Ryan Butler, and Jason Hammond; all of whom received All-American honors.
Head track and field coach Don Yentes received his third coach of the year honor since his tenure at Wyoming began in 1997 as he was honored at the 2007 MWC Indoor Championships as co-MWC Men's Coach of the Year. He shared the honor with BYU head coach Mark Robinson.
"We don't have a big men's team and I just think that our guys went down to the championships and did a tremendous job," said Yentes. "The athletes and my assistants, Paul (Barrett), Randy (Cole) and Quincy (Howe) really deserve all the credit."
The 2007 MWC Women's Coach of the Year honors went to Craig Poole, also from BYU. Yentes first earned coach of the year honors in 2002 as he was selected as the MWC Women's Coach of the Year.
"It's nice to be honored by your peers, but the athletes and my assistants really are the ones who got it done," said Yentes.
The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held in Fayetteville, Ark. beginning this Friday, March 9, at 9 a.m. with the men's heptathlon events. The 35lb. weight throw event will begin at 12 p.m.