March 13, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Already a nine-time All-American and four-time NCAA runner-up, Mason Finley will look to add to that resume when he represents the University of Wyoming track and field teams at the 2014 NCAA Championships this weekend in Albuquerque, N.M. The senior thrower enters the meet ranked fourth in the shot put with a school-record toss of 66-3 1/4 (20.20 meters) and will compete in the event on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. MT in the Albuquerque Convention Center. Fans can follow live results and live video through GoWYO.com, while live updates will be available through Wyoming's official Twitter account @wyoathletics. A tape delay of the championship will air March 22 at 4:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU.
Finley will compete in the shot put at the NCAA indoor meet for the second-straight season as a Cowboy, after transferring from Kansas in the summer of 2012. He started last year's meet with the nation's second-best mark, but fouled on each of his throws. He still earned Honorable Mention All-American, though, to become Wyoming's first since 2009. Finley finished second in the shot put at the 2011 NCAA meet as a Jayhawk. A native of Buena Vista, Colo., Finley broke Wyoming's school and facility records twice each this season and has won all seven shot put competitions he has entered in 2013-14.
"We want Mason to open up with a solid mark to mark sure he gets six throws, but then go for that big throw," UW associate head coach Paul Barrett said. "We've been training that way the last couple weeks and he's showing signs of a possible big throw. He's been an All-American many times, so he's shooting to win it, but you have to have a big throw. We'll try to get him a PR [personal record] and see where it puts him. It would be tough to win it, but a top-three finish in a very strong field is possible."
History at the NCAA Indoor Championships
The Cowboys have earned a total of 28 All-America accolades at the NCAA Indoor Championships, including 15 during the Mountain West era. Eleven of those 15 honors have come in the throwing events. The most recent Cowboy to earn All-American was Finley.
Last Time Out: Cowgirls Claim Second for Highest Finish Ever at MW Indoor Meet
Individual titles from sophomore Kereston Thomas in the 200 meters and senior Mason Finley in the shot put guided the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams to a historic performance at the 2014 Mountain West Indoor Championships in Cadet Field House. The Cowgirls notched their highest finish ever at the event in second with 84 points, their most since 2004, while the Cowboys placed fifth with 86 points, their most since 2010.
Thomas' victory, along with Holly Page's in the 5,000 meters on Friday, gave the Cowgirls their most individual titles at the MW indoor meet since 2008. Finley's second-straight shot put title at the event put Wyoming at three total titles, its most since 2011.
Thomas blazed through the 200 meters in a personal-best 24.27 to move her into second in school history in the event, while senior Audrey West was sixth in a personal-best 24.68 to rank ninth. Thomas, who also finished fifth in the 60 meters in 7.56, is the first Cowgirl to win the 200 meters at the indoor conference meet since Jessica Fox in 2005. Senior Jenna Mann continued a solid MW campaign by finishing third in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.47 to tie her personal best. Fellow senior Katy Hall claimed sixth at 8.67. Senior Candace Wollert ran 2:14.51 for fourth in the 800 meters and was followed one place back by freshman Kerry White in 2:15.21. Redshirt junior Erin Kirby crossed the line in the 400 meters in 56.60 for fifth, while sophomore McKenzie Brogan was sixth at 56.73. Junior Holly Page ran to a fifth-place finish in the 3,000 meters in 10:00.80 and redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano was seventh at 10:05.05.
Finley took the title in the shot put for the second-straight year with a throw of 64-7, a mark which tied for the third-best distance in MW Championship meet history. Wyoming also got runner-up finishes from freshman Jordan Charles in the 60-meter hurdles and graduate student Harry Fisher in the 800 meters. After tying the school record on Friday, Charles set a new one at 7.89 to place second, while Fisher ran 1:51.13, just five hundredths of a second behind the winner. The Cowboys actually earned a whopping 18 team points in the 60-meter hurdles after junior Colin Herold placed fourth at 8.19, senior Aaron Praska sixth at 8.27 and senior Jacob Edwards seventh at 8.28. Graduate student Thomas Atkinson crossed the line in the 800 meters in 1:53.38 for fifth. Three Cowboys also scored in the 3,000 meters with sophomore Amos Bowen fourth in 8:28.21, junior Aaron Derner sixth in 8:29.17 and senior Garrett Zans seventh in 8:29.68.
Top-10 Marks Piling Up
The Cowboys and Cowgirls combined to post 12 new top-10 marks at the MW Indoor Championships on Feb. 27-March 1. The Wyoming men notched five marks, including a school-record 7.89 in the 60-meter hurdles by freshman Jordan Charles. The Wyoming women earned seven marks, including a school-record 3,898 points in the pentathlon by senior Jenna Man. The current Cowboy roster owns 16 individual marks in Wyoming's all-time top 10, including one school record, while the Cowgirls have 22 individual marks and two school records.
Nine Wyoming Track & Field Athletes Earn All-MW Honors
Nine members of the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams were named to the Mountain West All-Conference Teams, which were announced March 3 by the league office. Five Cowgirls and four Cowboys earned the distinction for Wyoming's highest total since 11 in 2011. All-Conference selections were awarded to the top-three finishers in each event at the MW Indoor Championships.
Senior Mason Finley highlighted the honorees for the Cowboys with his third indoor All-MW award. He won the shot put at the conference indoor meet for the second-straight year with a toss of 64-7. Graduate student Harry Fisher and freshman Jordan Charles earned their first indoor honor thanks to runner-up finishes in their respective events. Charles set a new school record in the 60-meter hurdles at 7.89, while Fisher finished five one-hundredths of a second behind the winner in the 800 meters in 1:51.13. Junior Kyle Sullivan finished third in the heptathlon with a personal-best 5,262 points, just 12 points shy of Wyoming's school record, for his first indoor All-MW award.
For the Cowgirls, senior Jenna Mann earned the distinction for a second-straight season thanks to a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. She tied her personal best with a time of 8.47. Sophomore Kereston Thomas and junior Holly Page earned their first indoor All-MW accolades thanks to titles in the 200 meters and 5,000 meters, respectively. Thomas ran a 24.27 for second in school history and Page posted a 17:50.00. Junior Shreese Daniels and redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano claimed their first indoor All-MW honors as well thanks to runner-up finishes in their events. Daniels threw 65-5 in the weight throw, while DeStefano ran 17:50.19 in the 5,000 meters.
Berryhill has coached 17 student-athletes to MW All-Conference accolades in his first two years at Wyoming, after eight student-athletes earned the honor last season.
Finley Collects Third MW Weekly Honor of the Season
Wyoming's Mason Finley was named the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Male Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced on Feb. 25. The weekly accolade was the third for Finley this season and fourth of his career. He won the award three of the seven times it was bestowed this season. Finley highlighted eight event titles for the Cowboys during the Rocky Mountain Classic in War Memorial Fieldhouse on Feb. 21 with a record-breaking toss of 66-3 1/4. The mark broke the school and facility record of 66-0 1/4 that Finley had established during last December's Power Meet. The throw keeps him first in the current Mountain West standings and fourth in the NCAA, while ranking second in conference history. In his career, Finley has broken Wyoming's school record in the shot put three times.
Wyoming Tracksters in National Rankings
Six Cowboys and Cowgirls currently place in the top 50 of five events in the latest national rankings. Senior Mason Finley is the top Cowboy at fourth in the shot put with a toss of 66-3 1/4, while sophomore Scott Carter is No. 28 in the triple jump with a leap of 51-3 3/4. Graduate student Harry Fisher is No. 31 in the 800 meters at 1:49.29 and sophomore Tyler Anderson is 38th in the weight throw with a toss of 65-11. Junior Shreese Daniels is the top Cowgirl at 26th in the weight throw with a mark of 67-3 1/4, while senior Jenna Mann is 36th in the pentathlon at 3,784 points. Finley's shot and Fisher's 800 both rank first in the Mountain West.
Wyoming begins the outdoor portion of the 2013-14 track and field season at next weekend's Tom Benich Invitational in Greeley, Colo.