March 15, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior Kevin Mannon has had a huge impact on the Wyoming track and field program.
In only two years competing for the Cowboys, Mannon has his name all over the University of Wyoming record books.
Mannon holds the school record in the 35-pound weight throw (74' 8 1/4"), hammer throw (217' 4") and shot put (63' 7"). He is also a ten-time All-American, earning the honor in the three different events.
On Feb. 13, 1999, at the Robert Shine Invitational in Laramie, Mannon broke the American Collegiate Record in the 35-pound weight throw with an effort of 74' 8 1/4". The throw was over two feet further than his previous personal best, and firmly planted his name in the record books, both locally and nationally That mark also put Mannon out front in the race for the 1999 indoor national title.
"It was a great feeling," said Mannon. "It was a goal of mine that I thought I could reach. It just felt real good to finally get there and see all of the hard work pay off."
Mannon won the Western Athletic Conference title in the weight throw by beating every other competitor by almost four feet. His mark of 71' 10 1/4" gave him the WAC crown.
At the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Mannon placed second, falling just short of a national title. Libor Charfreitag of SMU had a throw that was 1 1/4" further than Mannon's. All of this after Mannon had defeated Charfreitag at the WAC Championships by four feet.
Mannon came to Wyoming from South Carolina when head coach Larry Judge accepted the job in Laramie. Judge was the throwing coach at South Carolina and worked extensively with Mannon.
"I came to Wyoming to work with coach Judge," said Mannon. "Hes one of the best and I've learned a lot from him."
In his first year throwing for the Pokes, Mannon won two indoor titles (35-pound weight, shot put) and one outdoor title (hammer). He received the High Point Award at the 1998 WAC Indoor Championships and went on to place eighth nationally in the weight throw and seventh in the shot put.
During the 1998 season, Mannon was the only Cowboy thrower marking noise nationally. But in the 1999 season, a number of talented throwers have joined the squad. "That has really helped the training environment here," said Mannon. "It gives me somebody to push me and some more competition."
While at South Carolina, Mannon was a force. He was awarded the Southeastern Conference Commissioner's Trophy his sophomore year at the outdoor championships. He was third at the NCAA Nationals in the 35-pound weight indoors and fourth in the shot put outdoors.
With the whole outdoor season still ahead of him, Mannon will look to win that coveted national championship. He has come close in all his prior attempts, and will hope to put it all together and bring Wyoming a national title.
By Dusty Clements
Wyoming Sports Information