March 25, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams will attempt to open the outdoor season for a second time, as the Cowboys and Cowgirls head to the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic and Fum McGraw Quadrangular this weekend. Wyoming was set to start its outdoor campaign at last Saturday's Jerry Quiller Classic in Boulder, Colo., but did not attend due to inclement weather along the Front Range. Now a contingent of six UW hurdle and multi-event competitors will head to Riverside, Calif., to compete Thursday through Saturday, while the rest of the squads will compete at the McGraw on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colo.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls are coming off a successful indoor season that senior thrower Mason Finley concluded at the NCAA Championships on March 15 in Albuquerque, N.M. Finley entered the meet with the fourth-longest shot put in the nation and, true to form, finished fourth with a toss of 65-0 to earn his 10th career All-America accolade. The last team competition was the Mountain West Indoor Championships on March 1, where the Cowgirls claimed their highest finish ever at the meet with second and the Cowboys placed fifth. Finley, junior Holly Page and sophomore Kereston Thomas won individual titles in their respective events at the meet.
"We'll have the same mindset as last weekend, but just carry it over one more week," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "We'll get out there and really see where we are at after four weeks of practice. The quad in Fort Collins will be a good meet overall and Riverside is going to be very competitive across the board. Both meets will give us everything we need to take a step forward and get our outdoor season started on the right foot."
Last Time Out: Wyoming's Finley Collects 10th All-America Honor
Wyoming's Mason Finley finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 15 with a throw of 65-0 (19.81 meters) in the Albuquerque Convention Center to collect his 10th All-America honor. Finley's throw was his longest ever at the NCAA indoor meet and he is the first Cowboy to earn back-to-back All-America accolades since Jack Shanklin in 2008-09.
"He competed pretty well considering he battled a sinus infection all week," UW associate head coach Paul Barrett said. "He went after it pretty well and it was his farthest throw ever at the NCAA championships. This should set him up well for outdoors, so we are pleased overall."
Finley, a native of Buena Vista, Colo., entered the meet with the fourth-furthest throw at 66-3 1/4 (20.20 meters), which he threw at Wyoming's Rocky Mountain Classic on Feb. 21 in War Memorial Fieldhouse.
A Special Meet for Berryhill
This weekend's track meet at UC Riverside will be a special one for Wyoming head coach Bryan Berryhill. Irv Ray, Director of Track and Field/Cross Country at UCR, was Berryhill's coach from 2002 to 2006, while he competed as a professional. Berryhill accomplishments under him included finishing runner-up at the U.S. Championships twice in the 1,500 meters. Ray has more than 20 years experience as a head coach and has guided student-athletes to nearly 200 All-America honors. Wyoming also competed at UCR's Highlander Invite during last fall's cross country season. The Cowboys and Cowgirls both won team titles at the event.
Wrapping Up Wyoming's Indoor Rankings
Six Cowboys and Cowgirls placed in the top 50 of five events in the final national rankings. Senior Mason Finley was the top Cowboy at fourth in the shot put with a toss of 66-3 1/4, while junior Shreese Daniels was the top Cowgirl at 26th in the weight throw with a mark of 67-3 1/4. In the USTFCCCA indoor regional polls, the Cowboys finished eighth and the Cowgirls were 12th. The first outdoor regional polls will be released April 8.
On To Outdoors
Junior Paul Thomas and senior Jenna Mann are both in the USTFCCCA's preseason outdoor rankings. Thomas is 24th in the discus after a mark of 189-10 last season, while Mann is 32nd in the heptathlon at 5,200 points. Both qualified for the NCAA outdoor meet last season.
Taking Down Top-10 Marks
Wyoming's successful indoor season showed prominently in the record books, as 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. In Wyoming's outdoor top-10 lists, the current Cowboy roster owns six individual marks, while the current Cowgirl roster has 16 individual marks.
Ricky Finishes Indoor Season Leading the Nation
Rock Springs senior Ricky Faure, who signed with the Cowboys in early February, finished the indoor prep season ranked first in the nation in the 1,600 meters. He won the Simplot Games on Feb. 15 in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:10.22. The mark broke the meet's previous record of 4:10.58 in 2008 by Luke Puskedra. Faure also won the Wyoming state title in the 1,600 meters in 4:15.14. Faure led the nation in the 800 meters as well for the majority of the indoor season with a time of 1:52.90. He was ninth in the final rankings, but now moves to the outdoor season where he ran 1:50.9 last season.
Wyoming competes at the Air Force Relays on April 5 at the Air Force Academy.