Cowboys and Cowgirls Continue Outdoor Season in Colorado

April 3, 2014


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For the second time in as many weeks, the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams will head south to the state of Colorado for a meet. The Cowboys and Cowgirls will compete in Northern Colorado's Tom Benich Invitational on Friday in Greeley and on Saturday in Fort Collins. Competition on Friday starts at 2 p.m. MT at Nottingham Field, while the hammer and discus will be Saturday at 10 a.m. MT at Jack Christiansen Track. Junior Holly Page will be the lone Wyoming representative at the Stanford Invitational, as she runs the 5,000 meters on Friday at 12:18 p.m. MT. Fans can follow live updates through Wyoming's official Twitter account @wyoathletics.

The majority of the Cowboys and Cowgirls started their outdoor season with a strong showing at last Saturday's Fum McGraw Quadrangular in Fort Collins, while a contingent of six Wyoming student-athletes competed in the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic from Thursday to Saturday. The UW men and women combined to notch seven new top-10 marks over the weekend, as junior Kyle Sullivan won the decathlon with 6,772 points for seventh all-time and redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano was runner-up in the steeplechase in 10:59.68 for third all-time. Sophomore Kereston Thomas was Wyoming's only athlete with multiple event wins, as she finished first in the 100 and 200 meters.

"When you look at our progression throughout the season, last weekend was a great starting point for us," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "There wasn't one eye-popping performance, but overall as a team we carried that momentum from a great finish to the indoor season to the outdoor season. Now we have to get better each and every week and how we do that is in our training plan. The next two weeks are probably some of the heavier training loads of the year, before we reduce to prepare for some big meets and the conference meet."

Last Time Out: Wyoming Starts Outdoor Season with Solid Marks in Fort Collins
Sophomore Kereston Thomas won two events to pace the University of Wyoming track and field teams to a solid start to the outdoor season at last Saturday's Fum McGraw Quadrangular. The Cowboy and Cowgirls posted five marks in Wyoming's top-10 charts during the day.

"We had some very good starting marks across the board" UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "You don't come out in the first meet very often and get the number of top-10 marks we did, but to do that in the first go-round is impressive. Kereston picked up right where she left off during indoors, and Zans and DeStefano ran good steeple times early in the morning when it was pretty cold out. Gardner's time in a very tough event was pretty good for the first outdoor meet as well."

Thomas took home titles in the 100 meters in 11.84 and the 200 meters in 24.26, as both marks were less than a second away from her personal bests. Redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano took second in the steeplechase in 10:59.68, which ranks third in UW history, while junior Julie Popish cleared 10-8 in the pole vault for seventh in Cowgirl history. Other event winners for Wyoming included freshman Mikalah Skates in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.61 and freshman Megan Brunette in the 5,000 meters in 18:00.14. Senior Taylor Gardner claimed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.07, while fellow senior Candace Wollert finished the same in 800 meters in 2:11.89. Freshman Megan Welch was third as well in the triple jump with a leap of 36-5 1/2.

For the Cowboys, senior Mason Finley was second in the discus with a toss of 184-10, good for seventh in Wyoming history, while junior Paul Thomas was third at 179-5. Senior Garrett Zans won the steeplechase in 8:57.73 and sophomore Amos Bowen was third in the event at 9:40.01. Sophomore Scott Carter earned a personal best in the triple jump in 47-5 1/4 for second. Graduate student Thomas Atkinson claimed runner-up honors in the 800 meters in 1:53.41, while junior Aaron Derner also crossed the line second in the 5,000 meters in 14:38.57, less than a second away from his personal best. Sophomore Dylan Morin was third in the 5,000 meters at 14:50.91. Freshman Bobby Wingeleth was third in the long jump in 20-11 1/4.Wyoming also concluded action at the UC Riverside Spring Classic on Saturday, as freshman Jordan Charles finished third in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.49, good for seventh in Cowboy history, and senior Audrey West was third in the long jump at 19-3 1/4 for ninth in UW history.

In The Outdoor Rankings
Six Cowboys and Cowgirls rank in the NCAA's top 50 of five events. Senior Garrett Zans is the top Cowboy at sixth in the steeplechase after running 8:57.73 at last weekend's Fum McGraw. Senior Mason Finley and junior Paul Thomas rank No. 24 and 36, respectively, in the discus at 184-10 and 179-5. Junior Kyle Sullivan's 6,772 points in the decathlon are No. 21 in the nation. Senior Taylor Gardner is the top Cowgirl at No. 38 in the 400-meter hurdles with a 1:00.07 at the Fum McGraw, while redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano is No. 47 in the steeplechase with a 10:59.67. Zans, DeStefano, Finley and Sullivan also lead the MW in their respective events.

Top-10 Marks Continue to Fall Outdoors
After combining to set 29 new top-10 marks during the indoor season, the Wyoming men and women have picked up right where they left off in the outdoor season. The Cowboys and Cowgirls started the outdoor season with seven new top-10 marks at two meets last weekend, including the third-fastest steeplechase by Audra DeStefano in 10:59.68 and the seventh-most points in the decathlon by Kyle Sullivan with 6,772. The current Cowboy roster owns nine individual top-10 outdoor marks, while the current Cowgirl roster has 20 individual marks.

Wyoming Preparing to Host MW Outdoor Championships
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will host the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 14-17 at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex in Laramie. It will be the third time Wyoming has hosted a MW Championship in the 15-year history of the conference, after the 2009 outdoor track and field championships and the 2010 cross country championships. In 2009, the Cowboys finished sixth and the Cowgirls were ninth.

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.

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.

Next Up
Wyoming next competes at the CU Invitational on April 12 in Boulder, Colo.