LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams will be at three meets across the country this weekend. The majority of the Cowboys and Cowgirls will travel to Colorado State's Jack Christiansen Invite on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT in Fort Collins, Colo. Wyoming will also send a men's 4x800-meter relay to run at the Drake Relays on Friday at 7:15 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa, while a group of jumpers and hurdles will compete at the Triton Invite on Saturday at 11 a.m. in San Diego, Calif. Fans can follow live coverage of each meet through GoWYO.com.
Wyoming was off last weekend, but competed at New Mexico and Colorado in its last outing. The Cowboys and Cowgirls set four all-time top-10 marks in Albuquerque on April 10 and followed with three more historic marks in Boulder on April 11. Senior Erin Kirby won the 400-meter hurdles at both events, including the third-fastest time in school history, to earn Mountain West Female Track Athlete of the Week on April 14.
"It was nice to have a weekend off," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "It gave our coaches a chance to work on some technical aspects and our student-athletes to work on their fitness levels. We're excited to see where those athletes that had last week off are at. The group we are sending out to San Diego are student-athletes that are currently on the bubble for the NCAA's first round. We know it'll be nice weather for them to compete in it out there. The group going to Drake gets a great opportunity to race some of the best schools in the nation and see where Wyoming stacks up in the middle distances."
Last Time Out: More Historic Marks for Wyoming at Colorado Invite
Fresh off four all-time top-10 performances on April 10 in Albuquerque, the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams added three more historic marks on April 11 at the Colorado Invite at Potts Field. Harry Fisher and Thomas Atkinson ran top-six times in the 800 meters, while Shreese Daniels moved up in the hammer throw.
"I'm really happy with these two days," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "Our kids performed extremely well across the board. Every event area did a very good job. We put them under some adversity with the travel and back-to-back competitions which can be mentally draining, but they responded well."
Fisher and Atkinson, both graduate students, went 1-2 in the 800 meters on April 10 in altitude-converted times of 1:48.31 and 1:49.08, respectively. Fisher's personal-best time moved him to second in Cowboy history in the event, less than two seconds away from Wesley Maiyo's school record in 1975, and ranked second in the Mountain West and 19th in the NCAA at the time. Atkinson's time was a personal best as well and placed him sixth in UW history, just shy of freshman Ricky Faure's 1:48.87 on April 10. Wyoming's other all-time top-10 showing over the weekend was junior Lance Loken running a personal-best 48.38 in the 400 meters on April 10 for ninth in school history.
The Cowboys also got event victories on April 11 from senior Colin Herold and junior Dylan Morin. Herold crossed the line in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.39 for first, while Morin accomplished the same in the 3,000 meters in 8:24. Other personal bests for the Pokes included junior Tyler Anderson and sophomore Damon Unland. Anderson threw 198-4 for fourth in the hammer and Unland was fifth in the discus at 171-5.
Daniels, a senior, threw a personal-best 191-6 in the hammer to finish fourth on April 11 and move to sixth in Cowgirl history. Sophomore Kerry White won the 800 meters in 2:10 and was followed in third by fellow sophomore Cassidy Meade in 2:12. Meade ran a personal-best 2:11.22 on April 10 for the sixth-fastest time in Wyoming history in the event. Senior Erin Kirby paced the field in the 400-meter hurdles on April 11 in 58.96, just three hundredths of a second slower than her top-three time in school history on April 10. Freshman Hannah Carr threw 151-9 in the discus to tie a personal best for second, while fellow freshman Day Timberman leapt a personal-best 37-1 1/4 in the triple jump for fourth.
A Historic Quartet
Wyoming's 4x800-meter relay at the Drake Relays will consist of graduate students Harry Fisher and Thomas Atkinson, both from the United Kingdom, and freshmen Ricky Faure and Calum Kepler, both from Wyoming. The quartet has already etched their names in the Cowboy record books this spring. Fisher ran 1:48.34 on April 11 for the second-fastest 800 meters in school history, while Atkinson finished right behind him in 1:49.11 for sixth in Cowboy history. That was after Faure notched 1:48.83 for fourth in Cowboy history the previous day. All three rank in the top six in the Mountain West this season and top 50 in the NCAA. Kepler's best this season was 1:54.14 on March 28. Wyoming will face an 18-team field at the Drake Relays that features squads from the Big 10, SEC and Pac-12.
Kirby Claims MW Female Track Athlete of the Week
Wyoming's Erin Kirby was named the Mountain West Female Track Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced April 14. The weekly award was the first of her track and field career, but second overall in 2014-15 after she was named the MW's volleyball player of the week on Oct. 20.
A native of Evanston, Wyo., Kirby won the 400-meter hurdles at two meets on April 10-11. She ran a personal-best 58.93 on April 10 to win the event at the New Mexico Quadrangular in Albuquerque, N.M. Her time was the third fastest in Cowgirl history, while leading the MW and ranking 23rd in the NCAA at the time. She followed with a time of 58.96 on April 11 to win the event at the Colorado Invite in Boulder, Colo.
Wyoming's three weekly honorees during the outdoor track and field season have all hailed from the Equality State. Kirby joined Audra DeStefano (Gillette) and Ricky Faure (Rock Springs) in earning the conference's track athlete of the week. Kirby was the first Wyoming student-athlete to earn weekly honors in two different sports since Jesseca Cross accomplished the feat in 1997-98. Cross, a native of Powell, Wyo., was named the WAC women's basketball player of the week on Feb. 10, 1997 and Trackwire's National Athlete of the Week on Jan. 23, 1998. Cross was a forward in basketball and thrower in track and field.
Rewriting Wyoming's All-Time Top 10
Seven Wyoming student-athletes had all-time top-10 performances in UW's last competition. In the 800 meters, graduate student Harry Fisher ran the second-fastest time in school history at 1:48.34, while freshman Ricky Faure posted the fourth mark at 1:48.83. Fellow graduate student Thomas Atkinson was right behind with the No. 6 mark at 1:49.11. On the women's side, sophomore Cassidy Meade's 2:11.22 ranked sixth in Cowgirl history in the event. Senior Erin Kirby posted the No. 3 time in the 400-meter hurdles in 58.93, while fellow senior Shreese Daniels moved up to sixth in the hammer at 191-6. Junior Lance Loken ran the ninth-fastest 400 meters in Cowboy history at 48.27. The current Cowboy roster owns 20 individual top-10 marks in Wyoming's outdoor history, while the current Cowgirl roster has 21. The two squads combined for 17 all-time top-10 marks at the MW Indoor Championships and have 86 entrees between the two programs and the two seasons.
Checking the Outdoor Rankings
Five Cowboys and Cowgirls currently rank in the NCAA's top 50 of an event. Senior Holly Page is the top Cowgirl at No. 20 in the 10,000 meters after a school-record 33:49 at the Stanford Invite on April 3. Graduate student Harry Fisher is the top Cowboy at No. 24 in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48 at the Colorado Invite on April 11. Sophomore Jordan Charles is the only Cowboy or Cowgirl to lead the Mountain West, as his time of 14.35 in the 110-meter hurdles is first in the conference. In the latest USTFCCCA outdoor regional team rankings the Wyoming men are 10th in the mountain region, while the Wyoming women are 12th. The Cowboys finished the 2014 outdoor campaign ranked 10th in the mountain region, while the Cowgirls were 11th.
Wyoming makes its final preparations for the Mountain West Outdoor Championships by hosting the Cowpoke Open on May 1 at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex in Laramie.