May 11, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Track and Field teams will travel south this week to compete in the 2010 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships hosted by the University of New Mexico. The event is projected to have sunny skies and warm weather.
The schedule will consist of the women's heptathlon and the men's decathlon on both Wednesday and Thursday with the bulk of the meet and individuals arriving and starting action on Friday, May 14 and concluding on Saturday. Live results will be available at www.themwc.com.
"We have made some big strides this year and I think that this weekend will be no different," said UW head coach Don Yentes. "We definitely have some kids who have the ability to become all-conference, conference champions and even make it to the national meet in two weeks."
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will send senior Jay Petsch and junior Britney Jackson to the decathlon and heptathlon respectively. Petsch is currently leading the conference in the event with a score of 6,884 points, which he scored at the CSU-Pueblo Invite. Petsch finished third in the heptathlon during the indoor season.
The Cowboys have 10 individuals and two relay teams that are ranked in the MWC's top-five entering this weekend's championship. There are four individuals that are leading their respective events; Petsch (decathlon), senior Sam Lambert (hammer throw), junior Jeremiah James (triple jump) and freshman Lenyn Leonce (long jump).
Lambert finished fifth in the hammer throw in the 2009 MWC Championships, while James has a streak of three triple jump titles, while being crowned long jump champion five straight times. Leonce, actually tied James during the indoor long jump but because James had the distance before Leonce he was crowned champion. James enters this weekend ranked third in the event and three and a half inches behind Leonce.
"We are expecting big things out of this group and need them and some others to step up in order for us to have a good weekend," said Yentes. "We have guys that are really running well along with guys that are throwing great and jumping very well. We can gain some very big points if we perform like we can."
The Cowgirls enter Albuquerque, with 12 top-ten individual entries and two relay teams. Junior Afiya Walker, the reigning champion in the 400-meter indoor championships owns the second best time this weekend. Freshman Taylor Gardner has an opportunity to score some much needed points in the 400-meter hurdles as she is currently third in the conference. Senior Johnna Jeffries, who finished third at the 2009 MWC Championships, enters her final conference meet in fifth in the high jump.
"Our long sprinters are really coming on for us and have been doing a great job this season, I look for them to continue this weekend," said Yentes.