Multiple UW Track and Field Athletes to Compete at NCAA Midwest Regional

May 24, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Several UW track and field athletes have qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional meet, which serves as the qualifying meet for the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The NCAA Midwest Regional is slated for, Friday and Saturday, May 28-29, in College Station, Texas.

Senior Andrea Batt, from Six Mile, Mont., will compete at the Midwest Regional in three throwing events. She qualified with her performance of 162' 7" in the discus throw at the Jack Christiansen Invite April 24th, while also surpassing the qualifying standard in the hammer throw with a distance of 184' 8". At the New Mexico Invite, May 1st, she qualified in the shot put with her mark of 50' 1 1/4".

Sophomore Tanice Barnett, a native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, turned in a NCAA Regional qualifying performance in the women's 800 meter dash at 2004 MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships last weekend. Her time of 4:10.29 was good enough for second place and earned her All-MWC honors.

Two Cowgirls will compete in sprint events at the NCAA Regional. Junior Jessica Fox, from Burns, Wyo., qualified with ease with her time of 52.39 time in the 400 meter dash at the Mountain West Conference Championships. Fox will also compete for the Cowgirls on the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams. She looks to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second consecutive season.

A Sheridan, Wyo. native, Shuana Smith will also look to qualify for the NCAA's for the second straight outdoor season. The junior has qualified for the NCAA Regional in three events. Her times of 13.34 and 56.80 in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles at the Stanford Invite, March 27th, set new UW records in the process and makes her a favorite in both events at the meet. Smith's time of 23.58 on April 3rd at the Tom Benich Classic also qualifies her in the 200 meter dash. She will also race on the Cowgirl 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

Junior Melissa Vallejos, from Weston, Colo., is set for the Midwest Regional after her qualifying performance in the hammer throw at the MWC Championships. Her distance of 177' 7 1/2" is the second best performance of the season for UW.

Kima Wells qualified for the NCAA Regional with her record breaking performance on April 23rd, at the Drake Relays. Wells, a senior from Alpine, Wyo., set a new UW record in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.70. She will also compete for UW in the women's 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays.

Five Cowboys have earned a spot at the NCAA Regional. Sophomore Blake Jackson, who has been out for several weeks due to injury, will return to competition this weekend in the triple jump. The Cheyenne, Wyo. native qualified for the meet with his distance of 49' 10" at the Weber State Invite on April 10th.

Laramie native Jeremiah Johnson qualified for the NCAA's early in the season with his performance of 1:49.99 in the 800 meter run at the Weber State Invite. The sophomore then surpassed his time with his first place finish at the MWC Championships last weekend, crossing the finish line in 1:48.80, the third best time in school history.

A St. Ann, Jamaica native, Robert Harris qualified for the Midwest Regional with his season best performance of 47.13 in the 400 meter dash at the MWC Championships. The time is the best performance by a Cowboy this season and is the third best time in UW history.

Matt Hudson turned in a NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying performance at the New Mexico Invite in the men's 1,500 meter run. Hudson, a sophomore from Signal Mountain, Tenn., placed third overall in the event with a personal best time of 3:52.72.

Junior Zack Schaefer dominated the weight throw event in almost every meet he competed in this season. A Spokane, Wash. native, he took first place in the event at the MWC Championships with a season best distance of 210' 13", earning him the Co-Outstanding Male Athlete award. His distance is the fourth best mark in Cowboy history and currently ranks as the ninth best throw in the country.

For the first time in school history, two Cowgirl relay teams will be competing at the NCAA Regional meet. The Cowgirl 4x100 meter relay team of freshman Amanda Hopper, Smith, Wells and Fox qualified for the Midwest meet with a school record time of 44.63 at the MWC Championships, taking second place and earning All-MWC honors.

The 4x400 meter relay team, consisting of the same four Cowgirls, also set a UW record in the process of qualifying for the Midwest Regional. Their time of 3:33.01 at the Jack Christiansen Invite shattered the previous Cowgirl record of 3:44.48 set last season. The time also set a new all-time Mountain West Conference record.

The 2004 NCAA Midwest Regional will take place at the Frank G. Anderson Track and Field Complex on the campus of Texas A&M University. Wyoming fans can follow the action on the official website for collegiate track and field, www.trackshark.com.