LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams send a school-record 15 members to this week's NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas. Ten Cowboys and five Cowgirls qualified for the regional meet hosted Thursday through Saturday by posting top-48 marks in their respective events. They now must finish in the top 12 in Texas to advance to the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Eugene, Ore. Fans can follow live results and live video of the NCAA West Preliminary through GoWYO.com.
Wyoming's 15 qualifiers tie the programs most ever with last season, as 12 of those 15 Cowboys and Cowgirls have competed at the West regional before. The question now is will that experience pay off? In the five-year history of the current qualifying system, Wyoming has advanced just two student-athletes past the preliminary round to the NCAA Championships. Graduate student Harry Fisher nearly accomplished the feat last season in the 800 meters, as he finished just one tenth of a second away in 15th place. He's back for a second shot and is ranked 16th going into this weekend. Freshman Ricky Faure has a shot to advance as well, as he enters sixth in the 800 meters. A trio of Cowgirls could also advance with strong performances. Senior Holly Page is 15th in the 10,000 meters, sophomore Audra DeStefano is 16th in the steeplechase and senior Erin Kirby is 17th in the 400-meter hurdles.
"What's neat about this group is 12 of the 15 have been there before," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "We want to get to the level where we don't just expect to qualify for this meet, but advance out of it and earn All-America honors. That being said, a number of these student-athletes just have to do what got them there as far as performance. They can't put too much pressure on themselves."
History at the NCAA West Preliminary
Wyoming's 15 qualifiers for this year's NCAA West Preliminary tie the programs most ever, matching the same amount sent last season. Just two UW athletes have advanced past the regional meet in the five-year history of the current qualifying system. Jeremiah James made the NCAA Championships in the triple jump in 2010 and Mason Finley did last season in the discus. The Wyoming men have earned 19 All-America honors outdoors, while the women have 18. The last Cowboy to claim the accolade was Finley last season with a sixth-place finish in the discus, while the last Cowgirl was national champion Shauna Smith in the 400-meter hurdles in 2005.
15 Wyoming Track & Field Members Earn NCAA Bids
Fifteen University of Wyoming track and field student-athletes qualified to compete in the NCAA West Preliminary on May 28-30 in Austin, Texas, the governing body announced last Thursday. The 10 Cowboy and five Cowgirl contenders tie the program's highest total ever, as Wyoming sent the same number last season.
Freshman Ricky Faure is the top Cowboy qualifier, sitting sixth in the West in the 800 meters with a time of 1:47.59. He'll be joined in the event by graduate students Harry Fisher and Thomas Atkinson. Fisher is 16th at 1:48.34 for his second-straight trip to the regional meet, while Atkinson qualified for the first time in 1:49.11 for 27th. Seniors Garrett Zans and Paul Thomas will compete in their fourth regional meet in the steeplechase and hammer, respectively. Zans is 38th in 8:57.72, while Thomas is 38th as well at 178-7. Junior Amos Bowen will join Zans in the steeplechase, ranking 35th at 8:56.57. Fellow junior Tyler Anderson threw 198-4 in the hammer to rank 35th and junior Scott Carter is 43rd in the triple jump at 49-3 3/4. Sophomore Jordan Charles and senior Colin Herold both made it in the 110-meter hurdles. Charles is 31st in 14.17, while Herold is 46th at 14.32. Bowen, Anderson, Carter, Charles and Herold are all making their second appearance at the regional meet.
The top-ranked Cowgirl is senior Holly Page at 15th in the 10,000 meters at 33:49.66. Sophomore Audra DeStefano is one place higher in the steeplechase with a time of 10:18.51, while senior Erin Kirby is 17th in the 400-meter hurdles at 58.66. Page and DeStefano are running in the regional meet for a second time, while Kirby's in her third. Senior Shreese Daniels will compete in the meet for a fourth time, as she qualified 30th in the hammer with a throw of 195-8. Sophomore Kerry White will make her first trip to the regional after running 2:08.53 in the 800 meters for 31st.
Wyoming's NCAA West Preliminary Qualifiers
Tyler Anderson - Hammer - 198-4 - 35th West
Thomas Atkinson - 800 Meters - 1:49.11 - 27th West
Amos Bowen - Steeplechase - 8:56.57 - 35th West
Scott Carter - Triple Jump - 49-3 3/4 - 43rd West
Jordan Charles - 110-Meter Hurdles - 14.17 - 31st West
Ricky Faure - 800 Meters - 1:47.59 - 6th West
Harry Fisher - 800 Meters - 1:48.34 - 16th West
Colin Herold - 110-Meter Hurdles - 14.32 - 46th West
Paul Thomas - Discus - 178-7 - 38th West
Garrett Zans - Steeplechase - 8:57.72 - 38th West
Shreese Daniels - Hammer - 195-8 - 30th West
Audra DeStefano - Steeplechase - 10:18.51 - 16th West
Erin Kirby - 400-Meter Hurdles - 58.66 - 17th West
Holly Page - 10,000 Meters - 33:49.66 - 15th West
Kerry White - 800 Meters - 2:08.53 - 31st West
Last Time Out: Faure Wins 800 to Wrap Up MW Meet for Wyoming
Freshman Ricky Faure won the 800 meters to help the University of Wyoming men's team finish fifth in the final team standings at the 2015 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 16. The Cowboys racked up 99 points, while the Cowgirls earned 52 points for eighth on the women's side.
Faure, a native of Rock Springs, Wyo., crossed the line first in 1:48.79, the fifth-fastest time ever at the MW meet, to earn Wyoming's first MW title in the outdoor 800 meters since Jeremiah Johnson in 2004. He also became the first Cowboy freshman to win a MW title since Jeremiah James in the long jump during the 2008 outdoor season. Wyoming would collect 21 points in the 800 meters, as graduate students Harry Fisher and Thomas Atkinson were right behind Faure in third at 1:49.16 and fourth at 1:49.97, respectively. Faure and Fisher also teamed with junior Lance Loken and freshman Kevin Blackett to help Wyoming's 4x400-meter relay finish fourth in 3:12.69, the seventh-fastest time in Cowboy history.
The Cowboys earned 15 teams points in the 110-meter hurdles. Sophomore Jordan Charles was third in 14.30, followed by senior Colin Herold in fourth at 14.32, senior Kyle Sullivan sixth in 14.50 and junior Scott Carter eighth in 14.93. Herold also placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 54.28, while Carter was sixth in the triple jump at 48-8 3/4. Herold, Charles, Blackett and senior Jason Roascio ran 41.82 in the 4x100-meter relay for fifth. Senior Paul Thomas was seventh in the shot put with a mark of 51-7 1/4, while freshman Clay Carlson finished the same in the 400 meters after running 49.06. Colorado State won the seven-team men's field with 187 points, followed by Air Force with 172 and New Mexico at 145.
The Cowgirls got runner-up finishes from sophomore Kerry White and senior Erin Kirby. White ran 2:09.66 for second in the 800 meters, while Kirby crossed the line in 59.61 in the 400-meter hurdles. Kirby teamed with junior McKenzie Brogan, senior Audrey West and freshman Kim Robertson to place second in the 4x400-meter relay in 3:41.77, the eight-fastest time in Cowgirl history. Individually, Brogan placed eighth in the 400 meters in 56.01. Colorado State won the 11-team women's field with 167 points, while New Mexico was second at 133 and San Diego State was third with 116.
Rewriting Wyoming's All-Time Top 10
Wyoming had seven all-time top-10 performances at the MW Championships on May 13-16. Senior Kyle Sullivan was the highlight for the UW men, as his 6,949 points in the decathlon moved him to sixth in Cowboy history. Sophomore Megan Brunette led five all-time marks for the Cowgirls with a time of 35:25.17 in the 10,000 meters to rank third in the event. The current Cowboy roster owns 22 individual top-10 marks in Wyoming's outdoor history, while the current Cowgirl roster has 22 as well. The two squads combined for 17 all-time top-10 marks at the MW Indoor Championships and have 89 entrees between the two programs and the two seasons.
Cowboys and Cowgirls who finish in the top 12 of their event at the NCAA West Preliminary will advance to the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Eugene, Ore.