Eight UW Tracksters Head to NCAA Regional Meet

May 29, 2008

LARAMIE, Wyo. -


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The University of Wyoming track and field team is sending eight qualifiers to the NCAA Midwest Regional meet this weekend in Lincoln, Neb., hosted by the University of Nebraska.

The eight individuals, their events and times they are competing in include for the Cowgirls: senior Kate Burton (hammer throw and discus throw, Fri. 1 pm and 5 pm), senior Gretchen Johnson (5,000-m run, Fri. 6:40 pm), junior Shaylee Babbitt (100-m hurdles, Sat. 4:45 pm), and junior Courtney Gougler (discus, Fri. 5 pm). The Cowboys are sending senior Vashone West (100-m dash, Fri 3:40 pm), junior John Alderson (triple jump, Sat. 5 pm), freshman Jeremiah James (long jump, Fri. 5 pm), and freshman Alan John (hammer throw, Sat. 1:00 pm).

Burton, a native of Vancouver, Wash., and a Clark Junior College transfer qualified in her first year at UW, then redshirted last season. During the 2006 season she placed 21st at the NCAA Championships in the hammer throw. Kate currently owns the best throw in Wyoming's history and the eighth best throw in the nation with her toss of 209' 8".

Johnson, a Sheridan High School graduate from Basin, Wyo., qualified earlier this year at the Stanford Invite where she ran her personal best time of 16:35.98, four one-hundredths off the record time. Gretchen ran in the 2007 Cross Country NCAA Championships this past season where she placed 116th out of 253 runners.

Babbitt ran her personal best time of 13.62 at the recent MWC Championships and won her first title in four years. A resident of Yoder, Wyo., she will compete in her first Regional meet.

Gougler, the junior thrower from Glencoe, Okla., was the first to qualify as she tossed her personal best 166' in the discus at the first meet of the outdoor season in Boulder, Colo. Courtney competed in the 2007 NCAA Regional meet where she placed eighth in the discus.

For the Cowboys, Vashone West from Fountain Springs, Colo., qualified in the 100-meter dash earlier this year at the Front Range Invite in Laramie with his time of 10.38. Vashone currently holds the fifth best time in UW history in the 200-meter dash at 21.29.

Alderson, a team captain from New Castle, Colo., qualified in the triple jump this year with his leap of 49' 4 1/2" in Laramie at the Front Range Invite. John was all-conference this indoor season as well as the outdoor season in both the long jump and the triple jump.

James, a freshman from Morne Fortune, St. Lucia, broke the top five all-time UW list in the long jump with his personal best leap of 24' 9 1/4" and won a title at the MWC Championships in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Finally, freshman Alan John from Jackson, Wyo., threw his personal best 190' in the hammer throw at the Front Range Invite earlier this May. Look for Alan to keep improving gain some much needed postseason experience.

There will be a live video stream available this weekend for the NCAA Midwest Track and Field Regional meet for free at Huskers.com by clicking on the Live Radio link.