LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming's Harry Fisher was understandably excited when he qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 800 meters. After missing last season's national meet by one-tenth of a second the graduate student ran 1:48.78 at last weekend's NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas, to place third in his heat and earn an automatic bid to Eugene, Ore.
But it wasn't validation that Fisher earned that day. His parents, Brian and Sally Fisher, had committed to travel nearly 17 hours from the United Kingdom to watch their son race at the NCAA Championships-provided he qualified. The Fisher's first trip to the United States will include their first opportunity to watch Harry race in Brown and Gold. Now they'll hope to see him race multiple times. The men's 800 meters will run three semifinal heats at 6:54 p.m. MT on Wednesday at historic Hayward Field and Harry must finish in the top two of his heat or be one of the next two times to advance to Friday's final at 6:50 p.m. MT.
Harry, who just earned his master's degree in kinesiology and health promotion, is the third Wyoming student-athlete to advance to the outdoor national meet in the six-year history of the current qualifying system. He is the first to do so in a track event, though, as he looks to become the Cowboys' first outdoor All-American on the track since 1982. Harry is one of 23 student-athletes from the Mountain West competing at this year's meet. Fans can follow live results and live video through GoWYO.com, while ESPNU will televise Wednesday's events and ESPN on Friday.
"This is what Harry's been working for the last two years," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "He was really close last year, so to come back and earn it and make the trip is what he's striven for. Now he can go to Eugene with nothing to lose. He can go out there, get toward the front and see what he can run. At the end of the day, we just want to hit a personal best."
History at the NCAA Outdoor Championships
The Cowboys have earned a total of 19 All-America accolades at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, including seven during the Mountain West era. All seven of those honors have come in the discus, shot put or hammer throw. The most recent Cowboy to earn All-American at the outdoor national meet was Mason Finley finishing sixth in the discus last season. The last Cowboy to earn the honor at the outdoor national meet in a track event was Joe Nzau in the 10,000 meters in 1982. The last Cowboy to All-American in the 800 meters, indoors or outdoors, was Laramie's own Jeremiah Johnson at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Last Time Out: Wyoming's Fisher Qualifies for NCAA Championships
Graduate student Harry Fisher made history for the University of Wyoming track and field teams at the NCAA West Preliminary on May 29, as he qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters. He became the third UW student-athlete to advance to the national meet in the six-year history of the current qualifying system and the first on the track.
"I thought Harry's race was phenomenal," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "He needed to run a smart, strategic race and that's what he did. He came down the home stretch in position and put in that final kick to get the last spot. Last year we had Mason [Finley] at the national meet and this year we have Harry on the track. We are trying to set that tradition that we expect to get people there, so hopefully next year we can get a couple more."
After missing advancing to last season's NCAA Championships by one tenth of a second, Fisher left no doubt on May 29 at Mike A. Myers Stadium. He ran 1:48.78 for third in his heat and an automatic bid, as his time was the ninth-fastest during the quarterfinals. Fisher was fourth for most of the two-lap race, but found an extra gear over the final 100 meters to move up.
"I just tried to put myself in a good position from the start and hold onto that until the 600-meter mark and then see what I could do at the finish," Fisher said. "Luckily I was able to catch a guy. It means a lot to me to advance [to the national meet]. My parents are coming to Eugene, so that was a really big motivation for me. I came so close last season and I knew I was a better athlete this year and just had to improve by one tenth."
Fellow graduate student Thomas Atkinson also ran in the 800-meter quarterfinals, but finished 23rd in 1:53.50. Senior Garrett Zans was 28th in the steeplechase in 9:08.61, while Amos Bowen was 37th at 9:15.85. Sophomore Jordan Charles was 30th in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.22, just three tenths of a second away from advancing. Senior Colin Herold was scratched out of the event. Junior Tyler Anderson finished 40th in the hammer with a throw of 183-9. Sophomore Audra DeStefano was the lone Cowgirl to compete on Friday. She placed 20th in the steeplechase with a time of 10:31.56. Junior Scott Carter wrapped up Wyoming's 15 competitors at the meet on May 30. He placed 40th in the triple jump with a mark of 48-2 3/4.
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 on May 21. The 10 Cowboy and five Cowgirl contenders tied the program's highest total ever, as Wyoming sent the same number last season.
Freshman Ricky Faure was the top Cowboy qualifier, sitting sixth in the West in the 800 meters with a time of 1:47.59. He was joined in the event by graduate students Harry Fisher and Thomas Atkinson. Fisher was 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 competed in their fourth regional meet in the steeplechase and hammer, respectively. Zans was 38th in 8:57.72, while Thomas was 38th as well at 178-7. Junior Amos Bowen joined 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 was 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 was 31st in 14.17, while Herold was 46th at 14.32. Bowen, Anderson, Carter, Charles and Herold all made their second appearance at the regional meet.
The top-ranked Cowgirl was senior Holly Page at 15th in the 10,000 meters at 33:49.66. Sophomore Audra DeStefano was one place higher in the steeplechase with a time of 10:18.51, while senior Erin Kirby was 17th in the 400-meter hurdles at 58.66. Page and DeStefano ran in the regional meet for a second time, while Kirby's was in her third. Senior Shreese Daniels competed in the meet for a fourth time, as she qualified 30th in the hammer with a throw of 195-8. Sophomore Kerry White made her first trip to the regional after running 2:08.53 in the 800 meters for 31st.