June 9, 2009
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming track and field teams will send two Cowboys to the NCAA Championships beginning Wednesday and continuing through Saturday, June 10-13 at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.
The two seniors, Jake Shanklin and Mark Korir, will be competing for the last time for the Brown and Gold on Wednesday, looking to qualify for the finals that will be held on Friday. The top-12 in the hammer throw and the top-14 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase will move on to the finals.
Shanklin will kick-off the Championships at the Don McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas at 8:30 a.m. (MT) on Wednesday with the hammer throw, while Korir will compete at 6:15 p.m. (MT).
Shanklin, in the hammer throw is currently ranked tenth out of 25 individuals with his personal best toss of 219' 11" which ranks third in UW history.
"He is a seasoned veteran and I am just trying to keep him fresh for this weekend," said UW assistant coach Paul Barrett. "Jake just has to do what he has done all year in order to move onto the finals on Friday."
Shanklin has earned All-American status twice during his career, both during the indoor season in the 35lb weight throw. This will be his second trip to the outdoor NCAA Championships as he competed in 2007 and unfortunately fouled all three times.
Korir will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Wednesday in the first of two heats which total 25 individuals. The runners from both heats will vie for 14 finals spots on Friday. Korir ran his personal best in the event at the Midwest Regionals last week with his time of 8:54.21.
"Mark is a great racer and a great competitor and if he doesn't make it to the finals it won't be due to a lack of determination," said UW assistant coach Randy Cole. "Mark just needs to be prepared for any surges and have the ability to run a great last two or three laps to give himself a chance."
Korir has been named All-American three times, twice during the cross country season and once during the indoor season in the 5,000-meter run. Korir's time in the steeplechase ranks sixth all-time in Wyoming history.
Television coverage of the NCAA Championships will be aired live on Friday, June 12, at 5:00 PM MT, on CBS College Sports and Saturday, June 13, at 11:00 AM MT, on CBS Sports. Live web coverage and live stats are available online at www.ncaa.com/dioutdoortrack09.