Track Teams Battle Through Second Day at MWC Championships
Feb. 28, 2003
Laramie, Wyo. - The University of Wyoming track and field teams turned in solid performances on day two of the Mountain West Indoor Track and Field Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Going into Saturday's final round of competition, the Cowboys are holding strong to fourth place with 34 points while the Cowgirls are in sixth place with 21 points.
Senior Mervin Swaby took home second place in the men's long jump with a leap of 24' 1 3/4" to earn all-conference honors for the fourth straight season in the event. Fellow senior Dan Williams also nabbed second place honors in the weight throw with a mark of 64' 6" (a provisional qualifying mark) to earn all-conference honors as well. Sophomore Zack Schaefer and senior John Griffith finished behind Williams in third and fourth place with throws of 63' 9 1/2" and 61' 3 1/2", respectively.
"These guys did an excellent job for us today," said UW head track and field coach Don Yentes. "Swaby has been strong in the long jump all season and our three throwers all set personal records today and got us some big points."
The UW women's throw crew also turned heads in the weight throw as three Cowgirls finished in the top four in the event. Senior Crystal Smith notched second place with a mark of 62' 1". Junior Andrea Batt took third in the event for the second straight season with a personal record throw of 60' 6 3/4", and sophomore Melissa Vallejos placed fourth with a distance of 56' 3 3/4".
Sophomore Jessica Fox took the spotlight for the Cowgirls on the track by
qualifying for three events in tomorrow's final round of competition. Fox
set a new school record in the 200 meter dash with a time of 24.27 seconds
to move on, while also qualifying in the 60 meter dash (7.59) and 400 meter
dash (55.83). Junior Kima Wells will compete in two events in tomorrow's
final round. Wells' time of 7.46 seconds in the 60 meter dash was the second
fastest time of the day, she also had the fourth best time in the 200 meter
dash with a time of 24.67 seconds. Other Cowgirls who will be competing
tomorrow that posted qualifying times in their events include freshman
Janine Brathwaite in the 60 meter dash (7.80), sophomore Tanice Barnett in
the 800 meters (2:16.59), freshmen Christine Michel in the mile run
(5:26.05), freshman Maggie Diller in the mile run (5:26.44) and sophomore
Shauna Smith in the 60 meter hurdles (8.54).
However, Brathwaite and Smith both suffered injuries that might keep them out of action on Saturday. Braithwaite pulled her hamstring competing in the long jump and Smith twisted her ankle crossing the finish line in the prelims of the 60 meter hurdles.
"It is unfortunate that the two girls qualified for the finals in their events and might not compete tomorrow," said Yentes. "The fact of the matter is that if they can't compete tomorrow it is going to cost us some points."
The Cowboys also have several athletes competing in Saturday's finals. Senior Mervin Swaby turned in the best time in the 60 meter dash (6.89) to move on. Freshman Robert Harris' time of 7.08 seconds in the 60 meter dash advances him into the finals, as well as his time of 49.39 seconds in the 400 meter dash. Freshman Jeremiah Johnson took second in his heat of the 800 meter prelims with a time of 1:54.88 seconds to advance, and sophomore Matt Hudson's time of 4:24.36 seconds moves him into the finals of the mile run.
"The men couldn't have done a better job today," added Yentes. "I am very pleased with they way they performed today and we have a chance of moving up from fourth place tomarrow. The women did a great job as well. Unfortunately we had some things go wrong, but those things happen. Overall, I am very pleased with where we are."
Saturday's final round of competition begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Air Force Fieldhouse.