Five Wyoming Athletes Capture All-American Honors At NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
March 13, 2004
Fayetteville, Ark. - Five University of Wyoming track and field athletes earned All-American honors in their respective events Saturday at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Cowboys Zack Schaefer, Kyle Herl and Jeremiah Johnson took home the title as well as Cowgirls Shauna Smith and Jessica Fox.
Schaefer, a native of Battle Ground, Wash., recorded the seventh best mark in the men's weight throw. His distance of 66' 5 1/4" placed him in the top eight, earning him All-American status for the first time in his career. Junior Kyle Herl, from Hays, Kan., finished ninth in the event with a distance of 65' 7 3/4". Herl record the eighth best American mark to earn the distinction. The top eight finisher's along with the top eight Americans earn All-American honors by the United States Track and Field Association. Schaefer and Herl become the 11th and 12th Cowboys in program history to win All-American honors in the weight throw.
Laramie, Wyo. native Jeremiah Johnson finished 14th in the men's 800 meter run Friday with a time of 1:50.94. Although he did not qualify of the finals, Johnson earns All-American honors as he posted the eighth best time by an American.
Shauna Smith, a junior from Sheridan, Wyo., won the high distinction for the second time in her career by placing sixth in the finals of the women's 400 meter dash with a remarkable time of 51.79. Her time breaks her previous UW and Mountain West Conference record in the event, 52.09, that she set yesterday in the prelim's.
Junior Jessica Fox, from Burns,Wyo., also earned All-American honors in the women's 400 meter dash. Fox crossed the finish line in 52.90 to place 12th overall. She did not qualify for the finals in the event, but she did post the sixth best time by an American. Fox receives the honor for the second time in her career as she won the award at last season's outdoor championships.
"To have five of our athletes earn All-American honors is just
great," said UW head track and field coach Don Yentes. "They are
among the top one percent of all the collegiate athletes in the
nation, which shows you how great of an accomplishment this is."
UW's Andrea Batt, a senior from Six Mile, Mont., closed out her indoor season with a 15th place finish in the women's shot put. Batt's recorded a distance of 50' 1 3/4" in the field of 18 competitors.
Saturday ended on a sour note for Wyoming as the Cowgirl 4x400 meter relay team of Jessica Fox, Kima Wells, Amanda Hopper and Shauna Smith finished in a disappointing 11th place. Fox had the baton knocked out of her hand on the first leg of the race causing very slow start for the squad. They finished the race with a time of 3:56.56.
"It was very disappointing to see that," added Yentes. "The girls had worked really hard for this, but things like this happen. They have the ability to qualify for the outdoor championships so we will just have to look forward to that."
All of Saturday's action at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be aired on ESPN2 on Wednesday, March 17th at 1-3:30 p.m., M.T.
The Wyoming track and field programs will now prepare for their outdoor campaign. They start the outdoor season on March 27 as half the athletes will compete at the Stanford Invite in Palo Alto, Calif. and the others will travel to the Rob Upton Invite in Fort Collins, Colo.