Flashback in Wyoming Athletics History
March 9, 1974
By John Rando
On this date, Wesley Maiyo claimed the first NCAA track title in University of Wyoming history as he ran the 1,000 yard dash in a time of 2:08.01. The freshman from Kapsabet, Kenya was the lone participant for the Cowboys in the NCAA Championships and made Wyoming proud by edging out Keith Francis of Boston College by three-tenths of a second in the finals. Not only did Maiyo win the title, but also broke the school record in the event, which he set just a week before at the WAC Championships, by over a second and a half.
Maiyo entered the NCAA meet as the conference's second best runner in the 880 yard and 1,000 yard dash. Maiyo finished second in both events at the WAC Championships the week before to BYU's Paul Cummings by a combined three-tenths of a second.
Although Maiyo qualified for the NCAA meet in both events but was entered in only the 1000 yard dash by UW coach John Walker after suffering stiffness from the trip.
The next season Maiyo continued to improve upon his performances in the 880 and 1,000 yard dash by setting Cowboy records in both events. Maiyo recorded a time of 1:50.3 and a first place finish at the United States Track and Field Federation Championships on Feb. 15, earning him an All-American certificate for indoor track and field. Maiyo would also go on to claim the WAC titles in both events in 1975 tying the WAC mark in the 880 yard dash with 1:52.0 and setting a new WAC and Wyoming record in the 1,000 yard dash with a time of 2:07.54 minutes.
With his strong performances at the WAC Championships, Maiyo set off for Detroit, Mich., to defend his title in the 1,000 yard dash and to compete in the 880 yard dash. Maiyo would go on to finish sixth in the 880 yard dash with a time of 1:54.0, but had another strong showing in his 1,000 yard event. Again pitted up with Boston College's Keith Francis, who finished second to Maiyo the previous year, the two raced to the finish with Maiyo coming up two seconds behind Francis. Maiyo's performances helped earn the Cowboys a 20th place finish at the NCAA Championships.
Maiyo would continue his greatness on the track for the Cowboys in the outdoor season setting records in the 800 meter and 1,500 meter dash over his two year career. Maiyo still holds the school record in the 800 meter dash for outdoor track with a time of 1:46.44 and will forever claim the record of the 1,000 yard run for indoor track with his time of 2:07.54 in the discontinued event.