Track & Field Ready to Compete at NCAA West Preliminary
May 27, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
After a strong showing hosting the Mountain West Championships, the University of Wyoming men's and women's track and field teams will send a school-record 15 members to this weekend's NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Ark. Eight Cowboys and seven Cowgirls qualified for the regional meet on Thursday through Saturday by posting top-48 marks in their respective events. They now must finish in the top 12 at Arkansas to advance to the NCAA Championships on June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore. Fans can follow live results and live video of the NCAA West Preliminary through GoWYO.com.
Wyoming concluded the MW meet on May 17 with a school-record seven event titles to pace the men and women to fifth and fourth, respectively, in the team race. The Cowgirls posted 94 points for their highest finish since 2005 and most points since 2004, while the Cowboys earned 110 for their highest finish since 2010 and second-most points ever at the MW outdoor meet. Sophomore Kereston Thomas was the most impressive Cowgirl during the event, as she won the 100 meters in a school-record time, was part of the winning 4x100-meter relay and was just barely edged in the 200 meters to finish second. Senior Mason Finley continued his outstanding outdoor campaign with victories in the discus and shot put. His throw in the shot put set a Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex record and ranked fifth in school history.
"Our program is proud we qualified our most kids ever for the region meet, but what's more exciting is several have a chance to advance on to the national meet," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "Because of their performances during the regular season, they don't have to do anything special at regionals this weekend. They don't need to put pressure on themselves to overperform in their events, but just go out and do what got them here. If they do that, we could advance a handful of kids."
History at the NCAA West Preliminary
15 Wyoming Tracksters Earn NCAA Bids
To reach the NCAA's East or West Preliminary meet, an athlete must be ranked in the region's top 48 of his/her event. From there, the top 12 finishers in each event at the two regional meets will receive an bid to the NCAA Championships on June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
Senior Mason Finley is the top Cowboy qualifier, sitting second in the West in the discus with a mark of 210-6. Fellow senior Garrett Zans runs in his third regional meet in the steeplechase with a time of 8:50.45 for 10th. He also ran the event at the 2011 and 2012 meets. Junior Paul Thomas competes in his third-straight NCAA meet by qualifying 13th in the discus at 190-11. Graduate student Harry Fisher advances in the 800 meters with a time of 1:49.51 for 22nd, while sophomore Scott Carter is 26th in the triple jump at 50-6 3/4. Freshman Jordan Charles ranks 31st in the 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Tyler Anderson is 42nd in the hammer at 198-0 and sophomore Amos Bowen is 44th in the 5,000 meters at 14:07.20.
Senior Taylor Gardner is the top Cowgirl at 13th in the 400-meter hurdles in 58.14. She also qualified in the event last season. Sophomore Kereston Thomas made the top 48 in the 100 and 200 meters. Her time of 11.57 in the 100 is 28th and 23.85 in the 200 is 35th. Senior Jenna Mann made two events as well, the 100-meter hurdles and long jump. She ranks 31st in the hurdles in 13.58 and 47th in the long jump at 19-6 1/4. Mann, Thomas and Gardner will combine with senior Katy Hall to run the 4x100-meter relay, which is ranked 22nd at 45.32. Junior Shreese Daniels makes her third-straight trip to the regional meet and second in the hammer with a throw of 190-6 to rank 39th. Redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano is 32nd in the steeplechase at 10:24.04. Junior Holly Page is 48th in the 10,000 meters at 35:04.
Wyoming's NCAA West Preliminary Qualifiers
Last Time Out: Wyoming Concludes Historic MW Meet with Four More Titles
Sophomore Kereston Thomas was part of two MW titles on the day. She paced the 100-meter field in a school-record 11.57, while combining with Jenna Mann, Taylor Gardner and Audrey West to win the 4x100-meter relay in 45.32 for the second-fastest time in Cowgirl history. Gardner had a victory of her own by running 58.52 in the 400-meter hurdles, UW's second championship in the event in the last four seasons. Senior Mason Finley was UW's other victory with a facility-record throw of 60-11 1/4 in the shot put to rank fifth in Cowboy history. Wyoming's seven total titles this year are the most it has ever captured at one conference meet, indoors or outdoors.
Thomas is the first Cowgirl ever to win the 100 meters at the conference meet and is the first Cowgirl with two victories at one conference meet since Shauna Smith in 2005. Thomas also finished runner-up in the 200 meters in 23.97. Finley is the first Cowboy to accomplish two conference titles at one meet since Jeremiah James in 2010.
The Cowgirls hung around third for most of the day and were in line to tie their best finish ever, but were nipped by half a point in the final team totals by Colorado State. Sophomore McKenzie Brogan was third in the 400 meters in a personal-best 55.64 for ninth in UW history, while freshman Kerry White ran a personal-best 2:10.00 for fourth in the 800 meters and third in school history.
The Cowboys started the day in second and were in third until nearly the last event as well. Graduate student Harry Fisher was second in the 800 meters, as he ran 1:49.86 and lost by just two thousandths of a second. Freshman Jordan Charles was second in the 110-meter hurdles in a personal-best 14.11 to stay sixth in school history in the event. Charles was sixth in the 100 meters in a personal-best 10.67 to move to ninth in UW history. Senior Garrett Zans led a trio of Cowboys to score in the 5,000 meters in a personal-best 14:06.26 for fourth. His time ranks seventh in Wyoming history, while sophomore Amos Bowen notched a PR of 14:07.20 for eighth in UW history and fifth in the race.
Cowboys and Cowgirls Set Program Records for All-MW Honors
Sophomore Kereston Thomas and senior Taylor Gardner highlighted the honorees for the Cowgirls with three apiece. Thomas ran a school-record 11.57 to win the 100 meters and was second in the 200 meters, while Gardner crossed the line first in the 400-meter hurdles in 58.52 and was a member of the second-place 4x400-meter relay. The duo also teamed with seniors Jenna Mann and Audrey West to win the 4x100-meter relay at 45.32, the second-fastest time in Wyoming history. Mann was one of two Cowgirls to earn two All-MW honors, as she also finished third in the heptathlon, just three points shy of the school record. Sophomore McKenzie Brogan claimed two all-conference honors as she placed third in the 400 meters and ran on the 4x400 with senior Candace Wollert and freshman Kerry White. Redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano was runner-up in the steeplechase to round out UW's honorees.
For the Cowboys, senior Mason Finley claimed two All-MW honors with victories in the discus and shot put. His throw of 60-11 1/4 in the shot put ranks fifth in Wyoming history. Senior Garrett Zans and junior Kyle Sullivan won the steeplechase and decathlon, respectively, while junior Paul Thomas, graduate student Harry Fisher and freshman Jordan Charles were runners-up in the discus, 800 meters and 110-meter hurdles. Charles' personal-best time of 14.11 in the hurdles ranks sixth in UW history. Sophomore Scott Carter placed third in the triple jump.
Wyoming head coach Bryan Berryhill's student-athletes have earned a total of 39 All-MW accolades in track and field during his first two years in Laramie.
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