From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan
Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE – The first step toward competing at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships begins this weekend, when the Wyoming track & field teams send 11 athletes to the NCAA West Preliminary in Sacramento, Calif. The three-day meet runs Thursday through Saturday. Athletes and relay teams that finish in the top-12 earn a spot at the NCAA National Championships held in Austin, Texas June 5 through June 8.
“The fun thing about this meet now, you go to the Mountain West and it’s about scoring points for your team, but this one is all about putting it all out there,” said head coach Bryan Berryhill. “If you’re timid or don’t go out there and compete at 100 percent, you’re definitely not going to make it through. You don’t have to look at it as scoring points, it’s just doing the best you can.”
Kirk Unland and Eric McArthur will kick off the meet for the Pokes in the men’s hammer throw at 1 p.m. (MT) on Thursday. Unland won the Mountain West hammer throw title with a personal-best throw of 205 feet, 11 inches, which is No. 8 all-time at UW. He is seeded 29th with that throw, while McArthur’s PR throw of 198-9 is seeded 39th.
William Nolan will compete in the first of two events this weekend when he enters the long jump field at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. He is seeded 45th in the event with a personal-best leap of 24 feet, 4.25 inches. He will continue his meet on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with the men’s triple jump, where he is seeded 34th with a career-best leap of 49-10.5 He has the ninth-best triple jump and 10th-best long jump in Cowboy history.
Thursday’s action continues to roll with Emelda Malm-Annan in the women’s hammer throw at 5 p.m. Her season- and career-best throw of 202-7 is third-best all-time at Wyoming and will be seeded 20th at the meet.
Jerayah Davis begins her busy meet with the women’s 100-meter dash first round at 7:30 p.m. She is seeded fourth in the race with a school-record time of 11.18, and it is the first of three events for the Casper native. She will also compete in the first round of the women’s long jump at 7:45 p.m., with fellow senior Ja’la Henderson. Davis is seeded fourth with a school-record mark of 21-2.5, while Henderson’s PR leap of 20-6.5 is seeded 23rd.
Thursday wraps up at 10:40 p.m. with the men’s 10,000m race, where Christopher Henry is making his second-consecutive appearance at the preliminary meet. He is seeded 46th in the event with a personal-best time of 29:24.74. That time is the eighth-fastest time in Cowboy history. The meet cutoff time of 29:26.05 is the fastest in the history of the West Preliminary, and it’s eight seconds faster than last season.
Friday’s competition for the Pokes beings at 7 p.m., for the quarterfinals of the women’s 100m dash, if Davis advances out of Thursday’s first round.
Then, at 9:20 p.m., the women’s steeplechase begins, where Kacey Doner’s time of 10:19.86 is seeded 28th. That is the second-fastest steeplechase time in Cowgirl history. This year’s meet cutoff of 10:29.91 is just the second year it’s been under 10:30.00, as it is one of the deepest fields in the meet.
Harry Ewing will run in the men’s steeplechase at 10 p.m. after the conclusion of the women’s race. Ewing is Wyoming’s school-record holder in the meet with a time of 8:42.72, and he enters the meet ranked seventh in the West. Ewing narrowly missed advancing to last year’s outdoor championships.
Saturday is the final day of competition, and the Pokes will be well-represented. Henderson will continue her weekend with the triple jump at 4 p.m., before teaming up with Davis, Shayla Howell and Jordan Edmonds for the 4x100m relay. Henderson’s triple jump season-best of 42-9 is seeded 18th. The relay squad is ranked 17th in the West with a time of 44.78, which is second-fastest in school history. The men’s triple jump at 7:30 with Nolan will conclude the meet for Wyoming.
Fans can follow links on GoWyo.com for live stats and a live stream. Additionally, updates will be posted on Twitter @wyo_track.