From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan
Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE – After a little over a week since the last meet of the regular season, the Wyoming track & field squads are ready for the Mountain West Outdoor Championships, held this year at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, Calif. Fresno State will host the four-day event that begins on Wednesday and runs through Saturday. However, the Pokes will get started on Thursday with the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter run at the conclusion of the multi-events.
“We’re competing about as well as we have all year these last couple of weeks,” said head track & field coach Bryan Berryhill. “That’s always important. You want that momentum toward the end of the season. The student-athletes are confident, and the coaches are doing a great job getting them ready. I think we have quite a few individuals that have a chance to win a conference championship, which is pretty exciting. Not only do we have one of the deepest teams on the men’s and women’s sides we’ve had, but the high-end talent is as good as it’s ever been.”
The multi-events begin on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. (MT) and continue on Thursday at 5 p.m. (MT). The track events start Thursday at 9:45 p.m. with the men’s and women’s 10,000m and continue Friday at 6 p.m. (MT) and Saturday at 6 p.m. (MT). Field events start Friday at 3:30 p.m. (MT) with the women’s hammer throw and continue Saturday at 3 p.m. (MT) with the men’s discus.
Last season, the Cowboys finished fifth with 81.5 points, while the Cowgirls were 11thwith 44 points. This year, the Pokes are leading the conference in five events heading into the championships, with many more events in position to score well.
Jerayah Davis enters the meet as one of the top athletes in the conference, as she leads the league in the 100m dash with a time of 11.18 seconds and the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 2.5 inches. Both those marks are school records and were set on the same day earlier this season. Ja’la Henderson, Shayla Howell and Jordan Edmonds join Davis on the 4x100m relay team that is second in the league with a seeded time of 44.78, which is just 0.15 seconds off the school record.
Henderson is another Mountain West leader for the Cowgirls, as her triple jump mark of 42-9 leads the conference by 19.5 inches. She is the only female in the league that has cleared 42 feet in the event, and she’s done it at every competition she’s jumped in this outdoor season. Henderson is also in contention to medal in the long jump, as her mark of 20-5.25 is third in the league. She won the MW indoor triple and long jump titles back in February.
For the Cowboys, Harry Ewing is the league favorite in the steeplechase, as his school-record time of 8:42.72 is leading the Mountain West by nearly five seconds. Second place is San José State’s Craig Huff, a runner Ewing defeated head-to-head earlier this season. Last season, Ewing placed third in the steeplechase at the MW Championships and eventually narrowly missed advancing to the NCAA Championships in the event.
Kirk Unland is the men’s leader in the hammer throw with a career-best heave of 199-5 that he set on April 18 in California. Eric McArthur is second in the conference with a personal-best toss of 196-5, and Hap Frketich is fourth with a throw of 191-0. In fact, there are only four MW athletes who have cleared 190 feet this season, three of whom are Cowboys.
The Cowboys should earn points in the lateral jumps, as well, as William Nolan is fourth in the long jump at 24-4.25 and third in the triple jump with a mark of 49-3. Reece Shannon is sixth in the triple jump at 46-0.5, while Alec Richardson’s long jump of 23-9.5 is seventh.
The Mountain West distance crews are some of the strongest in the nation, but Christopher Henry will look to continue his success from the indoor championships, where he placed third in both the 3,000m and the 5,000m. Additionally, Paul Roberts was the MW’s cross country individual champion, and both distance runners are aiming for a strong outdoor championships.
For the Cowgirls, Emelda Malm-Annan is looking for the hammer throw upset, as she is ranked second in the league behind Colorado State’s Kelcey Bedard. Those two athletes are the only two in the conference to clear 200 feet, as Malm-Annan’s toss of 202-7 is third all-time at Wyoming.
Kacey Doner enters a loaded steeplechase field seeded 11th, as her time of 10:23.64 is second all-time at UW. The three top runners in the event are ranked among the seven in the nation, including NCAA leader Allie Ostrander of Boise State.