LARAMIE – After competing in more the six meets in the past two weeks, the University of Wyoming men’s and women’s track and field teams focus their energy just on Colorado State’s Jack Christiansen Invite on Saturday. Hosted at the Jack Christiansen Track in Fort Collins, Colo., the meet starts with running and field events at 10 a.m. MT. A schedule of events is attached.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls return to action after a productive showing at three meets in California last weekend. Senior Mason Finley highlighted the action with a throw of 201-1 in the discus at the Beach Invite. His mark currently ranks sixth in the NCAA and 23rd in the world and earned him a second-straight Mountain West Athlete-of-the-Week honor. The distance crew also shined, as Wyoming notched nine new all-time top-10 marks. Redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano posted the second-fastest steeplechase at 10:31, while junior Holly Page accomplished the same in the 10,000 meters with a time of 35:04.
“Our approach for this weekend changes a little bit just because the last two weeks we have been looking for big marks,” UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. “At this meet we are more looking to set ourselves up for the Mountain West Championships, not looking for one distance or time. After coming off two big travel weekends, our kids are a little tired, so a lot of them will not compete in their main events this weekend and utilize this meet as a training tool.”
Last Time Out: Finley Notches Another Record Throw at Beach Invite
Senior Mason Finley continued his onslaught of the University of Wyoming track and field record books last Saturday at the Beach Invite, as he threw 201-1 in the discus to become the second Cowboy ever to throw more than 200 feet in the event. His season-best mark currently ranks sixth in the NCAA and 23rd in the world.
“He is starting to get a little better feel each week,” UW associate head coach Paul Barrett said. “His timing is starting to come together. He has been consistent, but he is still missing a little. That shows he has the potential for an even bigger throw later this season once his timing comes together.”
Finley’s throw placed him second in the field at the event and keeps him second in UW history, just behind Jason Gervais’ 210-10 in 2000. Finley’s throw was just four feet short of his personal best, which he threw unattached last season, and leads the Mountain West this season by more than 16 feet. Junior Paul Thomas placed sixth in the event with a toss of 184-10, to put him second in the MW and 30th in the NCAA.
Other top-10 finishes for Wyoming at the Beach Invite included senior Taylor Gardner running the second-fastest 400-meter hurdles in Cowgirl history in 58.99 to finish third. Redshirt junior Erin Kirby crossed the line eighth in the event in 1:01.43. Redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano was runner-up in the steeplechase in 10:37, while sophomore Amos Bowen crossed the line fourth on the men’s side in 9:09. Freshman Jordan Charles was fourth in the 110-meter hurdles at 14.24, sophomore McKenzie Brogan tied a personal best with 56.00 for eighth in the 400 meters and senior Katy Hall was ninth in the 100-meter hurdles at 14.47.
Finley Nabs Fifth MW Weekly Honor of Season
For the second-straight week and fifth time this season, Wyoming’s Mason Finley has been named the Mountain West Track and Field Male Athlete of the Week. The conference office announced the award on Tuesday, as Finley’s five weekly honors in a single season are the most ever by a Wyoming track and field athlete.
The senior thrower continued his takeover of Wyoming’s record books at the Beach Invite last Saturday in Norwalk, Calif. He placed second in the discus with a season-best throw of 201-1 to rank first in the MW, sixth in the NCAA and 23rd in the world, according to IAAF.org. His throw was just 4 feet shy of his personal best, as he became just the second Cowboy ever to throw more than 200 feet in the event. The mark was also the fifth-furthest in the history of the conference and longest since 2008. Finley has been named MW Athlete of the Week six total times during his career.
Outdoor Individual and Team Rankings
Five Cowboys and Cowgirls rank in the NCAA’s top 50 of four events. Senior Mason Finley is the top Cowboy at sixth in the discus with a toss of 201-1 at last weekend’s Beach Invite. Senior Taylor Gardner is the top Cowgirl at No. 36 in the 400-meter hurdles with a 58.99 at last weekend’s Beach Invite. Wyoming leads the MW in four outdoor events currently.
In the most recent USTFCCCA outdoor team polls, the Cowboys and Cowgirl are both 11th in the mountain region. During indoor, the Cowboys finished eighth and the Cowgirls were 12th.
Top-10 Marks Continue to Fall Outdoors
The Cowboys and Cowgirls combined for nine new top-10 marks last weekend, including the second-fastest 10,000 meters by junior Holly Page in 35:04 and the second-fastest steeplechase by redshirt freshman Audra DeStefano in 10:31. The current Cowboy roster owns 13 individual top-10 outdoor marks, while the current Cowgirl roster has 24 individual marks. The Wyoming men and women set 29 new top-10 marks during the indoor season.
Wyoming Preparing to Host MW Outdoor Championships
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will host the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 14-17 at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex in Laramie. It will be the third time Wyoming has hosted a MW Championship in the 15-year history of the conference, after the 2009 outdoor track and field championships and the 2010 cross country championships. In 2009, the Cowboys finished sixth and the Cowgirls were ninth.
Wyoming makes its final preparations for the 2014 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships by hosting the Cowpoke Open on Saturday, May 3, at the Louis S. Madrid Complex in Laramie.