UW Track & Field to Face Familiar Foes in Fort Collins

UW Track & Field to Face Familiar Foes in Fort Collins


LARAMIE – After a successful outdoor season opener in Boulder, Colo., the University of Wyoming track & field team will take a trip across the Wyoming-Colorado border to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Fum McGraw Quadrangular on Saturday.

The Pokes will compete against Colorado, Northern Colorado and host Colorado State at the annual four-team dual meet at Jack Christiansen Track. The field events are slated to begin at 10 a.m. MT, while track events will start at noon.

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Wyoming will be competing as a full team for the first time during the outdoor season, with athletes from all event areas slated to showcase their talents in Fort Collins against three familiar regional foes. The throwers will make their 2017 outdoor debut, exchanging the weight throw for the hammer throw while adding the discus and javelin to their event lineup.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls got off to a great start at the Jerry Quiller Classic as they recorded five UW all-time top 10 marks in Boulder. Jackson Wood continued his momentum from the indoor season by writing his name in the UW record books with a time of 47.89 seconds in the 400 meters, putting the sophomore at No. 8 in program history for the event. Meanwhile, a sprints squad of Sam Kirkeide, Jordan Charles, Jace Marx and Kevin Blackett clocked a time of 40.85 seconds in the 4×100-meter relay, the No. 8 time in the UW record book.

Sophomore sprints star Jerayah Davis matched her personal best of 11.81 seconds in the 100 meters, the No. 6 time on the UW all-time list, while running into a headwind no less. Freshman Kacey Doner and sophomore Kiah Leonard posted the No. 6 and No. 9 times on the UW all-time list for the 3,000-meter steeplechase, respectively, while senior Audra DeStefano earned Mountain West Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week honors by clocking the No. 2 time in the NCAA thus far in the outdoor season (10:34.38 when adjusted for altitude).

Senior Jordan Charles began his final outdoor campaign with a bang, easily winning the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.88 in Boulder, just six hundredths of a second off his personal best. Charles currently leads the Mountain West by a large margin and ranks sixth in the nation for the event. He also posted a time of 21.60 seconds in the 200 meters, good for the third-best time in the conference so far this season when adjusted to 21.67 for altitude.

Dynamic duo Ricky Faure and Bryce Ailshie posted the No. 1 and No. 2 times in the Mountain West for the 800 meters so far this season at 1:49.77 and 1:49.98, respectively. Meanwhile, sophomore Ja’la Henderson leads the Mountain West in the women’s long jump with a season-opening mark of 19 feet, 4.75 inches while senior Caleb Seeton leads the league in the men’s long jump after recording a mark of 22-0.75 in the opener.

Wyoming will look to continue its strong start to the outdoor season with a solid showing in Fort Collins against familiar foes. Fans can follow along on Twitter at @wyo_track.

DeStefano Honored

Wyoming senior steeplechase standout Audra DeStefano has been named the Mountain West Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday. The reigning MW champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase started her final outdoor campaign with a bang at Saturday’s Jerry Quiller Classic in Boulder, Colo., winning the steeplechase with an altitude-adjusted time of 10 minutes, 34.38 seconds.

DeStefano was victorious by nearly 45 seconds in Boulder as she began her chase for a second consecutive conference title in the event. Her adjusted time currently leads the conference by a wide margin and ranks second in the NCAA behind BYU’s Courtney Wayment. DeStefano leads Illinois’ Valerie Bobart, the nation’s third-ranked athlete in the event, by nearly 10 seconds.

The weekly accolade comes as the third of DeStefano’s illustrious outdoor track & field career. She has now collected a weekly honor from the conference in each of the last three outdoor seasons and has earned three of the Cowgirls’ last five weekly outdoor honors from the Mountain West. In 2016, McKenzie Brogan joined DeStefano as the only Cowgirls to receive a Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week award from the conference.

DeStefano, a native of Gillette, Wyo. and a six-time all-conference honoree, holds the University of Wyoming record for the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:07.35 that earned her a conference championship in the event in 2016. It was the third-fastest time in MW championship meet history and gave the Cowgirls their first title in the event since Emily Higgins took top honors in 2009.

Coming Out of the Woodwork

One of the highlights of Wyoming’s 2016-17 track & field season has been the emergence of sophomore Jackson Wood in the 400 meters. Wood lowered his indoor personal record from 51.81 seconds to 48.38 seconds (No. 5 UW all-time) throughout the course of the indoor campaign, culminating with an eighth-place finish at the MW indoor championships. Wood chopped a massive amount of time off his outdoor PR at the Jerry Quiller Classic, lowering it from 49.30 to 47.89, good enough for No. 8 on the UW all-time list.

Next Up

The Pokes head to Greeley, Colo., for the Tom Benich Invite on April 1.

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