Brothers Upland Lead Cowboys T&F to Tom Benich Invitational
The University of Wyoming track and field team will compete as a full squad for the first time during the 2018 outdoor season on Saturday in the annual Tom Benich Invitational, which is hosted by the University of Northern Colorado.
After a limited squad competed at the Jerry Quiller Classic on March 17, most of the team trained through last weekend, although the UW throwers competed at the Mines Nature’s Bakery Invite. Brothers Damon Unland, a senior, and Kirk Unland, redshirt freshman, highlighted the weekend with a great performance in the men’s hammer throw.
The elder Unland, Damon, won the event by over 10 feet with a mark of 197 feet, 10 inches, just two inches short of his personal best. The performance earned him the first Mountain West Athlete of the Week award of his career. Kirk tossed 183-10 for third place in his collegiate outdoor track and field debut. The brothers are currently ranked first and third, respectively, in the Mountain West standings for the event.
Meanwhile, Damon is ranked fifth in the league for the discus, directly behind senior teammate Garrett Lynch. Junior Emelda Malm-Annan, who took fourth in the women’s hammer throw at the Colorado School of Mines last weekend, is currently fifth in the MW for the event. Growing under the direction of UW assistant coach and throws guru Carrie Lane, the throws group will look to make another step forward this weekend in Greeley.
Star jumper Ja’la Henderson leads the Cowgirls into action on Saturday, two weeks removed from a great performance in the long jump that earned her MW Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Week honors. Henderson added another achievement to her brilliant 2017-18 campaign at the Jerry Quiller Classic, crossing the 20-foot milestone outdoors for the first time in her career. Henderson moved from No. 9 to No. 2 on the UW all-time list for the event. The junior holds a slim, quarter-inch lead over San José State’s Destiny Longmire in the conference standings for the event, while she is also tied for 12th nationally. Meanwhile, senior Caleb Seeton is ranked fifth in the Mountain West for the men’s long jump after a 22-8 performance at the Jerry Quiller Classic.
The UW sprints squad looks to get its outdoor season rolling in Greeley, as many of the sprinters will be competing in individual events for the first time during the outdoor season. The hurdlers got off to a solid start in Boulder two weekends ago, as freshman McCade Johnson is ranked in the MW’s top five for both men’s hurdles events while senior Heidi Pfoor is third in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. The Wyoming men hold an early conference lead for the 4x400-meter relay with an adjusted time of 3 minutes, 16.86 seconds at the Jerry Quiller Classic. The Pokes’ distance unit will compete in full force on Saturday as well, as the 800 meters, 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters are all included in the slate of events. Senior Kerry White is currently ranked fourth in the league for the women’s 1,500 after an altitude-adjusted time of 4:40.80 at the Jerry Quiller Classic.