UW track and Field Sends 11 Qualifiers to NCAA West Prelims
The University of Wyoming track & field team qualified 11 athletes for the 2018 NCAA West Preliminary Round, the governing body announced Thursday. Seven Cowboys and four Cowgirls will compete at the meet May 24-26 in Sacramento, Calif., for a chance to advance to the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Following her first Mountain West women's outdoor triple jump title, junior star Ja'laHenderson will make her first career appearance at the regional competition as the only Wyoming athlete to qualify in multiple events. Henderson is ranked eighth in the region for the triple jump and is tied for 34th regionally in the long jump. The top 12 athletes in each individual event will advance to the NCAA outdoor championships.
Fellow conference champion and Cowboy senior Damon Unland returns to regionals as the No. 40 men's hammer thrower in the West after he took 39th at the regional meet in 2017. Unland will look to top his mark of 191 feet, 7 inches from the 2017 regional meet as he makes his second career appearance at the NCAA West Preliminary Round. Fellow hammer thrower and junior Emelda Malm-Annan will take her talents to the regional competition for the second consecutive season as well, entering as the 26th-ranked women's hammer thrower in the West. Malm-Annan is coming off a personal-best toss of 198-6 at the 2018 MW outdoor championships. In 2017, she finished 24th at the regional meet with a mark of 191-11.
Junior Jerayah Davis qualified in the women's 100 meters for the second straight season. She will enter with the No. 34 ranking in the West for the event with a time of 11.49 seconds. Davis posted a 20th-place regional finish in the 100 meters at the regional meet last season. Senior Kerry White rounds out the Cowgirl qualifiers, as she is the No. 48 runner in the West for the women's 800 meters with a qualifying time of 2:08.69. White will make her third appearance at the regional meet, as she also qualified in 2015 and 2017. She took 32nd in the 800 meters in 2017.
The remaining six qualifying Pokes are all part of the Cowboy distance squad. Wyoming has two qualifiers each in the men's 800 meters and men's 1,500 meters. Juniors Bryce Ailshie and Ricky Faure will each make their third appearance at the regional meet for the 800 meters. Ailshie enters as the No. 24 runner in the West for the event with an altitude-adjusted time of 1:49.25 from the 7220 Invite, while Faure is tied for 31st in the region with his time of 1:49.71 from the Bryan Clay Invitational. Ailshie placed 21st at the meet in 2017, while Faure was 34th at regionals.
Sophomore Daniel Hintz and junior Michael Downey will each compete at the NCAA West Preliminary Round for the first time, entering as the No. 15 and No. 20 athletes for the men's 1,500 meters, respectively. Hintz and Downey each qualified with their times from the 7220 Invite, where Hintz clocked an altitude-adjusted 3:43.20 while Downey was right behind at 3:43.95. Hintz is the highest-ranked Cowboy in the West region entering the meet.
Redshirt freshman Christopher Henry advances to regionals in the men's 10,000 meters after a time of 29:31.24 at the Mt. SAC Relays. He is the No. 40 competitor in the West going into the regional meet, while fellow redshirt freshman Harry Ewing enters regionals as the second-highest ranked Cowboy in the West. Ewing's time of 8:52.70 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays ties him for 19th in the region, just over four seconds away from 12th-place Andrew Gardner of Washington. Ewing is coming off a third-place performance in the steeplechase at the MW outdoor championships, where he finished just over a second behind national leader Yusuke Uchikoshi of Boise State.