11 Wyoming Track and Field Athletes Qualify for NCAA Competition

May 16, 2013

LARAMIE, Wyo. - 11 Wyoming track and field athletes have been selected for the NCAA West Preliminary from May 23-25 in Austin, Texas as announced by the organization Thursday afternoon.

Qualifying for the regional competition are UW athletes Paul Thomas (discus), Joe Plante (discus, hammer), Henry Ferreira (javelin), Brandon Douglass (110m hurdles), Colin Herold (110m hurdles), Lenyn Leonce (long jump), Jenna Mann (100m hurdles), Diana Long (400m hurdles), Taylor Gardner (400m hurdles), Mollie Dahl (shot put) and Shreese Daniels (hammer).

To reach the preliminary, an athlete must be ranked in the Top 48 of his/her respective event(s). The top 12 finishers for each event at the preliminary receive an invitation to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which take place June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.

"It's an honor for our athletes to be able to compete on a national level," said Wyoming coach Bryan Berryhill. "They have earned this trip because of their hard work and accomplishments throughout the year. They are great leaders and examples to our team. All they can do is go out and give it their all and hopefully they'll end up in Eugene."

Leonce will be making his third consecutive trip to the meet, while Plante, Thomas, Ferreira, Dahl and Daniels return for a second straight season to the University of Texas' Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Thomas is ranked 20th nationally and 12th in the West region in the discus for his 189'-10" throw two weeks ago at the Cowpoke Open. Plante is ranked 31st in the country and 18th in the West for the discus following his 186'-8" thrown at the Tom Benich Invite to open the outdoor season. He will also compete in the hammer as a No. 25 seed earned from a 201'-2.25" throw at the Cowpoke Open.

Ferreira comes in at No. 34 in the nation in the javelin following last week's Mountain West title for the event as he won with a 224-foot throw, an all-time Wyoming best distance. Douglass is ranked 49th nationally in the 110-meter hurdles with his 14.01 achieved at the Jack Christiansen Invite. He enters the preliminary with a No. 19 seed for the event, while Herold enters the race as a No. 43 seed in the region.

After stellar performances in the 400-meter hurdles last week at the MW Championships, Long and Gardner enter the meet with respective No. 29 and No. 32 seeds for the event. Long ran a 59.34 in the preliminaries round of the MW meet, while Gardner ran a 59.41 in the finals in Las Vegas.

Wyoming's NCAA Qualifiers
Name - Event - West seed - Qualifying mark (meet)
Cowboys
Paul Thomas - Discus - 12th West (20th nationally) - 189'-10" (Cowpoke Open)
Joe Plante - Discus - 18th West (31st nationally) - 186'-8" (Tom Benich Invite)
Joe Plante - Hammer - 25th West - 201'-2.25" (Cowpoke Open)
Henry Ferreira - Javelin - 17th West (34th nationally) - 224'-0" (MW Championships)
Brandon Douglass - 110m hurdles - 19th West (49th nationally) - 14.01 (Jack Christiansen Invite)
Colin Herold - 110m hurdles - 43rd West - 14.33 (Cowpoke Open)
Lenyn Leonce - Long jump - 47th West - 24'-2.25" (Mt. SAC)
Cowgirls
Jenna Mann - 100m hurdles - 41st West - 13.66 (MW Championships)
Diana Long - 400m hurdles - 29th West - 59.34 (MW Championships)
Taylor Gardner - 400m hurdles - 32nd West - 59.41 (MW Championships)
Mollie Dahl - Shot put - 40th West - 51'-2.25" (Jack Christiansen Invite)
Shreese Daniels - Hammer - 45th West - 185'-9.25" (Cowpoke Open)