May 17, 2014
By: Andrew Rich
By: Andrew Rich
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- A relay win and other solid individual performances highlighted competition for the Fresno State track and field teams on the final day of the Mountain West Conference Championships at the Madrid Sports Complex on the campus of the University of Wyoming.
Junior Je'Nia Sears (the MW women's long jump champion), sophomores Kyra Johnson and Dezirae Johnson and freshman Njeri Omawahleh combined to bring home the 4x400 relay title. The group ran a season-best 3:38.45 to finish less than a second off of the all-time school record of 3:37.63 set back in 1998.
"The 4x400 had a very impressive win and it should improve us enough to qualify for NCAA's," Bulldog head coach Scott Winsor said.
Earlier in the day, Dezirae Johnson ran a personal-best 54.37 to win the 400-meter dash. She smashed her previous PR by more than a second. Johnson was the only runner in the seven-runner field to post a time under 55 seconds.
Sister Kyra Johnson finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 58.61 seconds. It was her first time going under 59 seconds in her collegiate career. Wyoming senior Taylor Gardner ran a 58.31 to win the event.
The lone freshman on the winning 4x4 team, Omawahleh, ran a 24.09 in the 200-meter dash to finish third. Her time matched her PR that she had set at the Bulldog Invitational at the end of April. San Diego State senior Meritzer Williams won the 200 with a 23.62.
A day after placing in the fifth in the hammer, senior thrower Meagan McKee brought home a sixth place finish in the shot put with a toss of 48 feet, 11.75 inches (14.93m).
Senior Anthony Riggins, who set a new PR in the 100-meter dash in the prelims with a time of 10.62 seconds, ran a 10.67 in the finals to finish seventh.
In the men's hurdles, sophomore Keane Bland finished eighth (14.77) in the 110-meter hurdles and followed that up with a finish of seventh (54.25) in the 400-meter hurdles. Freshman Kamara Biawogi ran a 52.79 in the 400 hurdles to finish sixth.
Senior Ben Fox posted a new PR in the pole vault with a leap of 15 feet, 3.5 inches (4.66m) to finish sixth.
"Overall, I was pleased with what we did on the track," Winsor said. "We are further along than many think and our small group at Wyoming made coaches from other schools take notice. I'm excited for our future and when we get all our talent on the track at the same time the overall standings will look much different."
Regional qualifiers will be announced later next. The regionals will be May 29-31 at the University of Arkansas.
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