LARAMIE – Four University of Wyoming track and field athletes were named All-Mountain West as announced by the league office on Wednesday after their performances at the Mountain West outdoor championships last weekend.
Hap Frketich, Kareem Mersal, Colton Paller and Albert Steiner took home the award for finishing among the top three in their respective events. Paller admitted in two events that the Senior Cowboy won the discus and was third in the shot put.
Paller moved up to 6th in the UW’s all-time top 10 in discus with an 189-foot draw to defeat the field on Saturday at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Clovis, Calif. Ahead of her gold medal on the discus, Paller started her meeting on Friday with a third place in the shot put at 52.81.
Mersal picked up first-team points for the Cowboys thanks to his effort in the long jump. Coming to the competition with the best jump of the season by an MW athlete, Mersal finished second at his very first conference championships with a distance of 23-3¼. The freshman Cowboy is also No. 7 on UW’s All-Time Top 10 list with a 24-9¼ jump at the Spank Blasing Invite in Pueblo, Colorado, earlier this season.
Frketich was second in hammer throw for the Pokes with his best throw of 195-3. This is the third time the Senior Cowboy has been all-MW and the first time he has been honored for the outdoor season with the previous two coming in the 2019 and 2020 indoor seasons.
Steiner, a former Laramie High star, capped day one of competition for the Cowboys with a second place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Steiner ran finished in 8 minutes, 57.12 seconds to cement his MW honors. The runner-up is also No.9 on the UW’s All-Time Top 10 list for his performance in the West Coast Relays two weeks before the MW Championships.
It was the first time that Mersal, Paller and Steiner had been honored by the conference for their performances.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, a group of UW athletes who have been key contributors to the Cowboys and Cowgirls this season were unable to compete in the MW Championships.
The Cowboys were fourth out of eight teams with 93 tag team points for the best UW men’s tag team result since a third place in 2000. Colorado State (206) won the men’s tag team title, followed by the Air Force (177.5) and Utah State (107).
The Cowgirls were 11th out of 11 teams. San Diego State (161) won the women’s title with Colorado State (145.5) second and UNLV (122) third.
Notable performances by UW women at the MW Championships include: Addison Henry, who was fifth in the shot put (49-¼) for 6th place all-time for UW; Anna Gillis, seventh in hammer throw (188-0); Jasmine Cooper, seventh in the 800 preliminaries (2: 08.27) for third place all-time at UW and eighth in the final (2: 09.57); and Katelyn Mitchem, eighth in the steeplechase (10: 45.95).
A handful of Cowboys and Cowgirls competed in the Loper Twilight hosted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney on Sunday.
Cowgirls Shayla Howell and Sadie McMullen finished second and fourth in the long jump, respectively. Howell jumped 19-6¼ and McMullen jumped 19-3½. Giulia Lodi was fourth in the javelin with a distance of 128-1.
Cowboys Mikey DeRock and Nathan Reid competed in the discus and shot put. DeRock was third on the disc with a personal best 169-2 and ninth in the shot put at 48-11. Reid was 10th in discus at 149-11 and 10th in shot put at 48-8.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls will then compete May 27-29 at the NCAA Western Preliminary Championships in College Station, Texas.