WMU News

Two Broncos invited to NCAA championships

May 29, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A pair of Western Michigan University track and field athletes will extend the Broncos' outdoor season with a trip to the 80th NCAA Championships, to be held May 30 through June 2 at the University of Oregon. A list of accepted athletes for the championships was released by the NCAA Thursday evening.

Junior Dale Cowper (Marlette, Mich./Marlette HS) and freshman Clark Wilson (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect HS) have qualified for the hammer and discus throws respectively. Cowper will compete at 3 p.m. PDT on Thursday (May 31), while Wilson takes to the field at 3 p.m. PDT on Friday (June 1). Both events will be held at Hayward Field, one of America's most storied track venues.

Coach Jack Shaw said, "I think these kids performed about as good as they could this season. Mike Turk (assistant coach) did a great job getting them ready.

"The hard part is getting to the NCAAs. It's important to get experience at that level, because it takes the program to new heights," said Shaw.

Cowper, who earned All-America honors at the NCAA Indoors, ranks 15th in a field of 18 with a personal-best throw of 207 feet, 8 inches (63.30 meters), recorded at the Central Collegiate Conference Championships May 4 in Kalamazoo. Cowper broke WMU's 30-year-old record in the hammer earlier this season at the Penn Relays and last week was runner-up at the Mid-American Conference Championships. The 6-2, 253-pound Cowper registered a 4.00 grade-point average this past school year, earning Verizon Academic All-District IV First Team honors. He is pursing a
degree in elementary education.

Wilson is seeded 17th out of 19 entrants in the discus field. His qualifying throw of 189 feet, 10 inches (57.86 meters) occurred April 7 at the Notre Dame Spring Opener. In the process, Wilson rewrote a 16-year-old school record. The 6-0, 235-pound rookie captured the MAC discus championship last week and contributed a team-high 13 points to the Broncos' second-place finish. A business major, Wilson carries a cumulative GPA of 3.61. Cowper and Wilson can achieve All-American status if they finish among the top eight Americans in their events. They are among eight athletes from the MAC making the trek to Eugene.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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