LARAMIE, Wyoming -- Wyoming junior Kyle Sullivan wasn't flashy during Thursday's decathlon at the 2014 Mountain West Outdoor Championships, but he was solid and that proved to be enough to become the first Cowboy to win the event at the conference meet since 1999, scoring 6,776 points during the day's final five events.
"Kyle realized an opportunity was in front of him and you could see he wasn't going to let that pass him up, especially in front of his home crowd," UW assistant coach Shaun Meinecke said. "Conference isn't about setting personal bests, but he did in the hurdles and the pole vault and was close in the discus and javelin. He competed with confidence today and knew that he could do well. I hope he enjoys this to the fullest because being a conference champion is a difficult task and being a conference champion on your home track is an once-in-a-lifetime experience."
A native of Powell, Wyo., Sullivan entered the day sitting third overall, but quickly jumped to first with a personal-best 14.81 in the 110-meter hurdles to win the event. He slipped to second after finishing third in the discus with a throw of 115-7, but jumped right back into the lead by clearing a personal-best 13-5 1/4 in the pole vault. He held the top spot through the javelin with a throw of 149-8 for third and cruised home in 4:47 in the 1,500 meters for fourth in the race. Sullivan is the third Cowboy to win the decathlon in Wyoming history, joining Gregg Sawyer in 1999 and Jay Novacek in 1984.
Sullivan wasn't the only Wyoming track and field member to impress on Thursday, as senior Jenna Mann claimed third in the heptathlon with a personal-best 5,255 points. Her total was just three points shy of the school record set by Kathy Romsa in 1984. Mann was third in the long jump at 18-11 1/4, threw 107-6 in the javelin and crossed the line fourth in the 800 meters in 2:24. Sophomore Sabina Sandberg set personal best in the javelin and 800 meters during the day, but ended in 11th place with 4,366 points.