Panthers Head To Qualifying Meets Friday
Junior Durell Busby is seeded 26th in the nation in the 110m hurdles

Junior Durell Busby is seeded 26th in the nation in the 110m hurdles

May 9, 2013

MILWAUKEE - Fresh off another Horizon League Championship weekend, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's and women's track & field teams head to a pair of meets this weekend in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA West Region Championships, May 24-26, in Austin, Texas.

Part of the team will head to the Dr. Keller Invitational in Naperville, Ill., Friday, while a few individuals will head just upstate for the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open.

Scouting the Meets
Some of the area's best athletes will head to Naperville, Ill., and La Crosse, Wis., this weekend, trying to earn a spot at the NCAA West Regional Championships two weeks from weekend in Austin, Texas. The top 48 individuals regionally in each event qualify.

UW-La Crosse Meet Information Get Acrobat Reader

Currently, Milwaukee has six student-athletes ranked in the top 48 in various events and more than a handful of others just missing that mark. In all, UWM boasts 28 rankings in the top 100 regionally.

Hitting the Ground Running
Milwaukee has been on a tear right out of the gates this season and the teams haven't let up since. In the first two weeks of action, the Panthers posted back-to-back efforts of seven top-10 marks in school history. UWM battled cold weather and windy conditions for a stretch during the outdoor season but have still managed to post some impressive results.

In all, Milwaukee athletes have now tallied 58 all-time top-10 marks, including an incredible 20 at last weekend's Horizon League Championships. The Panthers have also posted four school records this year and four league records.

Record-Breaking Year
Breaking school and league records has seemingly become routine for Milwaukee over the years and this season was no exception. The Panthers broke an outstanding four school records during the outdoor season and posted an outstanding 58 new top-10 all-time marks to the school's record books.

Last weekend, Dan Simon shattered the school and league records in the decathlon with a new top score of 6,926 points. Shelby Schaal also broke the multi record on the women's side of the league championships, setting the new standard to 5,084 points. Garrett Vetesnik (pole vault, 5.08m) and Dexter Schleis (400m hurdles, 52.63) also broke league records at the conference meet last weekend.

Going National
With just one weekend before regional qualifiers are named, UWM has posted numerous results that rank in the top-100 in the nation this season. A pair of hurdlers lead the way for Milwaukee as Durell Busby is 26th in the nation in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.84, while Dexter Schleis is 40th in the 400m hurdles at 51.94.

Senior Shelby Schaal sits 51st in the heptathlon after breaking her own school record twice this year with a score of 5,084 points. She is also ranked nationally in javelin after breaking the Milwaukee school record a few weeks back with a toss of 144-3 (43.98m) for 100th in the nation.

Four other Panthers currently find themselves in the top 100, including Dan Simon in the decathlon (56th, 6,926 points), Samia Taylor in long jump (79th, 6.02m), Garrett Vetesnik in pole vault (83rd, 5.08m) and Sherice Hewett in triple jump (88th, 12.36m)

League Recognition
Milwaukee showed some of the best performances across the Horizon League this year and the league office took notice. The two teams have combined to earn 13 league athlete of the week awards by nine different individuals during the two seasons. Here's the list of winners week-by-week so far this year:

Jan. 15 - Aaron Dillon, Samia Taylor
Jan. 22 - Samia Taylor
Feb. 5 - Garrett Vetesnik
Feb. 12 - Dan Simon
March 26 - Alex Chollet, Sherice Hewett
April 3 - Shelby Schaal
April 9 - Jordan Schmidt
April 23 - Michelle Garner, Dan Simon
April 30 - Dan Simon, Samia Taylor

Putting the 'Great' in Great Lakes
The USTFCCCA has put together regional rankings this year and Milwaukee finds itself mighty high on plenty of them. In the Great Lakes Region, UWM moved up to 12th on the men's side this week while the women are holding steady at 17th. Both rankings are higher than any other Horizon League school in the same region and both are also higher than cross-town rival Marquette.

Individually, the Panthers also find themselves regionally ranked (top eight) with seven individuals and one relay team placing in nine events.

Triple Jump U
Over the past few years, Milwaukee has established itself as one of the top triple jump universities, not only in the Horizon League, but in the entire NCAA. So far, 2013 hasn't been any different. The men have won seven of the last 11 triple jump league titles in both indoor and outdoor and have had a combined 10 second-place showings in that time, as well.

Meanwhile, the women have won four-straight indoor titles and had a run of five-straight outdoor crowns before finishing second in 2013.

On the national level, Milwaukee has qualified for the regional meet six times in the last six years, highlighted by Samia Taylor's run to the NCAA Championships in 2011. Taylor finished 18th in the country that year, earning All-American Honorable Mention status.

Hurdling All Competition
Milwaukee has been a hot bed for hurdlers over the years and the current squad is arguably one of the deepest in the nation. On the men's side, UWM has won the hurdle title at the indoor meet all but once over the past seven years, including nearly sweeping the podium in 2012 after taking the top five spots.

In outdoor, the Panthers have had even more success. Coach Corfeld's squad took the top four spots in the 110m hurdles and the top two in the 400m hurdles at last year's league championships. Those groups nearly repeated that feat this year, finishing first, second, fourth and eighth in the 400m hurdles and first, second, fifth and eighth in the 110m hurdles.

In fact, Milwaukee's school record holder in every men's hurdle event, indoor and outdoor, is still competing this season. With every member of the group holding junior eligibility or younger, the Panthers look to maintain their stronghold in this area for quite some time.

On top of that, Durell Busby earned All-American status at last year's NCAA Championships by placing 12th in the 110m hurdles a season ago.

This year, Milwaukee has continued their incredible tradition by winning the men's shuttle hurdle relay at the historic Drake Relays. Durell Busby, Alex Delveaux, Jordan Schmidt and Dexter Schleis teamed up to post a school-record run in finals to knock off defending champion Indiana State in a thrilling race to the finish.



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