Panthers Ride Records To First-Day Lead At League Championships
GENEVA, Ohio (Feb. 26, 2011) - Reigna Pierce and Elise Sigg each broke league records on their way to individual championships on the first day of the 2011 Horizon League Indoor Track & Field Championships, leading the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's team to the midway point lead Saturday at the GaREAT Complex.
The Panthers are in search of a third-straight indoor championship and fifth in six years. They pace the field by 26 points, tallying 58 on day one of the meet. Host Youngstown State is second with 32, just ahead of UIC in third with 30.50. Butler holds a slim edge over Loyola for fourth, 23-22, while Wright State is sixth with 12. Valparaiso has 7.50 points, and Detroit one, to round out the field.
"We had an awesome first day," Milwaukee head coach Pete Corfeld said. "Kids came through like champs and superseded out expectations, which is great on the first day. In that regard, we are pretty confident that we have gamers on our team and that was verified today. Our team is a lot younger than it was last year, with a lot of our top people graduating last year. So it's really neat to see their competitive spirit come out here when it counts. We are really looking forward to getting after it tomorrow and bringing home a couple more championships."
The meet concludes Sunday.
Pierce broke a school, league and fieldhouse record Saturday, leaping 19-6 3/4 to win the long jump. She set a personal best in the event by nearly five inches and eclipsed the previous school and league mark of 19-5 1/2, previously held by Stephanie Kenesie (2003). Samia Taylor also scored in the event with a leap of 17-7 putting her sixth.
Sigg continued a standout sophomore campaign, running 16:49.68 to win the 5000m, break the league record and post the second-fastest time in school history. She continued a season that has seen her post a personal-best time in the last six races she has run over four events. Among those PR's are a school record and two times that are second in school history.
Milwaukee scored in each of the other four events that ran finals on Saturday, including three athletes in the pole vault and pentathlon competitions. In the pole vault, Erin Havener earned all-league second-team honors as runner-up with a height of 11-11 3/4. Sarah Finer was third with a height of 11-5 3/4 and Courtney Fisher was fourth, clearing 10-11 3/4.
Laura Hamel led the way in the pentathlon, taking third with a score of 3,105 points. Casey Griebel and Chantel McConville each scored in their first time competing in a collegiate multi-event. Griebel was fifth with 2,387 points and McConville was sixth with 2,257.
Nancy Harmon scored in the weight throw, taking fifth with a personal-best toss of 52-1 3/4. She remains second in school history in the event.
The distance medley relay of Shannon Brown, Erika Hanson, Tanaiya Fisher and Kristi Schuette picked up all-league second-team awards, taking second in the event with a time of 12:12.68. Schuette and Brown each qualified for the finals of the 800m in personal-record times. Schuette ran 2:15.41, the fifth-best time in school history, and Brown ran 2:17.85 to make the next round.
The Panthers have set themselves up well for Sunday's track event finals, qualifying runners in each of the other track events, highlighted by some other key performances. Chia Okonkwo ran a school record in the 60m hurdles, doing so for the third time this season, crossing the line in 8.65. She will also fun in the finals of the 200m, where she will be joined by Simbi Laaro, who ran the eighth-best time in school history during the prelims (25.66). Meanwhile, Laaro also qualified for the 60m.