Garner's Win Headlines Opener For Women's Track & Field
March 23, 2014
Edwardsville, Ill. - Competing with just a portion of its squad, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track & field team posted eight top-five finishes to open its outdoor season at the Cougar Classic at Korte Stadium Saturday.
Despite competing with only a portion of its roster, Milwaukee still posted 64 points for sixth place overall and just 10 points from fourth place. Northern Illinois won the meet with 216 points. Bradley came in second at 91, followed by host SIU-Edwardsville (83), Western Kentucky (74) and Western Illinois (67). Missouri was seventh at 26 points and Lincoln College rounded out the scoring with five points.
"I'm happy how things went today," Milwaukee head coach Pete Corfeld said. "Starting off the outdoor season on the right foot is always what we look to do and we laid some good groundwork to build from today. Not everybody was able to make the trip, but we did some good things to start off the season today that we'll continue to work on."
Michelle Garner had an outstanding start to her outdoor season. The sophomore won the 400m hurdles with an impressive opening time of 1:04.94, nearly five full seconds ahead of the rest of the field in the sprint event. Chelsea Maxey came in fourth at 1:10.90 while Tess Nelson was eighth and LaBreya Johnson was ninth.
Nancy Harmon finished runner-up in the hammer throw with an impressive toss of 51.96m (170-6), not far from her own school record. Freshman Kamry Gipson finished 10th in her first time competing in the event.
The duo also had another pair of top-10 finishes in the discus throw. Harmon placed seventh at 37.50m (123-0) with Gipson taking 10th at 26.96m (88-05).
Horizon League Indoor Track Athlete of the Year Simbi Laaro continued her impressive year on the track by taking third in her first 100m of the year. The sprinter crossed the line at 12.24 seconds, not far from her personal best time. Garner was seventh at 12.63 and Johnson took ninth 12.91.
Sophomore Anuli Okonkwo came in third overall in a deep 200m event with a time of 25.13. Freshman Kate Novacek was right behind for sixth at 26.02. Novacek also had a strong showing in the 400m with a third-place time of 1:00.54. Okonkwo was just behind at 1:01.11 for fifth and CherRay Dixon came in eighth at 1:02.51.
Milwaukee returns to the southern Illinois area next weekend heading to the Bill Cornel Invitational in Carbondale, Ill. Friday and Saturday.