Women's Track & Field Kicks Off 2005 Campaign
Jan. 10, 2005
The 2005 season gets underway for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team when it travels to Kenosha, Wis. this weekend for the Division I Invitational. Action gets underway on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. at Carthage College.
A Look At The Division I Invitational
Same Time Last Year
After taking second at both the Horizon League Indoor and Outdoor Championships, it is becoming clear that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team is set to regain its championship form.
Coming off a year in which losses to graduation were minimal in number, the Panthers look poised to return to the championship podium in 2005, a place UWM is quite familiar with. Milwaukee has won a league-record three outdoor crowns, to go with three more won inside. Head coach Pete Corfeld feels he has the tools to reach last year's level, and move beyond.
Perez returns as the reigning indoor 200m league champion, while both runners have littered their names among the top-10 in most sprinting events. Last season, Walker set the school record in the 60m at the league championships, while also posting the fastest time in the 55m in 19 years.
Joining the pair will be freshmen Octavia Erkins and Joy VanLaanen. A local product, Erkins comes to UWM as two-time state champion in the 100m. After accomplishing the feat as a sophomore, the Brown Deer High School grad once again topped the field as a senior.
Vanlaanen reset a number of school standards while at Ashwaubenon High School, including the 200m and the 100m.
Middle Distance/Long Sprints
As a freshman Fisher won the 400m at the outdoor league meet, and walked away with track newcomer of the year honors at the event. Last season, she won an indoor 800m title and was named the indoor athlete of the year. A week later, she competed at the last chance qualifier and set a school record in the event.
Braunreiter has shown well at the league meets in the 400m over her career while Anderson has continually contended in the 800m through the mile categories. McNulty had a breakout year in 2004 taking second indoors in the 1000m, and coming back to pace the preliminary field of the 800m at the outdoor meet.
A pair of hurdlers will look to add even more depth in middle distance events. Both Slamka and Cozine are hoping their success in the 400m hurdles can cross over into the 400m event for Milwaukee.
While each has the potential to excel individually, Corfeld will look to them to also provide solid relays that could qualify for a regional berth.
Two athletes that Corfeld thinks could contribute in her first year is freshman Katie Graves and Shannon Buttchen. Graves was a two-time state champion in the 800m, and added three sectional and four conference titles. Buttchen joins the Panthers this year after a prep career saw her qualify for the state meet in cross country and three track events, as well as garner seven all-conference awards.
A two-time all-league first-team honoree in cross country, Christian paced the distance runners at both league meets last year. Wampach has also seen success during her track campaigns, competing as short as the 1500m, but also running in the 3000m and 5000m races.
Nearman had a spectacular freshman cross country season, running as the second UWM runner at all but one race on the year. Corfeld is confident that she, along with Christian and Wampach, can carry their success over into the track season.
Slamka missed much of the indoor season, with an illness last year but returned in the spring. She won the league 400m hurdle championship, resetting the league standard in the event on the way. Slamka has worked to improve over the last year and will be counted on to lead this team in 2005.
Hrdina was a solid component of a hurdling group that occupied the top of the standings at both league meets. She posted a second-place finish indoors in the 60m hurdles, and went outside and posted a pair of top-four finishes in the 100m and 400m hurdle events. Cozine and Ziebell were right there every step of the way, giving the team depth, and helping to establish the group among the best in the league.
Ray is also the only long or triple jumper to return after competing in a league final last year. The Racine native competed for Milwaukee in the triple jump last year, finishing fifth outdoors and seventh indoors. The team's other finalists, Kalin Konop and Allison Schnelle, were lost to graduation.
Vanlannen will once again find herself stepping into a position where she can help immediately, this time in the area of jumps. She twice placed among the top six in the state, and holds her high school's record in the long jump, clearing 17-6 3/4.
In the high jump, Slamka is the only returning athlete to compete last year for UWM. After missing the indoor meet, she placed eighth at the outdoor league meet.
Graves and Buttchen, on the other, hand have the chance to contribute in one of UWM's stronger areas: the middle distance.