UWM Track Season Kicks Off Saturday In Kenosha
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Jan. 10, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team gets the 2007 indoors season underway Saturday, when it travels to the Division I Invitational in Kenosha, Wis. The meet is hosted by Carthage College and will kick off at 11 a.m.
Senior Timeka Walker won both the 55m and 200m as Milwaukee won the Division I Invitational last season. Despite not running any athletes longer than the 400m, UWM scored 155 points for top honors.
Milwaukee will return to action Friday, Jan. 19, at the UW-Whitewater Invitational. The UWW Invite is the second of three-straight meets the Panthers will compete at in the state of Wisconsin to start the season.
Panthers Have Championship Fever After 2006 Indoor Title
Milwaukee has finished second-or-better 18 of last 19 league meets, looking for titles 9 and 10
Since 1997, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field program has finished below second place at a Horizon League championship meet just once, winning eight league titles and taking second 10 times.
Last season, the Panthers got a taste of a championship, winning indoors, and enter 2007 looking to add to their already impressive list of accomplishments.
Head coach Pete Corfeld has a load of talent, experience and youth returning this season, while dealing with the loss of a few key athletes.
Tenia Fisher, Katie Slamka, Stephanie Ray and their combined 13 career league titles have graduated. Fisher was a four-time Horizon League Athlete of the Year, while Slamka routinely competed in a variety of events and won a league heptathlon title. Ray established herself as one of the top pole vaulters in league and school history.
But, senior Timeka Walker, junior Joy VanLaanen and sophomores Jenni Saarinen and Beth Zimmerman are among those returning with their sights set on adding to the UWM trophy case. Each was a high point-scorer at league meets last season and they all figure prominently in the school's top 10 lists for their events. The group also accounted for seven league titles last season and another three all-league second team awards.
Junior Shannon Buttchen returns with Walker in the sprint events, while freshmen Kelsey Conrad and Stef Ross will join the fray as well. Conrad took second in the 200m and 400m at the Minnesota state meet as a senior and added a third-place showing in the 100m. Ross redshirted last season after winning a state 100m championship for Bradley Tech High School in Milwaukee.
Junior Angie Huebner, who took 12th, and senior Kourtney Nault, who was 13th, earned second team honors in cross country. Huebner returned from an injury to regain her form and finish as the team's second runner at the end of the season. She won the indoor 5000m last season and has scored at the league meet in every distance event she competed over her first two seasons. Nault has emerged as a strong threat in the distance events, taking fifth in the indoor 5000m last season.
Junior Erin Magargee nearly joined the group in cross country all-league honors, taking 15th to miss the second team by one place. Magargee has consistently gotten better, scoring at every meet in the fall and finishing among UWM's top 3 three times.
With the loss of Fisher and Griffin McNulty to graduation, the middle distance was hit hard. But, Corfeld plans to develop new talent in the area. Freshman Laura Ring, coming off her first cross country season, could compete in the shorter distance events for Milwaukee. Ring has 800m experience, holding the Wilmot Union High School record and competing at the state meet in the event.
Senior Andrea Ziebell also returns, while freshman Rasheedah Helm joins the group after an impressive prep career. She won state titles in her last two years in the 100m hurdles, holds her school's record in the event and competed at the state meet in a handful of other sprint and relay events.
This season, the league's multi-events will be held a week before the league championships, so it is possible that Saarinen could compete in the heptathlon and an assortment of other events.
Sophomore Kory Olson also returns in the pentathlon at the indoor meet last season. She also competed in the triple jump, taking fifth, and the long jump. Outdoors, however, she suffered an injury during the multi's at the league meet and took seventh. At full health this season, she could lend more depth to the multi-events and more.
Long Jump/Triple Jump
Zimmerman posted the second-best triple jumps, indoors and outdoors, in school history last season and took second in both events at the both league meets. She teamed with classmate Kicha Cary to give UWM a solid one-two punch in the event. Cary also finished among the school's top 10 in each event and finished fourth at both league meets.
Freshman Reigna Pierce was a three-time state qualifier in the triple jump at Racine Horlick High School and could continue Milwaukee's success with underclass jumpers. As a senior at Horlick, she was second in the state.
High Jump/Pole Vault
Sophomore Jes Weyandt and freshman Erin Havener are a pair of young pole vaulters with similar backgrounds. Both won state titles in the pole vault as seniors in high school and were runners up as juniors. Weyandt cleared a career-best 11-5 ¾ outdoors last season and placed fourth at the league meet.
Saarinen placed third in the high jump at both league meets, while also posting the fifth-best indoor and second-best outdoor heights in school history. Her indoor jump actually came during the pentathlon, while her outdoor leap was during the heptathlon at Drake.
At Brodhead High School in Wisconsin, she won four state titles in the discus and was a two-time state shot put champion. She still holds the state division 2 discus record. At Nebraska, Curtis competed both years at the regionals, posting top 20 finishes in the discus both times.
Woods competed at state five times over the shot put and discus events, taking seventh in the shot put as a senior. Zander, meanwhile, holds school records in both the shot and discus events at Bonduel High School in northeast Wisconsin.