Jan. 21, 2004
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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee track and field team will head down to Chicago, Ill. to compete in the University of Chicago Invitational. The meet will take place on Saturday, Jan. 24 and will start at 11:30 a.m.
Indoor Opener In The Book (men's recap)
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Men's track and field team is looking to return to their 2002 championship form. With that, the program has identified that consistent performances are going to play a key factor in achieving that goal. Opening up the 2004 indoor season competing at the Division I Invitational in Kenosha, the Panthers, not competing with a full team, registered the season's first tally mark under the 'consistent performance' column.
The Panther men, not competing with a full lineup placed 4th in the eight team event by registering 70 team points on the day. With 20 underclassmen on this year's squad, the Panthers had performances that would leave many of the younger athletes with a sense of optimism. Freshman Chris Cox and sophomore Sean Cludy teamed up to take first and second in the men's triple jump. Cox, a Madison native, jumped a distance of 47'01.75 and Cludy, from Stillwater, Minn., jumped a distance of 46'02.50. Eric Wheeler, a freshman from Monroe, won the preliminary round of the 55 high hurdles with a time of 8.09 and returned in the finals to place first with a time of 7.95. The men also received a fourth-place finish by Nicholas Gretz in the shot put.
Besides the individual results, the UWM men also had a strong showing in the 4x400 meter relay. The Panthers sent two relay teams through the lanes and raced to first and third-place finishes with times of 3:23.05 and 3:25.37.
Seven Top-3 Finishes Lead Women (women's recap)
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track team opened the indoor season with a 4th-place finish (87 team points) at the Division I Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17 down at Carthage College. The women achieved seven top-3 finishes on the day with strong individual performances coming from Katie Slamka, Andrea Ziebell and Kalin Konop. Slamka, a sophomore from Racine, finished first in the 400-meter dash (59.40) and scored a second-place finish in the 55 high hurdles by improving on her preliminary time of 8.81 by running a time of 8.57 in the finals. The Panthers covered the 55 high hurdles for the finals by adding a third-place finish by sophomore Andrea Ziebell (8.91), a fourth-place finish by Senior Jill Naus (8.94) and a fifth-place finish by freshman Taryn Cozine (9.14). Senior Kalin Konop added a third-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 35'01.05.
The consistent performances by the women's team were rounded out by victories in the 4x200 and the 4x400 meter relays. The 4x200 meter relay team set a new meet record by running the event in a time of 1:43.81. The time bested the old meet record of 1:44.35, which was set last year by UWM. Besides placing first in both relays, the Panthers' second relay team for the 4x400 finished third.
Rebuilding The Engine Like New
After finishing fourth at last year's Horizon League Indoor Championships and dropping to fifth in the outdoor championships, the Panther men are readying themselves to rebuild the engine to run as if it's brand new. The Panthers had 13 freshman on last year's squad. 10 of them will be returning for 2003-04. Returning 10 freshmen into their second year has been a recipe many coaches use to build depth and to add the necessary experience in hopes that it will translate into early succes. The Panthers still have some key cogs that were a part of the last teams to win the league championship in Adam Hobbler, Eric Gresham and Nick Davis. All three were members of the last indoor and outdoor championships that the Panthers claimed in 2001. Brightness is on the horizon as the Panthers will return some solid sophomores. Gabe Wagoner, named indoor track athlete of the year, and Josh Nygren, who was a solid performer for the cross country program and paced himself all the way to the NCAA Regional Championship.
Defending The Title
The Panther women enter 2003-04 as the reigning indoor and outdoor champions for the Horizon League. The Panthers have entered each season that way since the 2000-01 season. The Panthers won the indoor championship last year on the Klotsche Center Track with 165 team points, third highest in league history. The squad also notched a victory in the outdoor championships. The next closest team to the Panthers had 81 points (Butler). Kristin Naef, Lynda Theil and Stephanie Kenesie were all major contributors to the championships, but have since moved on due to graduation. The Panthers will look to returners like Kalin Konop, Sara Vanderloop, Tenia Fisher and Katie Slamka to continue the dominance. Konop finished 2nd and 3rd in the long jump and triple jump in last year's outdoor championships. VanderLoop placed 4th in the 100 and 3rd in the 200. Fisher claimed the victory in the 400-meter dash and Slamka placed 3rd in the 100-meter hurdles and 2nd in the 400-meter hurdles.
The Numbers Game
On the men's side, the Panthers will have a total of 28 athletes. This year's men's roster is dominated by underclassemen. The freshman and sophomore class make up 20 of the competing 28 athletes for the men. The women's team follows the same type pattern. Currently, the roster has 31 athletes while 22 of them are freshman and sophomores.
The Panther women had goals to return to championship form that last season, and that's exactly what they did. The women's track and field team won the Horizon League Championship for both the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2003. The Panther's three-peated for the outdoor championship with a dominating team performance that was capped off by 252 points. The women placed third in 2002 at the indoor championships and rebounded for the outdoor win. Last season marked the return of the indoor championship and a successful defense of the outdoor.
Returning For Duty
Second year runners Gabe Wagoner and Tenia Fisher enter the new season on the heels of strong freshmen campaigns. Wagoner won Track Newcomer of the Year for finishing 3rd in the 800 meter run (1:55.21) at the indoor championships. Fisher received Track Newcomer of the Year award at the outdoor championships. Fisher placed 1st in the women's 400-meter dash (56.58).
Adding More Hardware
Panther head coach Pete Corfeld added more hardware to his coaching collection in 2003. Already named Coach of the Year an astounding 17 times, Corfeld increased that total to 19 by leading the Panther women to a title during the indoor and outdoor seasons. After leading the women to two more championships, Corfeld increased his championship total to 20 as a head coach.