Jan. 28, 2004
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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men and women's track and field team will head just down the road to Kenosha to compete in the Carthage College Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 31. The competition is set to begin at 11 a.m. in the Tarble Athletic Center.
Finding The Shine Early (women's recap)
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team was suppose to be using the early part of the indoor season to shake off some of the winter rust that sits in a track athlete over the course of season's beginning. However, that memo must have gotten lost during UWM's ride down to the University of Chicago Invitational.
The Panthers, coming off a consistent indoor season opening performance at Carthage College, shook off the rust in just their second meet of the season to find their shine. What a shine it was. The Panther women put on a sterling effort by running away with the meet victory with 175 team points, 50 points better than the second-place team (Valparaiso).
The women's track and field team cruised to a victory largely in part to a total team effort. Timeka Walker, Laura Diers, Iris Perez and Sara Vanderloop all placed in the top-four positions for the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Walker took the victory in the 55-meter dash (7.41) with Diers (7.44), Perez (7.45) and VanderLoop (7.52) claimed the next three spots. Perez ran a 26.02 to take the victory in the 200-meter dash and was followed up by VanderLoop (26.29), Walker (26.62) and Diers (26.84).
The Panthers continued their dominance by picking up victories in the 400-meter dash thanks to Teresa Braunrieter's top time of 1:00.20 and in the 4x400-meter relay with a winning time of 4:07.72. Anna Christian added to the mix by pacing herself to a victory in the 5,000-meter (18:18.70) while Jodi Hrdina and Taryn Cozine placed second and third in the 55-high hurdles. Griffin McNulty (2:24.42) and Tenia Fisher (2:24.46) raced themselves to second and third-place finishes in the 800-meter run, Christine Wampach added a third-place finish in the mile (5:17.59) and Kalin Konop rounded out the efforts with a third-place finish in the triple jump (10.61 meters).
"I was really happy with the way the women ran today," head coach Pete Corfeld said. "A coach always has questions about how strong his or her team will start the season off, but the team really seems to be in that mode of winning right out of the gates."
Another Step In The Right Direction (men's recap)
The UWM men made their own impact on Saturday afternoon at the Univ. of Chicago Invitational. It's hard to top a victory by the women's team, but the Panther men stayed true to the idea of getting better every meet. After placing fourth in their first meet of the season, UWM took another step forward by placing third with 99 team points. A one spot increase in team standings is rarely a big accomplishment, but the men's track and field team competed in their second consecutive meet without a complete arsenal of runners. The fact that the Panthers have not competed with all their runners is largely in part to early season training.
The Panther men turned in solid individual performances by scoring five first-place finishes. Eric Greshman took the top spot in the 400-meter with a time of 49.99, Josh Nygren ran a time of 15:06.80 in the 5,000-meter to claim first and Nick Davis jumped 2.02 meters in the high jump for the victory. Nick Gretz threw his way to a victory in the shot put with a top throw of 14.49 meters. The Panther men also added a victory in the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:26.86.
Other top performers on the day for the men were Jeremy Majors, Andy Kivioja and Sean Cludy. Majors placed second in the 200 (23.16), Kivioja took third in the mile (4:28.16) and Cludy jumped to a third-place finish in the triple jump (13.60 meters).
"The men did a really good job with the way they performed," Corfeld said. "We didn't have our middle-distance runners with us today to claim some points, but overall, I was still pleased with the type of showing we had."
Early Awards Cometh
As the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field program opened up the 2004 indoor season, head coach Pete Corfeld was looking for athletes that would have strong individual efforts to help maintain the championship tradition that has become synonymous with UW-Milwaukee track and field. Katie Slamka answered that calling in the season opener by scoring two first-place and two second-place finishes throughout the course of the past weekend. Slamka's efforts have been rewarded as she has been named Horizon League Athlete of the Week.
Slamka, a native of Racine, opened up her weekend by tying for first-place in the high jump at the UWM Developmental Meet on Friday, Jan. 16. The sophomore jumped a height of 5'2", good for a first-place tie. Slamka returned on Saturday afternoon at the Division I Invitational to lead off for UWM's winning mile relay team that recorded a time of 4:01.59. Slamka also paced herself to a second-place finish in the 400-meter dash (59.40) and 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.
"Katie has a high work ethic," head coach Pete Corfeld said. "It's great to see her win the award so early in the season because she is well deserving of it. She's a consistent runner and should only get stronger as the year goes on."
This is the first time that the sophomore has won the award during her career at UWM. Slamka and the rest of the Panther track and field program will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 24 when they compete at the University of Chicago Invitational. The meet is set to begin at 11:30 a.m.
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.