Panthers Sign Six To NLIs For Track & Field
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (March 24, 2010) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee track and field program has signed six high school seniors to National Letters of Intent for 2011, head coach Pete Corfeld announced today.
Luke Parker of Eagan, Minn.; Brian Klipstein of Hartford, Wis.; Sam Leschisin of Sherwood, Wis.; and Ryan Ness of Woodbury, Minn., will attend Milwaukee next season and join the men's track and field team.
The women's team will add Lauren Grant of Waukesha, Wis., and Emily Hamilton of Trevor, Wis., next season, as well.
Parker is a combined events athlete out of Eagan High School, where he specialized in the high jump. He was in the top 15 on the Minnesota state honor roll in each of his first three seasons. As a junior, he cleared 6-7 and tied for the third-best height in the state. He enters his senior season as the top returner in the event. Parker competed at the state meet in the high jump in 2007 and was the only freshman in the event.
"Luke is a talented athlete," Corfeld said. "He has competed in many events through his high school career and has had success in every event. His best event is the high jump, where he is the top returning high jumper in the state of Minnesota. He will add to the talent and depth we have in that event."
Klipstein qualified for the state meet as a sophomore and junior for Hartford Union High School. As a junior, he took fifth in the event. His time of 1:55.92 is the third-best returning time in the state for his senior season. He is two-time defending 800m champion at sectionals and competed at state in the event as a sophomore. He will also compete in cross country for the Panthers.
"Historically, the 800 has been the cornerstone of the UWM track and field program," Corfeld said. "Brian joins a long line of national class athletes at Milwaukee in the event. He returns to WIAA Division 1 competition this season as one of the best in the state. We have a young, strong group forming again in the 800. With the addition of Brian, look for the 4x800 relay to get back to national rankings in the years to come."
Leschisin is a two-time state qualifier in cross country out of Appleton East High School. He also competed for the state meet in the 3200m as a junior, taking 10th. His time of 9:34.92 is the third-best among returning runners this season. He also competed in the 4x800m at the state meet. In cross country, he placed 44th as a junior in 2009.
"Sam is a talented long distance runner," Corfeld said. "He will bolster our up and coming distance crew. I believe he will break into the top seven in his freshman year. He comes to us with a lot of upside."
Ness qualified for the Minnesota state cross country meet his last two seasons for Woodbury High School. One of just two Woodbury runners at the meet, he placed 26th as a senior in the fall, running 16:33.2. As a junior, he was 78th.
"Ryan has only run competitively in cross country for two years. Though he did track all four years, he has really shined in cross country in the two years he has competed. The definition of the word `potential,' comes to mind immediately when speaking of Ryan. We expect that he will also compete in his freshman year for a top seven spot. "
Grant will bolster the Panthers' long sprints group from Waukesha West High School. She took fourth in the 400m at state as a junior and ran a time of 57.65. She also has plenty of relay experience, running in relays at the state meet in each of her first three seasons. As a sophomore, she ran with the runner-up 4x400m relay. At the sectional level, she placed third in the 400m as a junior and has been a part of two winning relays.
"Lauren will help add some needed youth and talent to our 400 group when she gets here next season," Corfeld said. "She had a great junior year and is coming off of a fourth place finish at the state meet. We are excited for the potential she has to develop into a competitive 400 runner at the college level."
Hamilton individually qualified for the state cross country meet in each of her last three seasons at Wilmot Union High School. She showed dramatic improvement each year, taking 28th as a senior with a time of 15:30.6. She was 54th as a junior and 103rd as a sophomore. In track, she was runner-up in the 1600m at regionals, taking sixth at the sectional meet.
"Emily continues to improve as a long distance runner," Corfeld said. "She has only scratched the surface of her ability. Her potential equates to great things in our program."