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March 25, 2003
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's and women's track and field teams will begin their outdoor season Saturday with a trip to Kalamazoo, Mich., for the Western Michigan Invitational. Saturday's meet will begin at 10 a.m.
About the Panthers
The Panthers enter the 2003 outdoor season looking to repeat as Horizon League Outdoor Champions after winning the title last May in Indianapolis. The women's team returns Outstdanding Performer for Field Events, Lynda Thiel, and league record holder in the 400m, Katie Seep, while Nick Davis, Adam Hobler and Kyle Huebner all return after winning a league title a year ago.
Reviewing the Indoor Season
The women's team reclaimed the league's indoor title on Mar. 1 at the Klotsche Center, scoring the third-highest point total in league history. Lynda Thiel was the meet's Outstanding Performer for Field Events, while head coach Pete Corfeld won his 18th Coach of the Year award. In addition, the women's team broke or tied eight different records during the indoor season. Meanwhile, the men's team finished fourth at the league meet, with Adam Hobler and Kyle Huebner each taking a victory, with Hobler winning the 400m and Huebner winning the pole vault. Hobler would also go on to set the school record in the 400m at the Last Chance Meet at Notre Dame on March 8, 2003.
Middle Distance Masters
First there was Tim Kenney, then Cory Peterson, then Cornelius Hill. Now, three freshmen and a sophomore are stepping up to try to become the next great middle-distance runner for UWM. Freshmen Elliot Enright, Adam Swanson and Gabe Wagoner and sophomore Nick Bruskewitz each concluded an outstanding indoor season with the Horizon League Championships on March 1 and 2, highlighted by Wagoner winning the league's Newcomer of the Year award for running events. Wagoner placed third in the 800m at the league championships, and teamed with Bruskewitz and Enright and junior Adam Hobler to set a new Klotsche Center record in the 1600m relay at the league meet. Bruskewitz finished second in the 1000m at the league meet, with Swanson fifth in the event.
Frey's Going Fast
Senior Nicole Frey made her final indoor season a memorable one, setting a school record in the 200m and finishing with the fourth-fastest 60m time in school history. Frey set the 200m mark at 25.18 on Feb. 21 at the Klotsche Center, and had the fourth-fastest 60m time at 7.80, set on March 8 in South Bend, Ind.
That's the mark a runner must break in the 60m to turn in one of the top ten times in women's school history. A late season surge by several of the Panthers has set the standard under the eight second mark. Six members of the current Panther team are among the top 10 in the event, led by senior Kristy Naef's school-record-tying 7.76, set at the league championships on March 1. Sara Vanderloop, Laura Diers and Iris Perez also all set a new top finish under eight seconds at the league meet, while Nicole Frey set hers a week later at Notre Dame. Katie Seep joined the exclusive club a year ago, posting a time of 7.97 at the 2002 Horizon League Championships in Greencastle, Ind.
Quite the Record Collection
Seven women's school records were tied or broken at various points during the 2003 season. Of the 17 events currently contested in the league, the seven are easily the most from one year currently on the books. Two school records still stand from the both the 1983 and 1985 seasons, the only other seasons with multiple records remaining.
Out With The Old
Adam Hobler took the school's oldest indoor record off the books on March 8 at Notre Dame, when he set the new men's 400m record at 48.58. That mark broke the old record of 48.91, set by George Bezold in 1980. The new oldest mark for the men's team is the 5000m record, held by Chris Peske. Peske finished his record-setting race on March 9, 1985, in Lewiston, Mass., in 14:26.03. Interestingly enough, the oldest school record on the women's side is also in the 5000m, set at 16:44.21 by Cheryl Konkol on Feb. 6, 1982, in Madison, Wis.
Of the four women who won individual championships at the league indoor championships, all four of them are seniors. Kristy Naef (60m), Nicole Frey (200m), Stephanie Kenesie (long jump) and Lynda Thiel (pole vault, high jump) are each entering their final outdoor season at UWM. Combined, the four have won eight league indoor titles and 12 overall league crowns in just the past two seasons.
But The Cupboard's Not Empty
Despite having a successful group of seniors, the Panthers won't be hurting on graduation day. Four of the six Panthers in the top 10 all-time in the 60m dash are underclassmen, while all four of the current Panthers in the top 10 of the 400m will return next season. Likewise, in the triple jump, three of the four Panthers currently in the top 10 all-time will return in 2004.
Lynda Thiel opened the 2003 season where she left off a year ago, breaking the school pole vault record three times this season, and re-setting the school's high jump mark. Thiel won the league pole vault title,clearing 3.54m (11'), tying the league record. She also won the high jump in a school-record 1.71m (5'7 1/4"), earning her league Outstanding Performer for Field Events honors. Thiel cleared 11'7 1/4" in the pole vault Feb. 8 at Northern Iowa, re-setting the school record she broke Feb. 1 in Indianapolis and Jan. 11 in Madison. She also won the pole vault and high jump during both the Eastern Illinois Quadrangular on Jan. 25 and the Carthage College Division I Invitational on Jan. 18. Thiel was named the league's Outstanding Performer for Field Events at the outdoor championships last spring after winning the pole vault and the javelin and finishing fourth in the high jump.
Kenesie Keeps Moving
Senior Stephanie Kenesie has typically been one of the busiest and most versatile athletes on the day of the meet, and the start of the 2003 season has seen no change from that trend. She ended up second in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump Feb. 1 in Indianapolis, along with also running in the 60m hurdles. Jan. 25 in Charleston, she won the long jump while also finishing second in the 60m hurdles and third in the triple jump. Kenesie competed in four events Jan. 18 at Carthage, finishing first in the long and triple jump while also gathering a fourth-place showing in the high jump and a fifth-place mark in the 55m hurdles.
The men's team, seeking to replace one of the most prolific jumpers in school history, Ken Hunt, might have found several candidates after the first couple few weeks of the season. Sean Cludy was second at the league championships in the triple jump, clearing 13.99m (45'10 3/4"). He opened the season by finishing third in the triple jump Feb. 1 in Indianapolis, a week after winning the triple jump and finishing sixth in the high jump at Eastern Illinois. Scott Bambrough was seventh in the triple jump Feb. 1, while Steven Capela was ninth in the long jump in Indianapolis. Cludy and Bambrough each placed in both the long and triple jumps Jan. 18 at Carthage, with Cludy finishing third in the triple and sixth in the long. Bambrough, meanwhile, was eighth in the long and fourth in the triple at Carthage.
One Meet, One Record
Stephanie Ray didn't take long to make her mark on the UWM record book. In her first collegiate competition Jan. 18 at Carthage, she threw the 20lb. weight throw 37'1 3/4", good for the UWM record in the event. The Racine native is the first woman in school history to compete in the event.
Another Strong First Impression
Christine Wampach is quickly having one of the best seasons by a UWM distance runner in school history. Wampach has run one race in the mile, 3000m and 5000m this seasion, with each race winding up as one of the top 10 indoor performances in school history. The sophomore was fourth in the mile Jan. 18 at Carthage, and her time of 5:03.75 is the seventh-best indoor time in school history. Jan. 25 at Charleston, she followed that up with a win in the 3000m run, finishing in 10:09.57, good for the fifth-best 3000m time in UWM history. Most recently, she finished fourth in the 5000m at Indianapolis on Feb. 1 with a time of 17:51.78, which places her sixth on the all-time list. Wampach ran in just the first two indoor meets in her freshman indoor season before sitting out the outdoor season and the fall cross country season.
Lynda Thiel and Katie Seep had a meet to remember last year at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships on May 9 and 10 in Indianapolis. Thiel set a new school record in the pole vault, clearing 3.35m (11 feet) and was named the meet's Outstanding Performer for Field Events. Seep, meanwhile, set a new Horizon League record in winning the 400m, finishing in 57.04.
Breaking The Fieldhouse
Three fieldhouse and five meet records fell at the hands of Panther track and field athletes Jan. 18 at Carthage. The women's team claimed the three fieldhouse marks and three meet marks on their way to a second-place finish, while the men's team took down two meet records and finished third. Stephanie Kenesie and Lynda Thiel each broke a meet and fieldhouse mark, with Kenesie's coming in the long jump and Thiel's in the pole vault. The women's 4x200m relay team of Sara Vanderloop, Laura Diers, Iris Perez and Nicole Frey also grabbed a meet and fieldhouse mark, finishing in 1:44.35. For the men, Kyle Huebner broke his own meet record in the pole vault, while the men's 4x400m relay team also set a meet record, finishing in 3:22.11.
On The Men's Roster
Several strong newcomers join a talented core of returners for coach Pete Corfeld's men's team. Among the returnees are Nick Davis, Kyle Huebner and Adam Hobler, each of whom received first team all-league honors a year ago. Davis and Huebner each won one indoor title, with Davis winning two events outdoors and Huebner and Hobler each winning one. Also returning is sophomore Steve Saul, who earned all-league recognition in cross country during the fall of 2002.
For The Women
Six different women won titles a year ago, with five of them returning in 2003 to defend their championship. Nicole Frey captured both the indoor and outdoor 200m crown, while Stephanie Kenesie won the long jump both indoors and outdoors. Kenesie also added an indoor triple jump title to her credit. Abby Hurst (3000m steeplechase), Katie Seep (outdoor 400m) and Lynda Thiel (outdoor pole vault, javelin) also return to try to repeat.
Thanks For The Memories
The men's team lost three of the most decorated athletes in the school's Division I history in Cornelius Hill, Ken Hunt and Jon Manke at the end of last season. Hill departs UWM after just one season, but holds the school record in the indoor mile and 3000m, along with the outdoor mile. Hunt is the school record holder in the indoor and outdoor triple jumps with the same mark in both. Manke, meanwhile, holds the indoor shot and weight throw records, and the outdoor shot and discus marks.
Next On Tap
The Panthers will head to Charleston, Ill., for the Eastern Illinois Invitational. That meet will be held on April 4 and 5.