Panthers Head To Purdue For Rankin Invitational
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (April 16, 2009) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team returns to action this weekend, heading to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Dave Rankin Invitational Saturday.
The Panthers will head to the meet hosted by Purdue University for the second-straight season, in lieu of the originally-planned trip to the Indiana Invitational.
UWM will also send three distance runners to California. Junior Abbie Zaspel and senior Holly Nearman will compete at the Mt. Sac Relays, while senior Danielle Magargee will run at the Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State. Zaspel runs in the Olympic Development section of the 10,000m Thursday, while Nearman will be in the OD section of the 5,000m Friday. Magargee runs in the 5,000m at LBSU Saturday.
Milwaukee is coming off its first true dual meet in over 12 years last weekend, falling to crosstown rival Marquette, 104-83. The Panthers won nine events at the first of what both coaches plan to make an annual meeting. Junior Kelsey Conrad led the way, winning the 100m, 200m and running with the first-place 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
The Panthers had also sent their multi-event athletes to the Sea Ray Relays last week. Junior Emily Budde represented UWM in the heptathlon and placed ninth with 3,954 points.
Conrad was named the Horizon League Track Athlete of the Week this week for the third time in 2009. Junior Erin Havener, who won the pole vault at Marquette, was named the league's field athlete of the week for the second time. In all, Milwaukee has claimed seven of the eight weekly honors the league has handed out over the last four weeks, dating back to the indoor season.
The Panthers are just past the midway point of an impressive season. Nearman has already broken her own school record in the 5,000m and qualified for the NCAA Mideast Regional in her outdoor debut March 27. Conrad, meanwhile, moved up to fourth in school history in the 100m (11.86) and third in the 200m (24.45) at Marquette last weekend, her first outdoor meet of the season.
Last season at the Rankin Invitational, Havener and Beth Zimmerman highlighted the event for UWM. Havener broke her own school record by clearing 12-3 1/2 in taking second in the pole vault. Zimmerman jumped 38-7 3/4 in the triple jump to win the event.
Milwaukee returns to action next weekend at the Drake Relays and Marquette Invitational. The prestigious Drake Relays kick off Thursday (April 23) and run through Saturday. The Marquette Invite is April 25 in Milwaukee.