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April 24, 2003
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's and women's track and field teams will compete in the prestigious Drake Relays this weekend. UWM is continuing an already-successful outdoor season that has seen the Panthers accomplish feats not seen before in the school's Division I history, and will look to continue that momentum into the Horizon League Championships in two weeks.
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 Katie Seep, the league record holder in the 400m, while Nick Davis, Adam Hobler and Kyle Huebner all return after winning a league title a year ago.
First, A First...
Senior Lynda Thiel became the first UWM athlete in school history to qualify for the NCAA Regional Qualifying meet, which will be held May 30 and 31 in Columbus, Ohio. Thiel surpassed the qualifying standard in the javelin Saturday at the Pacesetter Invitaitonal at Indiana State with a throw of 42.03m (137-11), beating the qualifying standard of 41.48m. This season is the first year for the regional qualifying system. Thiel will likely not be the last qualifier, as each individual conference champion also qualifies automatically for the regional meet.
Sounds Like A Broken Record
Going back to last year's outdoor championships, Lynda Thiel has broken the school pole vault record five times, including March 29 at Western Michigan. Thiel cleared 3.37m (11-0.75) in Kalamazoo, breaking the old mark of 3.35m (10-11.75) that she set at last year's outdoor championships. Thiel broke the indoor mark three times this year, topping out at 3.54m (11-7.25). Thiel also holds the indoor high jump record and originally set the school javelin mark at Eastern Illinois with a throw of 40.63m (133-3), breaking the old mark by two centimeters, before resetting the javelin mark on Saturday at Indiana State.
What To Watch For
The Panthers will run in six relays at the Drake Relays this weekend, with the women's team competing in five of them. The men's team will run the 4x400m, with Adam Hobler, Nick Viall, Elliot Enright and Eric Gresham competing. Josh Nygren will be the lone individual runner for the men's team. The women will be trying to break several lesser-known records at Drake, including the shuttle hurdle and the 1600m sprint medley relay. In addition, the women's team will be running the 4x100m, 4x200m and the 4x400m relays. Individually, Lynda Thiel will compete in the javelin and Kristy Naef will run in the 100m.
One Stellar Season
The women's team is quickly making the 2003 season one of the best in school history. On top of winning the school's third league indoor title by scoring the third-highest point total in league history, the women's team has tied or broken 10 different records 15 times. The women's indoor pole vault mark has fallen three times, while the outdoor pole vault, javelin, and hammer have each fallen twice. The women's team also appears to be the frontrunner to win its third consecutive outdoor championship.
Josh Nygren and Nate Weiland set the two fastest indoor 5000m times by a freshman at the league championships on March 1. Nygren finished sixth in the event, clocked at 15:08.3, while Weiland finished just behind in 15:28.3, good for ninth place overall. In a testament to the traditional strength of the Panther program, Nygren's time places him just 10th on the school's all-time performance list in the event. However, the pair are part of a strong future for both the current outdoor season and next fall's cross country campaign.
Now Add A Few Obstacles...
Freshman Josh Nygren earned himself another place in UWM track and field history Saturday by finishing sixth in the 3,000m steeplechase at Western Illinois in 9:37.58. That mark places him third on UWM's all-time steeplechase list. That meet marked the first time in the past two years a men's runner has even competed in the steeplechase.
Hit The Relay Switch
Both the men's and women's 4x400m relay teams had exceptional races Saturday at Western Illinois. The men's team of Adam Hobler, Elliot Enright, Nick Viall and Gabe Wagoner finished second in 3:17.60, moving them into fourth-place all-time. That's also the fastest mark a UWM relay team has set during the 14-year leadership of coach Pete Corfeld. The women's team wouldn't be outdone, however, as the foursome of Katie Seep, Teresa Braunreiter, Katie Slamka and Tenia Fisher finished second in 3:52.60, moving them into third place in the school record book. That also marks the fastest time set by a UWM relay team under Corfeld.
Picking Up Where He Left Off
Freshman Gabe Wagoner hasn't let the success of his indoor season go to his head, as his performances continue to improve as the season goes on. Wagoner, the league's Newcomer of the Year for Running Events, currently holds the fifth-fastest time in the outdoor 400m this season. Saturday at Western Illinois, he finished the 800m in 1:56.06, a time that would put him second in the league in that event as well.
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.
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.
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.
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 took a pair of first place finishes Saturday at Western Michigan, winning the triple jump and the long jump. Kenesie was also 11th in the javelin, and competed in the 100m hurdles as well. 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. Ray also set the school's hammer throw record on April 5 at Eastern Illinois.
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.
Next On Tap
The Panthers will have their final tune-up before the Horizon League Championships with a meet at Western Illinois on May 2 in Macomb, Ill.