April 27, 2004
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On Tap: Western Illinois University Tune Up Meet
Where: Macomb, Ill.
When: Saturday, May 1
Start: 10:00 a.m.
Men's Outdoor Individual Results
Women's Outdoor Individual Results
After having had a successful two weeks of relay competition, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men and women's track and field team will head to Macomb, Ill. for the Western Illinois Tune Up Meet.
Milwaukee will be sporting a full compliment of athletes in the tune up meet to help prepare for the Horizon League Outdoor Championships. The Panthers have not competed with a full lineup of athletes since the Lee Calhoun Invitational (4/10). The UWM men placed fourth, while the women placed fifth in the competition.
About The Panthers
The 2004 version of the Panthers' track and field team features a great deal of youth as the women's roster is compiled of 31 athletes with 22 of them being underclassmen. The men's team is comprised of 28 athletes with 20 athletes being freshmen and sophomores. Not only do both teams face the challenge of competing at a high level with younger athletes, but also the women's team has the task of making up for the graduation of athletes like Lynda Thiel, Stephanie Kenesie and Kristi Naef. Plus, the Panther women also carry the reign of 2003 Horizon League Indoor and Outdoor Champions. The Panther men will be looking to return to championship form under the leadership of Adam Hobler, Eric Gresham and Nick Davis. All three were members of the last outdoor championship that the men's team captured in 2002.
Last Year In Macomb
Last year's WIU Tune Up meet served to prepare the Panthers for the outdoor league championships and it definitely accomplished that goal. Christine Wampach, Nick Davis, Elliot Enright, Jerry Snyder and Nick Wichert all took advantage of the competition before heading to the league championships. Wampach and Davis each claimed victories with Wampach's coming in the 1500-meter run and Davis' coming in the high jump. Enright, Snyder and Wichert added to the mix by claiming second-place finishes in the 400-meter run, the pole vault and the Javelin, respectively.
Becoming A Trend
The Drake Relays have turned into the record-breaking relays for the Panthers. Milwaukee claimed four school records over the course of three days with top times being set in the men's 1600 and 3200-meter relays and in the women's 400-meter shuttle hurdle relay and four-mile relay.
Wasting No Time
After having ran a season-best time of 3:13.30 in the men's 1600-meter relay at the Kansas Relays (4/17), Adam Hobler, Elliot Enright, Eric Gresham and Jeremy Majors went a step farther. The four UWM athletes finished fourth in their heat, but did so in a school-record time of 3:12.22. The time bumped off last year's time of 3:12.65, which was set at last year's Drake Relays.
There's been a new addition to the women's track and field record book thanks to Christine Wampach, Katie Anderson, Anna Christian and Kourtney Nault. With all four Panthers having displayed a prowess in running long distances and doing so with respectable times, the women's four-mile relay was added. The four athletes have competed in the even twice this year (Kansas and Drake Relays) and have built strong times. The relay team compiled a time of 21:33.16 in Lawrence and dropped that time to 20:52.59 in Des Moines.
Bring On The Championships
It took one time for the Panther women to break through and that was all they needed to get use to winning at the Kansas Relays. Milwaukee brought home two championships at this year's relay meet. The straw that broke the camel's back came courtesy of the four-mile relay team. The group of Christine Wampach, Katie Anderson, Anna Christian and Kourtney Nault claimed the first win by completing the event in a time of 21.33.16. The next group to break through was the 3200-meter relay team, which paced the way with a time of 9:19.26.
Best Foot Forward
Sophomore Josh Nygren has been pretty quiet this spring having only competed in four events throughout the outdoor season. Having said that, Nygren has made an effort to give it his best and came through in a big way during Milwaukee's first day of competition at the 95th Annual Drake Relays. Typically a distance runner, Nygren literally went the distance to claim his career-best time of 30:52.71 in the 10,000-meter run. His previous career-best time was 31:44.94.
Starting Things Off Right
Iris Perez and Sara Vanderloop have become the catalysts for the women's 800-meter and sprint medley relay teams. Perez led off the 800-meter and sprint medley relays at the Drake Relays and, both times, handed off to VanderLoop to take the second leg. The results...a spot on the school's top-10 relay list in both events. It's no surprise that the two Panthers are having success running right by each other as they are first and second on the team's top times list in the 200-meter dash.
The Mark To Beat
Katie Slamka continues to take the right approach to the hurdles this season as she continues to run stronger. After having ran a time of 1:02.56 in the 400-meter hurdles at the Kansas Relays, Slamka returned to better her time at the Drake Relays. The Racine native finished the 400-meter hurdles with a personal-best time of 1:02.42. Which gives her the second-best time in the event for UWM. Slamka was a hurdler for Racine Horlick High School.
Stephanie Ray has turned herself into a triple threat for the UWM track and field team this season. Using her skills and athletic talent, Ray is quickly becoming strong in the pole vault, triple jump and javelin. At the Lee Calhoun Invite (4/10), Ray vaulted herself to clear a height of 10' 11.75" which places her well ahead of any other league competitor. The Racine native also had her best performance of the outdoor season over the weekend in the triple jump with a leap of 35' 4". Ray currently ranks second on the women's team in the javelin with her throw of 81' 4.75".
The first day of the Drake Relays were probably tough on all the runners, but Anna Christian had to have had one of the tougher days. Christian competed in the 10,000-meter run and then followed it up a little while later to compete in the women's four-mile relay. The junior ran a personal-best time of 36:44.82 in the 10,000 and placed 10th. She also helped the relay team set a school record.
Running Strong Again
Freshman mid-distance runner Justin Gorman had an indoor season that most first-year collegiate athletes wish they could have. Gorman was named Horizon League Athlete of the Week (2/3) and qualified for the Junior Nationals Track and Field Championship after running the 800-meter run in a time of 1:52.39 at the ISU Classic (2/13). Gorman, from Spring Valley, has continued to run strong as he competes in the outdoor season. Competing in the 1,500-meter runs, Gorman improved his best time to 3:58.34. His previous best time was 3:59.50.
His Best Day
Freshman thrower Nick Gretz had his best day as a UWM Panther in Charleston, Ill. at the Big Blue Invitational. Gretz claimed his season-best throws in the shot put and discus during the competition. With throws of 49' 5.5" in the shot and 157' 6" in the discus, Gretz claimed two third-place finishes during the competition.
Sophomore Tenia Fisher should break out the boxes, as she'll have to do some reshuffling of items on her trophy case. Fisher, who was named the Horizon League's Outdoor Track and Field Newcomer of the Year in 2003, added two more awards to her shelf. Fisher was named the Horizon League's Indoor Track Athlete of the Meet for the league's indoor championships and has also been named the Horizon League's Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Fisher had an outstanding indoor season by running the 800-meter run in a time of 2:12.04 and claiming two first-place finishes at the indoor championships (3/26-27).
Taking It The Distance
Ben Uphoff apparently doesn't mind going the distance for things. The freshman distance runner did go the distance by claiming his first collegiate win for track and field. Competing in the 5,000-meter run at the Purdue Invitational (3/26-27), Uphoff won the race with a time of 15:28.27. The New London native finished just under 24 seconds in front of the second-place time (15:53.01). He also recently set a personal-best time of 31:30.32 in the 10,000-meter run at this year's Drake Relays.
Port Washington native and freshman distance runner Kourtney Nault is making a habit of finishing sixth in her events during the 2004 outdoor season. Nault opened the outdoor season up by running in the 10,000-meter run and has competed in the 5,000-meter run in the last two outdoor meets. In all three, she's claimed sixth-place finishes.
Another One For The Coach
Panther head coach Pete Corfeld is one of the more quiet coaches in the sport of track and field. A knowledgeable coach, Corfeld resigns to the fact that the athletes do the work. However, his work hasn't gone unnoticed either. Corfeld recently led the Panther men to the 2004 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championship and was also named Coach of the Year. For the Panther head coach, the award was the 20th time he's won it and the championship was his 21st.
While Christian has strong times in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter run, it may be tough for her to break the school records. The record time in the 10,000-meter run is 34:56.71 set by Angie Molter in 1996. While Christian is roughly two and a half minutes off the record time, it may be easier for her to aim for the school record in the 5,000-meter run. The record time of 16:49.20 held by Cheryl Konkol from 1982 may be easier to claim since Christian's current time is 17:38.33. However, it's still a tough task for a runner to improve a time by 50 seconds with just four meets remaining.
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 freshmen 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 success. 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 returnees 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.