Panthers Get League Championships Underway In Indy
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (May 1, 2008) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's track and field team will get the league championships underway this weekend, sending three athletes to the Horizon League Multi-Event Championships Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the squad will head to Normal, Ill., Saturday for the Redbird Classic. The meet will be Milwaukee's final tune-up before the rest of the league championships get underway May 8 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Sophomores Kory Olson and Emily Budde and freshman Stacey Trzcinski will be competing for the Panthers in Indianapolis. Olson has logged the best heptathlon score in the league this season, aside from teammate Jenni Saarinen (4,563 points), and was second in the pentathlon during the indoor season. Budde took third in the heptathlon last season, as well as in the pentathlon indoors this season. Trzcinski took fifth indoors in the pentathlon.
The Panthers are coming off a busy weekend that saw athletes competing at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, Kip Janvrin Open in Indianola, Iowa, and the Marquette Invitational at home in Milwaukee.
The highlight of the weekend was a school-record and regional-qualifying performance from junior Holly Nearman in the 5000m at Drake. She ran 16:47.80 for third in the event and broke the school record of 16:49.20, which had been set in 1982, while also topping the regional-qualifying time of 16:52.00. She also knocked 18.81 seconds off her personal best she ran at Stanford. Her Stanford time of 17:04.61 was a PR by a whopping 26.82 seconds (17:31.43).
UWM made noise in the jumps, with junior Beth Zimmerman repeating as winner of the triple jump at the Janvrin Open and sophomore Reigna Pierce winning both the long and triple jumps at Marquette. Zimmerman, who also took third in the long jump, leapt a season-best 39-4 in the triple Friday. Then, Saturday, Pierce nearly matched that with a jump of 39-3 3/4 in winning at MU. Junior Kicha Cary gives Milwaukee three of the top four triple jumpers in the league as she jumped 37-7 3/4 in finishing as runner-up to Pierce at Marquette.
Milwaukee looks in good shape for next week's league meet, with Panthers atop the league in six events and second in 10. Aside from the triple jump, Saarinen and Zimmerman are one and two in the long jump and Saarinen is tops in the javelin, just ahead of Olson in second. Saarinen is also second to freshman Chelsea Von Ruden in the high jump, while sophomore Erin Havener (first) and junior Jes Weyandt (second) are atop the pole vault in another one-two punch.
The aforementioned league championships get underway next Thursday (May 8) in Youngstown, Ohio, and conclude Friday. Milwaukee is in search of a second-straight league outdoor championship, fifth overall, and sixth-straight top-two finish.