Ten Panthers Heading To NCAA Mideast Regional
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (May 27, 2009) - Ten members of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's and women's track and field teams will head to Louisville, Ky., this weekend for the NCAA Mideast Regional Championships, hosted by the University of Louisville.
The Panther men will have seven athletes competing over six events in seniors Adam Schleis (long jump) and Patrick Casey (4x400m relay), juniors Tyler Bucholz (200m, 4x400m), Isaiah Adams (400m, 4x400m) and Quinn Mongoven (high jump), sophomore Cory Yttre (4x400m) and freshman Ben Crogan (pole vault).
On the women's side, senior Holly Nearman (5000m) and juniors Kelsey Conrad (200m) and Erin Havener (pole vault) will also be vying for places at the NCAA Championships, June 10-13, in Fayetteville, Ark.
The top five finishers in each event qualify for the national meet, while the top 12 finishers are eligible for at-large berths. Nick Gretz was UWM's last NCAA qualifier, competing in the discus throw in 2007.
Nearman came closest to qualifying last season, finishing eighth in the 5000m and missing the cut for nationals by one place. The regional meet was where she broke the school 5000m for the first time. This season, she qualified for the meet by eclipsing the regional standard twice in 2009. The 2009 league champion in the 5000m and 10,000m, her school record is currently set at 16:36.62. Fifth place took 16:31.76 last season.
Mongoven will look to qualify for the national meet in the high jump. He set a school and league record in the event when he cleared 6-11 in winning a third-straight league outdoor high jump title. He eclipsed the regional standard and school-record height of 6-10 3/4 at all but one meet this season. In 2008, he did not register a height while competing at his first regional meet. The rest of the field featured a tie for fifth place at 6-9. Fourth place at the meet was 6-11.
Bucholz is another regional qualifier, cracking the qualifying time in his first meet of the outdoor season (21.31). He then lowered his season-best time to a league-record 21.23 as he repeated as league champion in the event. His personal best of 21.17 came at the 2008 regional meet, where he took 18th in the preliminaries. The qualifying time for the 200m finals last season was 20.71, while fifth place in the finals finished in 20.58.
Adams was the last Panther to get his regional time, doing so in repeating as the league's outdoor 400m champion. He lowered his own school record in the event when he finished in 47.11. He was then named the meet's Outstanding Track Performer for his 400m title and second-place finish in the 200m. He also joined Bucholz and won league crowns in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays. The 2008 400m finalists each ran a time better than 46.86, while fifth place took 46.61 in the finals.
Adams, Bucholz, Casey and Yttre won a league title in the 4x400m relay, earning a spot at the regionals with their league champion status. The quartet lowered the school and league records in the event to 3:10.68. Yttre also ran with Adams in the 400m at the league meet, taking second in 47.48, also trumping Adams' school record set in 2008. Last season, fifth place in the 4x400m ran 3:07.57.
Conrad will represent UWM in the women's 200m after a prolific league meet where she won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. She also earned all-league second-team honors with the runner-up 4x400m relay. In the 200m, she broke the league record in the preliminaries and then again in the finals, clocking a time of 24.05. She was named the Outstanding Track Performer of the meet. Last season, a time of 23.31 was needed to qualify for the finals, while fifth place in the finals was 23.13.
Havener and Crogan will each be making their regional debuts in the pole vault. Havener is a perfect 6-for-6 in her career at league meets in the event, winning the outdoor pole vault this season with a school and league-record height of 12-7 1/2. Crogan tied his own school record and the league mark in winning the men's pole vault with a height of 16-0 3/4. Fifth place in the 2008 women's regional pole vault was 13-3 3/4, while the fifth-place men's finisher cleared 17-1.
Schleis will compete in the long jump, an event he won a league title in this season. His leap of 23-10 at the league championships is the second-best jump in school history. At the regional meet last season, fifth place leapt 25-7 1/2.