Thursday, January 26, 2012

Building Momentum

 With two meets now under our belts, it is clear we have some rising stars and a couple of very good teams. Just how good is yet to be determined, but I am cautiously optimistic about the 2012 season.

Impressive Early:
  •         Veteran Daniel Gooris has gone over 17’ in each of his 2012 meets and is currently leading the MVC pole vault. Daniel will be competing in his first heptathlon of the season this coming weekend at the Jack Jennett Invitational.
  •         Freshman Sebastian Barth has broken the UNI Freshman record twice this year and is currently ranked 2nd in the MVC. He has all the tools to be a big-time collegiate athlete.
  •         Throwers Justin Romero, Tanner Hurt, Jordan Williams and Freshman Justin Baker all look fantastic. These terrific young men will be called upon once again to make a major impact of the MVC scoring this year. Coach Dan O’Mara has done a terrific job with them.  
  •          Freshman 400m runners, Sheldon Magee, Derek Drew, Jesse Davenport, Jordan Guske and Marshall Hill have all run sub-50 already this year. Add veterans Aaron Stockstell, Ryan Newtoff and Justin Bartels to that group and we have one of the finest and deepest long sprint corps in the conference.
  •         Brett Egan ran his first 3k of the season last week and shattered his personal best. He seems to get better every week and we expect him to be an impact performer for us by the end of the season.

  •          Olimpia Nowak broke her own 60m hurdles school record last week in an impressive 8.44. She also set a new PR in the 400m running 56.42. Already holding one of the top pentathlon scores in the country, Olimpia will be competing in her 2nd multis of the season this weekend in the Jack Jennett Invitational, held at home in the UNI-Dome.
  •          Sam Cameron established a season's best 400m in 55.75 en route to her win last weekend in the Jack Johnson Classic held at the University of Minnesota.
  •          Michaela Brungardt broke the 300m school record two weeks ago in the UNI-Dome and then followed that performance with a 400m PR (56.35) last weekend.
  •          Freshmen Paige Knodle and Darian Thompson have looked terrific in their first two collegiate meets. Knodle ran an impressive 60m hurdles last week time of 8.70 which currently ranks 2nd in the MVC behind Nowak. Later that day she set a big 400m PR in 56.35. Knodle will be competing in the first multis of her career this weekend at the Jack Jennett Invite. Thompson also set a 400m PR in that race, running 56.68. Thompson should factor heavily into the MVC 400m and 4x400 Relay.
  •          Throwers Kelsey Sukavaty and Traci Harms have been setting PR’s already in the 2012 season. Both should figure into the MVC scoring this year.

We have a couple big teams and I expect a lot more of our athletes to step up before this 2012 journey comes to an end. We are a long way from the Indoor Missouri Valley Championships in late February, but I like what I am seeing so far. The name of the game now is momentum. We need to continue building it.

This weekend (Feb. 27-28) we host the Jack Jennett Invitational, honoring legendary retired UNI Track and Field coach, Jack Jennett. Jack will be on hand for the festivities as will all of your favorite Panther athletes. The action will begin Friday at 1:30p with the Women's Pentathlon. Saturday the meet will kick off at 10:45a with the Men's Heptathlon.


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