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Four Members Of Women's Track To Compete In Nationals
Posted: Wednesday, March 8, 2006
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire women's track team had four individuals who qualified this season to compete at the NCAA Division III Track and Field National Championships in Northfield, MN.
Stephanie Barnes (Jr.-Sauk City/Sauk Prairie) heads to these nationals for a second year in a row. Last year in the indoor nationals she reached third place in the pole vault with a 3.65 meter (11?113/4") display. Later in the season she took home the national title for the outdoor championships. Barnes has the highest leap in Division III at 3.89 meters (12?9") this season. Next closest is 3.83 meters (12?63/4") by North Central College's Megan Rossi. Her 3.89 meters occurred in Northfield, MN during the Border Battle this season and it became the new facility record. It also is now the Blugold record in the indoor pole vault. Barnes held the old one of 3.66 meters (12?). Her event is on Saturday.
Erin Kokta (Sr.-Brookfield/East) looks to excel in two events at the national championships. She is competing in the long jump and in the triple jump. Her 5.72 meter (18?91/4") long jump is the second longest in Division III, only following the 5.74 meter (18?10") leap of St. Thomas' Kristal Grigsby. Kokta's jump came at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championships and set a new Eau Claire record, with the old one being Jen Stafslein's 5.56 meters (18?3"). Kokta's best triple jump is 11.46 meters (37?71/4"), good for a tie for 10th in Division III. Her triple jump best came at Northfield, MN on February 24th. It is tied for second best in the conference. The long jump occurs Friday while the triple jump is on Saturday.
Liz Faller (Jr.-Marinette) will race in the 55-meter hurdles. She has the eighth best Division III time in the event at 8.36. It is the fastest for the conference this year and it occurred during a first-place run at the WIAC Championships. The prelims are slated for Friday and the finals Saturday.
The final Blugold to compete in the nationals is Liz Kooistra (Fr.-Lakeville, MN), who will be running in the 400-meter dash. Her season-best is 57.28, which places her seventh in Division III. That race occurred at Northfield, MN and is the record there. The old Tostrud Center record was 58.32. It became the Eau Claire record as well, breaking the 58.75 mark held by Tina Soderberg and Breanna McMullen. Prelims take place Friday while the finals are Saturday.
The national championships as a whole begin 10:30 a.m. Friday.