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Blugolds Have Three All-Americans, Team Lead At NCAA Meet
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2006
Lisle, Ill. - With three athletes earning All-American status, the UW-Eau Claire women's track team holds the team lead after the first day of competition in the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Benedictine University here Thursday.
The Blugolds scored 15 points in the four events that had finals Thursday to lead Williams College (MA) which is second with 14. The meet continues Friday and concludes Saturday.
The Blugold points were earned by senior Erin Kokta (Brookfield/East), junior Steph Barnes (Sauk City/Sauk Prairie) and junior Paula Crossfield (Madison/East).
Kokta exploded with a jump of 18 feet, 10 inches to place third in the long jump, less than three inches behind the winning effort of St. Thomas' Kristal Grisby.
Barnes matched the height of 12 feet, 2.5 inches that earned her a national pole vault title in 2005 but it was only good for fourth this year. Wilmington's Ashley Johnson won the event at 12-6.25 which was the same height as Augustana's Meghan Voiland but with fewer misses. Calvin's Missy Smith cleared the same height as Barnes but had no misses while Barnes had one. North Central's Megan Rossi, who came into the meet ranked No. 1 with a vault of 13-1.5, finished seventh at 11-10.5.
Crossfield unleashed a season-best throw of 143-6 to finish fifth in the discus. Teammate Brooke Schmidt (Sr.-Rice Lake/Stanley-Boyd) did not reach the finals and had a top throw of 131-9, well off her season-best mark of 143-3.
Molly Warner (So.-Mosinee) was the only other Blugold to compete in an individual event as she finished 16th in the 10,000-meter race in 38:21.18. She had qualified in 37:07.21.
Despite knocking almost a full second off its previous best time this year, the Blugold 1600-meter relay team finished fifth in its heat at 3:51.61 and did not advance to the finals. The quartet included Laura Broner (Fr.-Madison/Memorial), Liz Faller (Jr.-Marinette), Shalene Huth (Jr.-Appleton/West) and Liz Kooistra (Fr.-Lakeville, MN).
On the men's side, freshman Matt Crosby (Glenwood City) is the only Blugold representative, competing in the decathlon. After five events, he finds himself in 12th place out of 17 competitors with 3173 points. He is less than 160 points out of eighth which would earn All-American recognition. Crosby will complete the decathlon Friday while the only two Blugold women to participate Friday will be Faller in the 100-meter hurdle trials and Kooistra in the 400-meter dash trials.
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