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Women's Track & Field Opens Outdoor Season Saturday
Posted: Thursday, April 7, 2005
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire women's outdoor track and field team will open its season this Saturday at the eight-team Falcon Invitational at 11:00 a.m. hosted by UW-River Falls.
The 2004 Blugold outdoor team finished in fourth place at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships on May 7 and 8 in Eau Claire. The Blugolds finished with 105.50 points while UW-Oshkosh won the event with 217.17 points. UW-La Crosse finished in second with UW-Stevens Point claiming third.
The Blugolds return a pair of athletes who qualified for outdoor national competition in 2004, led by Jen Stafslien (Sr.-Onalaska/West Salem) who took third in the 100-meter hurdles one year ago. Stafslien is fresh off an incredible performance at indoor nationals, where she claimed All-American status in three different events. She finished fourth in the 55-meter hurdles and seventh in both the long and triple jump.
Giving Stafslien competition once again will be teammate Ashley Nelson (Sr.-Darwin, MN/Litchfield), who returns for her senior campaign. Nelson was the conference champion in the long jump last year while taking second in both the triple jump and 100-meter dash. She qualified for national competition in the long jump but did not advance past the preliminaries.
Stephanie Barnes (So.-Sauk City/Sauk Prairie) will look to translate her phenomenal indoor season outdoors after a third place finish in the pole vault at indoor national competition. Barnes was the indoor conference champion in the event.
Shalene Huth (So.-Appleton/West) and Kristi Hansen (Sr.-Rosemount, MN) each return looking to improve on last year's performance in short and mid-distance running events. Huth posted the fastest Blugold time in the 200-meter dash last season while Hansen took fifth at the conference championships and was the fastest Blugold all season in the 400-meter run.
Sarah Kasabian-Larson (Sr.-East Peoria, IL/E.P.C.H.S.) also returns after posting the best times on the Eau Claire roster in both the 800-meter and 5,000-meter runs last season.
The throwing events could belong to everybody this season, and contenders will include Paula Crossfield (So.-Madison/East). Crossfield had the best distances in both the discus and hammer throw events of any returning Blugold.
Eau Claire will begin the outdoor season this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Falcon Invitational in River Falls. Competing teams include River Falls, St. Benedicts (MN), UW-Stout, UM-Morris, North Central University (MN), St. Scholastica (MN), and St. Cloud State (MN).
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