Track and Field
Men's SIUE Track and Field|
January 11, 2005|
Cougars Look to Push Success Further
The 2005 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women’s track & field team will have its hands full attempting to match the accomplishments achieved in 2004. The women’s team claimed the Great Lakes Valley Conference indoor championships last season.
Despite some key losses, the team has its sights set even higher, and appear to be well on their way to achieving some lofty goals for the 2005 campaign. This past off-season saw the loss of numerous key athletes for the women’s team, but perhaps the biggest loss was the resignation of long-time coach Darryl Frerker.
“There is no replacing a guy with such experience and longevity in the program like Coach Frerker,” said new women’s head coach Ben Beyers. Beyers is joined on the staff by David Astrauskas, new men’s head coach, as well as Eileen McAllister, who will focus on the distance events, and Kevin Koller, graduate assistant.
“Despite our losses, we are even deeper than last year,” noted Beyers. “We are definitely in a position to make an even bigger splash this season and prove to everyone that last year was not a fluke.”
The women sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers will be lead by the Outdoor GLVC Conference Athlete of the Year from last season. Tairisha Sawyer (Chicago) returns for her sophomore season after qualifying for nationals last season as a freshman in the 55m Dash, the 100m Dash, and the 200m Dash.
Sawyer was an All-Conference selection in all three of those events in addition to anchoring both the conference champion 4 x 100m relay team, as well as the 4 x 400m relay team, both of which provisionally qualified for the national meet.
Sawyer was joined on both national-qualifying relays by Jenny Jaquez (Aurora). Jaquez returns for her senior season after also provisionally qualifying for the national meet in the 400 Hurdles.
Another member of the record-setting 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays last season was Valerie Simmons (St. Louis). Simmons, also a sophomore, looks for big things after winning the conference title in the 400 Hurdles and qualifying for nationals in that event.
The final member of last season’s champion 4 x 100m relay also returns. Brittany Reeves (Hanover Park) will come back strong for her sophomore season after also provisionally qualifying for nationals in the 55 Hurdles last season.
Shavon Shegog (Anchorage, Alaska) returns after red-shirting outdoors last season. Shegog was injured, after a great indoor season last year, while anchoring the conference champion indoor 4 x 400m relay that qualified provisionally for nationals. Julia Scherer (Sumner), also a member of the indoor conference champion 4 x 400 relay returns and will be looked at to contribute in all the sprint and hurdle events.
Joining these returnees will be an extremely talented set of newcomers. Asaki Carr (St. Louis), Jessica Levy (Des Plaines), and Christine Butler (Matteson) were all very successful high school athletes and will be looked at to contribute immediately. Kimetha Williams (Bellevue, Neb.) is a transfer from the University of Illinois, and will contribute primarily in the long sprints.
The women’s distance area also looks to be very strong. Lee Ann Lomax (Georgetown) returns this year after red-shirting last season. Lomax was the 2003 GLVC Outdoor Conference champion in the 800m Run and was also All-Conference in the 4 x 400m Relay during that meet as well.
Mary Witte (Normal) returns for her senior year after a banner junior campaign in which she was both crowned conference champion and qualified for nationals in the 3000m Steeplechase. Witte was also a member of the indoor conference champion Distance Medley Relay.
Another distance runner that returns from a trip to nationals last season is Christen Carducci (Powell, Ohio). Carducci also was crowned conference champion indoors in the 3000m Run and earned All-Conference honors outdoors in both the 1500m Run and the 3000m Run. Joining these three as returnees will be Heather Zipparro (Mt. Prospect), Amanda White (O'Fallon), and Priscilla Rahn (East Alton).
Joining the returnees in this group are Jennifer Wilson (Springfield), Elizabeth Hall (Charleston), Kelly Flounders (Homer Glen), and Samantha Christie (Eureka).
On the women’s side, Callie Glover (Bartlett) returns for her sophomore campaign after earning a trip to the national meet in the indoor Shot Put and garnering All-Conference honors both indoors and outdoors in that event. Glover also provisionally qualified for nationals in the outdoor Shot Put. Holly Noller (Pawnee)returns this year after being crowned conference champion in the Javelin last season.
These two returnees will be helped immediately with the addition of two very talented athletes. Lindsey DeFevers (Virden), a transfer from Northern Illinois University and Rachel Nelson (Okawville) will contribute right away to this area.
“Overall, I feel that we have better team than we had last year from top-to-bottom,” says Beyers.
The Cougars open their 2005 season January 15th at the Illinois Wesleyan Relays in Bloomington, Illinois.