April 25, 2012
MADISON, Wis. -- The Wisconsin women’s track and field team returns to the sunny coast of California for this weekend’s Triton Invitational. However, the meet hosted by UC San Diego is just a third of the Badgers’ workload for the weekend. UW will also send some athletes to the 103rd running of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa as well as to Standford's Payton Jordan invitational.
The Badgers’ competition begins Thursday at the Drake Relays, when senior Kyla Chapman and sophomore Lavinia Jurkiewicz line up in the 5000 meters.
The bulk of the competition, however, will be held Friday and Saturday.
Friday features appearances from junior Dorcas Akinniyi in the 100 hurdles and high jump. With the Big Ten championships looming, all three of the Badgers’ multi-event specialists will look to improve in individual events to boost their heptathlon scores. Sophomore Deanna Latham will compete in the javelin competition.
Joining Akinniyi in the high jump is senior Monika Jakutyte.
On the track, junior Brittney Harper will run the unseeded 800 meters, while the Badgers also have entered several relays. Friday will see UW scheduled to compete in the 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays.
Saturday will bring more relays with the shuttle hurdle relay, as well as the 4x1600 and sprint medley relays. Individual track events include competition for senior Dani Fischer and junior Hanna Knurr in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Competing in the Badgers’ only seeded event, sophomore Liga Blyholder will run the 1500 meters.
Saturday’s field events consist only of jumps for UW. Akinniyi will return in the long jump and senior Jordan Helgren will set up for the triple jump.
On the West Coast, the Badgers’ throws group looks to continue its pattern of leaving broken records behind at a meet known for outstanding marks in the throws.
Freshman Kelsey Card, holder of the most recently broken record, will compete in the shot put and discus at the Triton Invitational. Card shattered UW’s all-time discus record at last week’s Musco Twilight Invitational with a launch of 175 feet, 11 inches.
Junior Taylor Smith will join Card in the discus and shot put, but adds the hammer throw to her own schdule for the meet. Smith holds the Wisconsin record in the shot put, which she broke in the season opener with a throw of 53-3 3/4.
Sophomore Abby Lueck registers as the Badgers’ final entry in the hammer throw. Lueck will also compete in Wisconsin most-stacked event of the meet, the shot put, where junior Jasmine Boyer also joins the competition.
The javelin will feature freshman Emmon Rogers and seniors Megan Rennhack and Natasha Smith.
Wisconsin's weekend ends on Sunday with the Payton Jordan Invitational. Junior Ashley Beutler will run in the 1,500 meters as well as the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Beutler currently holds the No. 2 UW performance in the steeplechase that earned her the No. 4 spot in the Big Ten.
Big Ten leader in the 10,000 meters, junior Caitlin Comfort will be competing in the 5,000 meters this Sunday.
The Drake Relays are the first to kick off for the Badgers, with Thursday’s 5000 meters at 8:40 p.m. (CT). Main competition will get an early start on Friday, beginning at 8 a.m. (CT). The Triton Invitational will open at noon (CT) Friday. The Payton Jordan Invitational will begin at 3 p.m. (CT). Live results can be found on UWBadgers.com.