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March 24, 2007
For most of the University of Nevada track & field team, the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational was the first outdoor competition of the 2007 season. Despite it being the first competition of the season, Nevada competed like veterans. Nevada had 14 top-three finishes with four wins, two regional qualifiers, and a near school record.
In addition to Nevada student-athletes, the meet featured participants from Boise State, North Florida, Sac State, San Francisco, Santa Clara, UC Davis, Idaho State, Cal and Northern Arizona. There was also numerous Div. II schools as well as area junior colleges. In all, there were 1,396 entries into the meet, including numerous unattached and club athletes. Most notably, Olympians Suzy Powell and Stephanie Brown Trafton competed in the women's discus. Sacramento State will also play host to the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships on June 6-9.
"I was doing a lot of smiling today," head coach Shantel Twiggs said. "We had a huge number of personal bests and some truly amazing marks. There were a lot of our athletes whose performances are marked improvements over where we were at in this point of the season last year. It is very exciting and inspiring to see this team hitting such a strong level of competition so early in the outdoor season. We will be working towards the WAC Championships every week for the next two months, and we are getting off to a great start."
Junior Inger Appanaitis won both the shot put and the javelin throw events. Appanaitis threw 45'10.75 in the shot and 158'04" in the javelin. Her mark in the javelin, seven feet further than her nearest competitor, qualified her directly for the NCAA West Regional as well as giving her a US Championships "B" qualification. She also finished fourth in the discus with a toss of 137'11". In the shot, Appanaitis had a teammate on her heels as freshman Emily Jacobsen finished second at 43'5.75".
Nevada's second regional qualifying mark came on the track when senior Kali Baker won the 800-meters with a time of 2:07.20. Baker swept the competition by more than three seconds despite the fact that she has not competed since last season. Baker did not compete in the indoor season this year after having used up all her indoor eligibility after last year. Junior LaNaya Wattree ran a personal-best of 2:12.04 to finish third in the event.
Freshman Amanda Moreno put herself in the school's extended record books, running the fifth-fastest time ever in Wolf Pack history with a 9:59.36 mark in the 3,000-meters, good enough for third. In addition to the distance runners, the Pack sprinters fared well also. Nevada's 4x100-meter relay team consisting of junior Shaina Wright, senior Kristin Singleton, junior Analisa Serrano and sophomore Patrice Hartwell won the event at 46.47 seconds, just .05 seconds off the school record.
Next up for the Wolf Pack will be a split weekend as the multi-event student-athletes will be off to the Cal Multis hosted in Berkley, Calif. on March 28-29. While the Multis are competing in the Bay Area, most of the team will be in the Cal-Nevada Championships hosted in Fresno, Calif. on March 30-31.