Women's Track Outlook
WHAT WILL BE THE FALCONS' STRENGTH IN 2001?
Undoubtedly, the jumps will be the featured events for the Falcons in 2001. C1C (Sr.) school record-holder in the pole vault, Ana-Maria Ortega has established herself as one of the top vaulters in the Mountain West Conference. She has raised the school record no fewer than 14 times during the last three years, and is capable of pushing the record significantly higher in 2001, now that her volleyball career is complete.
2001 could be the year that C1C Le'Netta Banks breaks a school record of her own in the high jump. After jumping 5'7" each of the last two seasons and an excellent fall of training, Banks looks capable of not only leaping high in 2001 but also scoring high in the conference. Three freshmen with outstanding credentials should give the Falcons a high level of success in the horizontal jumps. Brittany Edmonds, Erica Lankford and LaTravia Robinson are all capable of long jumping beyond 19 feet and triple jumping beyond 39 feet.
HOW ABOUT THE SPRINTS AND HURDLES?
C3Cs (So.) Katy Crow and Domonique Torbert both had outstanding frosh seasons, and will be counted on for even more in 2001, both in terms of leadership and performance. Head coach Ralph Lindeman believes both will ultimately make an impact in the sprint-strong MWC. C2C (Jr.) Adonis Haynes returns in the hurdles, but C4C (Fr.) Lankford and Edmonds should have impressive debut seasons in the 100m hurdles. Versatile Sarah Buegel will compete in both hurdles and the long jump.
HOW STRONG WILL THE FALCONS BE IN THE DISTANCE EVENTS?
After graduating two distance runners the caliber of Rachel Smith and Heather Johnson, one would expect a drop-off in 2001, but that will not be the case according to assistant coach Mark Stanforth. C1C Jaime Flood had an outstanding cross country season, leading the Falcons to a third place conference finish. Flood scored in the MWC Championships last spring in both the 5000 and 10,000m events. C4C Jean Taylor had an impressive debut season in cross country this past fall, and will be counted on to repeat those performances on the track.
The Falcons should be especially strong in the 800m, with C1C Dalia Wenckus providing veteran leadership and C4C Stephanie Cornell expected to run at a level that could make her a MWC finalist.
WHAT ABOUT THE THROWING EVENTS?
The Falcons took a hit in the throwing events when C1C Tara Copas quit the squad and promising C3C Evaine Mansfield was declared ineligible for the 2001 season because of an Academy violation. As it is, C3C Jocelyn Dooley threw over 130-feet in the javelin last season, and can be expected to improve upon that mark this season. And count on assistant coach Scott Irving to find some young prospects in all four of the throwing events that will give the Falcons a solid basis.
HOW DOES THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE SHAPE UP?
BYU again will be a heavy favorite to win both indoor and outdoor championships in 2001. Colorado State, San Diego State and UNLV also have formidable squads, and all could score high nationally. The Falcons look to improve on their eighth place finishes indoors and outdoors from last year.
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED NATIONALLY?
Last season Ortega became the first Falcon to meet an NCAA Provisional qualifying mark, although failing to advance to the championships. With continued improvement to 13 feet and above, she could become the first Falcon to compete in the NCAA Division I Championships in track and field.