May 14, 2005
Tulsa, Okla. - Fueled by its second individual title in as many days, the University of Nevada track & field team placed fourth at the 2005 WAC Outdoor Championships, which concluded Saturday at the University of Tulsa.
Nevada scored 83.50 points, just ahead of UTEP at 82. Louisiana Tech picked up its second WAC title of the year, after winning its first at indoors back in March. Defending champion Rice placed second with 159. After finishing fifth at indoors this year, it is the first time since joining the WAC in 2000 that the Wolf Pack improved on its finish from indoor to outdoor.
"Things were stacked against us," head coach Shantel Twiggs said. "Every single athlete made an incredible effort throughout the meet to get us where we finished. It was looking like we were looking at eighth going into this weekend. Everyone brought a special `Nevada-factor' this entire season, embracing all the changes and I am proud of them for that."
After picking up its first individual title in over two years on Friday, the Pack had a second individual gold on Saturday. Junior Kali Baker (Las Vegas, Nev.) won the first WAC outdoor title of her career Saturday in the 1,500-meters. Baker lulled her competition into false security holding fourth throughout the majority of the race, until the last turn. She flew past the leader group and came down the final straightaway to take a significant win at 4:25.15.
While this is Baker's first outdoor title, it is actually her third individual gold medal. She has won two mid-distance WAC titles in the last two indoor conference meets. The run in the 1,500-meters proved hard on Baker's hamstring, but she still competed in the 800-meters and she scored placing seventh at 2:13.63.
Sophomore Ashley Mathis (Las Vegas, Nev.) also came up big with her fourth-place finish in the triple jump with her leap of 39'10.50". Sophomore Sherena Smith (Portland, Ore. ) also scored big at fifth with 39'8.75".
In a meet were the Pack's final placing was decided by a point and a half, every score counted. The pole vault proved to be another source of those key points. Sophomore Janna Moyer (Reno, Nev.) tied for fourth making a height of 11'11.75". Sophomore Bree-Ann Piva (Challis, Idaho) made the same height, but had one more miss putting her sixth.
After a huge first day Friday, the throwers again came up tough. In the hammer, senior Sarah Woydziak (Reno, Nev.) took the silver medal with her toss of 184'11". In the discus freshman Inger Appainaitis sneaked into the finals unexpectedly and finished eighth at 142'07". Baker and all four throwers have qualified for the NCAA Regional and will compete at the University of Oregon an attempt to make nationals.