June 1, 2003
2009 Season - 2003 WOMEN'S TRACK & FIELD REVIEW
Three school records fall as Vikings enjoy another banner season
A trio of school records fell for the Augustana Vikings women’s track & field team in the 2003 season as veteran head coach Fred Whiteside’s team once again enjoyed a banner season. Senior Jennifer Vortman (Kewanee Wethersfield HS, Kewanee, IL) established a new school mark in the 3000 steeplechase, running 11:54.7 in the final meet of the season, the Midwest Championship on May 16. Vortman and Julie Cassata (Plainfield HS, Plainfield, IL) took turns breaking the school record this spring, taking down the previous mark of 12:09.64 held by Megan Carlson in 2002.
Jodi Stanton (Stephen F. Austin HS, El Paso, TX) was a triple jumper and sprinter during the early portion of the season and picked up the shot late in the year. Stanton established a new school record in the shot when she launched a throw of 41’ 2” in the Illinois Wesleyan Open on May 10 in Bloomington, Illinois. She broke the previous record of 40’ 10” of Becca Parker in 2002.
The third school record came in the hurdle shuttle relay when the quartet of Tracy Skibitzki (Badger HS, Lake Geneva, WI), Elyce Kluz (Stillman Valley HS, Stillman Valley, IL), Jordana Taylor (Michigan City HS, Michigan City, IN) and Laura Kendall (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL) clocked a time of 1:03.56 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa on April 26. That took down the old record of 1:05.96 set in 2001 by Kluz, Taylor, Jamie Bechina and Skibitzki.
Once again the Vikings enjoyed a tremendous season with victories in three invitationals. The year began with an easy win in the fifteen team Early Spring Opener on March 22 as Augustana scored 297 points to far outdistance second place Truman State’s total of 135 points. On April 5 Whiteside’s bunch scored 316 points to win the Viking Olympics against a field that included top level teams such as Wartburg and Loras. The Augustana Invitational on April 17 had 15 teams and the Blue & Gold scored 227.5 points to best runnerup Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s score of 193. Along with the impressive wins in the three invitationals, the Vikings also picked up a 99-85 dual meet victory over Wisconsin-LaCrosse on March 28 at home.
At the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin meet on May 2-3 at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, Augustana finished second with 156.5 points, just 19.5 behind the winning total of 176 put up by Carthage. Two Vikings won individual titles and both came in the field events. Freshman Casey Jacobs (Freeport HS, Freeport, IL) won the high jump with a clearance of 5’ 2 ½”. Junior Carol Reif (Immaculate Heart of Mary HS, Westchester, IL) won the javelin for the second year in a row, this time with a toss of 124' 2”.
A total of five athletes met NCAA Division III qualifying marks during the season. Tracy Skibitzki (Badger HS, Lake Geneva, WI) ran :15.03 in the 100 hurdles and 1:04.52 in the 400 intermediate hurdles at the CCIW meet. Manda Geerts (Morrison HS, Morrison, IL) cleared 11’ 4 ¼” at the Augustana Invitational on April 17 while teammate Lindsey Mathias (Moline HS, Coal Valley, IL) went over 11’ 1” way back on March 28 in a dual meet at home against Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Jennifer Smith (Davenport North HS, Parkview, IA) ran 4:41.87 in the 1500 at the Augustana Invitational on April 17 and Reif threw 137’ 3” in the javelin at the Drake Relays on April 25.
Skibitzki and Smith shared the Most Valuable Performer award as voted on by their teammates at the end of the season. Jessica Corvo (Downers Grove North HS, Downers Grove, IL), Jacobs and Laura Kendall (Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn, IL) were elected co-Most Valuable Freshmen. The Erica Vortman Viking award went to Smith and Erin Van Wetzinga (Rockford Lutheran HS, Rockford, IL). Jennifer Vortman (Kewanee Wethersfield HS, Kewanee, IL), Cassata, Amber Wickstrom (Mother Guerin HS, Chicago, IL), Ashley Higgerson (R.O.W.V.A. HS, Rio, IL) and Stanton were elected Most Improved Athletes. The captains-elect for 2004 are Geerts, Kim Nelson (Stark County HS, Lafayette, IL), Reif and Smith. The captains for 2003 were Devon Morrison (Highlands Ranch HS, Highlands Ranch, CO), Becca Parker (Moline HS, Moline, IL), Skibitzki, Taylor and Van Wetzinga.
Taylor was named to the CCIW academic all-conference team and Geerts was voted on the Verizon academic all-American team.
2003 AUGUSTANA WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD SUPERLATIVES
SCHOOL RECORD 3000 STEEPLECHASE: Jennifer Vortman – 11:54.7
SCHOOL RECORD SHOT PUT: Jodi Stanton – 41’ 2”
SCHOOL RECORD HURDLE SHUTTLE RELAY: Tracy Skibitzki, Elyce Kluz, Jordana Taylor, Laura Kendall – 1:03.56
CCIW CHAMPION HIGH JUMP: Casey Jacobs
CCIW CHAMPION JAVELIN: Carol Reif
NCAA DIVISION III NATIONAL QUALIFIERS: Tracy Skibitzki (100 hurdles & 400 hurdles)…Manda Geerts (pole vault)…Lindsey Mathias (pole vault)…Carol Reif (javelin)…Jennifer Smith (1500).
CCIW ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE: Jordana Taylor
VERIZON ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Manda Geerts
VERIZON ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN: Manda Geerts (2nd team)
AUGUSTANA MVP: Tracy Skibitzki…Jennifer Smith
AUGUSTANA MOST VALUABLE FRESHMAN: Jessica Corvo…Casey Jacobs…Laura Kendall
AUGUSTANA MOST IMPROVED: Jennifer Vortman…Julie Cassata…Amber Wickstrom…Ashley Higgerson…Jodi Stanton
ERICA VORTMAN VIKING AWARD: Jennifer Smith…Erin Van Wetzinga
2003 CAPTAINS: Devon Morrison…Becca Parker…Tracy Skibitzki…Jordana Taylor…Erin Van Wetzinga
2004 CAPTAINS-ELECT: Manda Geerts…Kim Nelson…Carol Reif…Jennifer Smith
2003 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN WOMEN”S TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIP
INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS
Kelly Van Guilder
5’ 2 ½”
18’ 2 ¼”
38’ 6 ¾”
39’ 3 ¾”