Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, May 15, 2001


UH hopes to make
some noise at WAC

By Dave Reardon

University of Hawaii track and field coach Carmyn James is predicting two new school records at the Western Athletic Conference championships this week in Fresno, Calif.

"I can confidently say we'll do the best ever in the heptathlon and the steeplechase," James said. "The reason I can say that is this is the first time we'll ever be in those events. They didn't exist before."

There have been plenty of new adventures for the reborn Wahine this spring; UH is competing in track and field for the first time in 15 years.

Nicole Kaffka is the heptathlete. She and James left for Fresno today, to be followed by the rest of the team tomorrow. The first day of the heptathlon is tomorrow.

"I'm predicting Nicole will finish in the top six," James said. "This is the first time she puts all the events together. If she has a good second day, she can finish in the top three."

Distance-runner Cheryl Smith is Hawaii's top competitor. She is favored to win the 10,000 meters and should finish in the top three in the 5,000 meters, James said.

Smith, who was third in the WAC in cross country last fall, holds the school record in the 10,000 (34 minutes, 25.35 seconds).

"Casey (McGuire-Turcotte) should score in the 1,500, too," James said. "We may have her run the 5K. Judging from her cross country times, she might get in the points."

Sarah McDiarmid and Olivia Smoody are expected to place in the high jump, James said.

The way the coach has it doped, the Wahine will score 33 points.

"That would put us somewhere around the bottom," James said. "But this year isn't about scoring major team points."

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