Laidley sets meet record


By Jared Meyer, Contributor

The UNO track and field team traveled to Wichita State last weekend, competing in the Varsity Apartments Invitational. By the end of the meet, one of the Mavs’ best athletes earned an event win and established a new meet record.

A week after she finished second in the long jump at the Jack Jennett Invitational at Northern Iowa, Kathie-Lee Laidley did herself one better in the high jump.  Her high jump leap of 5-8 won the event and set an all-time record for the Heskett Center at Wichita State.

Laidley already owns a UNO school record high jump of 5-10 that she achieved during the pentathlon at Northern Iowa last January.  The mark of 5-8 at Wichita State is Laidley’s season best for 2012.

Since Laidley arrived on campus a year ago, she has been one of UNO’s best.  In her freshman season, Laidley grabbed herself a spot on the indoors’ All-American list with a high jump of 5-8 1/2 at the NCAA Championship.

That mark was good enough for fifth place in the championship meet.  In her first and only appearance in the MIAA Championship, Laidley won the high jump with a mark of 5-8 3/4.

Laidley’s teammate, junior Sami Spenner finished second in the triple jump with a season-best jump of 39-6.  In a tiebreaker, Spenner was just behind Missouri State’s Kimsue Grant.

Both athletes achieved a mark of 39-6, but Grant’s second-best jump was longer than Spenner’sSpenner picked up another top-10 finish in the 60-meter dash.

Her time of 7.9 seconds was good enough to put Spenner at 10th in the event.  Like Laidley, Spenner has started 2012 as hot as she finished 2011.  

Spenner was an outdoors’ All-American in the heptathlon in 2011 and set a school record mark of 39-5 3/4 in the triple jump at the MIAA Championship.  A week ago, Spenner established the third-best pentathlon score in UNO history, tied her personal-best in the 60 meters, and beat her personal-best in high jump and long jump.

Junior Amanda Vorthmann was UNO’s third athlete with a top-10 finish, taking second in the 3,000 meters.  Vorthman’s time of 10:00.93 was just 1.6 seconds behind event winner Emily Koeing from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Despite coming up just short of first place, Vorthman’s 3,000 time was a personal-best by six seconds.  It was the second week in a row that Vorthman set a personal-best time in the event.

Her time of 10:06.62 at Northern Iowa got her a first-place finish.

In other events, Sophomore Terri Armstrong finished 15th in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.49 seconds and freshman Lydia Martin had a time of 2:28 in the 800 meters, finishing in 18th place.