UNLV 2005-06 Preview|
Oct. 10, 2005
Considering that the UNLV track and field program lost a four-time All-American and two school-record holders, it is easy to understand that this will be a rebuilding year for head coach Barbara Ferrell-Edmonson.
But while Ferrell-Edmonson works toward bringing the Rebels to the top of the Mountain West Conference, the cupboard is not exactly bare heading into this season.
"When you lose a lot, it always hurts a little," Ferrell-Edmonson said. "However, that also creates opportunities for other people and we have a group of girls who will step up this year and get it done."
Deanna Appuglise will lead the way for the Rebels this season while pacing a group of sprinters that will be the strong point of the squad. Appuglise will run both the 200 and 400 meters and also be a part of both the 400 and 1,600 meter relays. Brittney Bullocks made an immediate impact as a freshman last season and now that she is a year older, bigger things will be expected of the Maywood, Ill., native. Bullocks finished second at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships in the 200 meters (24.67) and also ran on both relay teams. This season Bullocks will run the 100, 200 and run on both relay squads.
"Deanna and Brittney will be our role models for the team. They are what we want UNLV track and field to be," Ferrell-Edmonson said. "Those two will need to lead our team this year."
Away from the track and into the jumping pits, Kenya Pollee is the top returning long jumper for the Rebels. Pollee finished 12th in the long jump at the MWC Outdoor Championships (17'-3.50") as a freshman last year and she also sprinted for the Rebels last season. Other athletes who may compete in the long jump include Carr and Patin.
"Jumps will be a work in progress," Ferrell Edmonson said. "We will work with some of the sprinters to see if they can also compete in the jumps and work toward becoming multi-event athletes."
In the throwing events, three sophomores will lead the way for UNLV, led by Rebel record holder Monique Humphries. As a freshman last season, Humphries set the school's top mark in the weight throw at the MWC Indoor Championships with a toss of 54'-2.50". She finished 10th in the meet with that mark. Alayna Mills is another sophomore who broke a UNLV record as she set the freshman mark in the javelin with a toss of 140'-10.00" Joining those two is Brittney Turner, who will throw the discus and the hammer.
A large group of seniors will pace the Rebel distance runners this year in Katie Hughes, Colleen O'Brien, Ashley Pierce-Callihan and Leta Rose. Hughes, O'Brien and Pierce-Callihan have all been at UNLV for three years and bring an immense amount of experience.
"There is a good group of seniors that need to step up and perform well and we feel they will," Ferrell-Edmonson said. "I feel good about the group that we have, but they will need to get better as the season goes on."
Several freshmen will also be a factor this season for the Rebels as the team rebuilds. Starena Flood, Lakeiska Lawson and Marina Young will all be counted on to score points in the sprints and jumps while Ashley Lif will be among the squad's top distance runners.
"They will have to jump out of the box and hit the ground running," Ferrell-Edmonson said. "Our coaching staff will help in that transition for the freshman. You would like to have a redshirt year for them, but that is not the case this year."
After finishing sixth at the MWC championships during the indoor season and fifth at the outdoor league meet, Ferrell-Edmonson believes that the Rebels can make a move up the standings, despite the fact that the team is rebuilding.
"We have a new attitude this year," Ferrell-Edmonson said. "We are going to rebuild and we are going to make it happen."