WMU News

Women's track team announces recruits

Aug. 28, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University women's track and field team has signed nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2001 indoor and outdoor seasons. The incoming group includes three state champions and recruits from as far away as Florida and Canada.

"This is probably the highest quality class we have brought in since I've been here," says head coach Diane Russo, now in her 11th season. "We have added depth to our sprints and hurdles groups and I'm very excited about working with these kids."

Below are biographical capsules on the 2001 recruiting class.

Januale Bennett, sprints, Niles, Mich. (Niles HS) Committed to WMU during the early signing period. Set state meet record of 56.40 in capturing the Class B 400 meter championship in 1999. Competed in the state 400 four straight years, winning back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999. Finished fourth in the 800 meters at the 2000 Class 2 state meet.

Danella Bythwood, multis, Belle Glade, Fla. (Glade Central HS/Barton County CC) Placed second in the heptathlon at the National Junior College Championships, scoring 4,855 points.

Leah Godfrey, middle distance, Toronto, Ont. (York Memorial Collegiate Institute) Will compete on the WMU cross country team. Qualified in the 800 meters for the Canadian Junior National Championships. Placed 11th at the 1999 Ontario provincial championships.

LaToya Hamilton, sprint/relays, South Bend, Ind. (Clay HS) Daughter of Josephine Williams, WMU record holder in the 100 meter dash. Member of state-champion 4x100 relay team.

Lindsey Kowalski, sprints, Manistee, Mich. (Catholic Central HS) Won the Class D state title in the 200 meters at the 1999 meet. Also finished second (1998) and third (2000) in the state 200. Runner-up in the 100 meters at three straight state meets (1998-2000).

Krisy Mahome, sprints, Harvey, Ill. (Thornton HS) Placed second in the 400 meters at the 2000 Illinois Indoor Championships.

April Saxton, hurdles, Dowagaic, Mich. (Union HS) 1999 Class B state champion in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles. 2000 state champion in the indoor long jump. Sixth-place finisher in the 100 meter hurdles in Class 2 at the 2000 state meet. Qualified for the 300 meter hurdles and the 200 meters but did not compete because of injury.

Tia Smedley, sprints, Battle Creek, Mich. (Pennfield HS) Finished fourth or better in the 100 meters at three consecutive Class B/Class 3 state meets.

Lori Vandermeulen, distance, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Union HS) Will run on the Bronco cross country team. Placed sixth or higher in the 800 meters at three consecutive state Class A/Class 1 meets. Competed in two cross country state meets.

For more information visit the Broncos on the Web at wmubroncos.com

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4122; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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