Track teams perform well in tune ups
Both the women and men’s track and field teams had a busy weekend as both teams competed at the Blue Devil Invite on Friday at UW-Stout.
The men also traveled to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday. No team scores were kept on Friday for either the men or the women.
The women captured three first place finishes at Stout, including one by sophomore Breanna McMullen, who ran an NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.35 seconds.
Coach Tracy Yengo said one of the highlights of the meet was that the distance medley team qualified for nationals with a time of 12:05.46. “They beat the previous school record,” Yengo said. “They are now ranked fourth in the nation.”
Sophomore Katie Miller sprinted to victory in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.47 seconds.
Also taking first was the 800-meter relay with a time of 1:48.26.
Sophomore Brooke Wozniak took second in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 2.25 inches, beating her previous personal season best by over three feet.
Yengo also said the team is now mentally preparing for the upcoming conference indoor meet, which will take place Friday and Saturday at UW-Whitewater.
“Hopefully the athletes can put it all together,” she said. “Our ultimate goal is second place.”
The men’s team had two competitions this weekend, competing Friday at Stout and Saturday at Stevens Point.
“We had some really good things happen on Friday,” coach Scott Steuernagel said.
Freshman John Schuna threw a distance of 55 feet, 4.2 inches in the shot put, automatically qualifying him for nationals.
Steuernagel said the team got some good performances in the pole vault.
Three Eau Claire athletes placed in the pole vault, including freshman Andrew Dickson, who placed fifth with a personal best of 14 feet, 4 inches.
Facing some tough competition on Saturday at Stevens Point, the men took third place with 100 points.
UW-Stevens Point took first with 231 points, and UW-Platteville placed second with 117 points. Twelve teams took part in the meet.
Those placing for the Blugolds included senior Rich Maleniak, who took first in the mile with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 4:12.9. This was the second fastest indoor mile in school history, which earned him a top-five seed at nationals.
“I think the meet went pretty well,” Maleniak said. “The team got a chance to compete on a fast track for the first time this year. A lot of people ran some fast times.”
Also running some quick times was the 1600-meter relay, with a team effort of 3:20.15. This was an NCAA provisional qualifying time and the third fastest time in school history at an indoor meet.
Steuernagel said the team is in a position to do well at this weekend’s conference meet.
“We have a lot of athletes that have the potential to qualify for nationals,” he said. “Our goal is to make it into the top three finishing teams.”