Track teams prove strengths, moves up in rankings
The Men’s track and field team climbed up 10 spots from 17th to No. 7 in the nation this week. The women, now ranked No. 14 in the nation, moved up eight spots from 22nd.
For the Blugolds, competing at the Brooks Classic hosted by UW-River Falls was another opportunity to show they have some of the best athletes in Div. III. Although no team scores were kept Saturday, both the men’s and women’s teams claimed numerous first place finishes.
Saturday the men once again showed their balance as a team. The team collected five first place victories overall, two of the five coming from freshman Thurgood Dennis.
In the 55-meter dash Dennis placed first with a time of 6.52 seconds. Also a first place finish, Dennis came within two tenths of a second of a school record with a time of 22.28 in the 200-meters. However, when asked about the possibility of setting a school record, Dennis didn’t think that was the focus.
“(I’m) definitely more focused on going out there and competing,” he said. “These preliminary meets are meant for laying down good times, becoming closer to teammates and running well.”
Dennis also participated in the men’s 4×200-meter relay which took first with a time of 1:31.18, just two seconds shy of a school record.
In the throwing events, the Blugold’s season-long success continued.
For the fourth week in a row, Tony Sigrist captured a first place finish in the weight throw. Sigrist’s throw of 64-10.75 was more than four feet longer than the next competitor and the second best in Div. III this year. Coming in second was fellow Blugold senior Tyler Genovese who threw for more than 61 feet.
In shotput, a trio of Blugold senior throwers claimed three of the top six spots. Genovese and Sigrist were bested by Joe Lilek, who took third overall.
Coach Chip Schneider feels everything is coming together for the throwing group.
“The three senior throwers are just a great group that feed off of each other on a daily basis,” Schneider said. “Sigrist is a very focused individual with the right group around him to help push him every day.”
The other first place finish for the Blugold men was in the 5,000-meter run, won by senior Thomas Breitbach.
After the strong performance Saturday, Schneider believes the team is performing well, but can’t afford to let down.
“The men are where I would expect them to be,” Schneider said. “However, we need to continue this momentum.”
The Women’s senior leadership continued Saturday as the team won six events overall.
Senior Kim Miresse snagged a first place finish in the 55-meter hurdles running a time of 8.53 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, fellow senior Talisa Emberts finished nearly two seconds ahead of the field with a time of 58.10.
“Talisa and Kim are doing exactly what is expected of seniors,” Schneider said. “They have worked hard for four years and continue to see the benefits and rewards. They still have a lot left in them too.”
In the 800-meter run freshman Lucy Ramquist took first place and Schneider feels her success will continue. Her time of 2:21.42 edged out River Fall’s Amanda Rothbauer. The lady Blugolds also claimed third through sixth places.
“Lucy is great,” Schneider said. “She is a confident freshman who used being back in her home town to her advantage. I think we are going to be seeing a lot of great things from her for four years.”
The Blugold women finished in first in three other events. Sophomore Dana Griepentrog won the 3,000-meter run. Her time of 10:34.56 beat out her seed by nearly 11 seconds. The 4×200-meter relay team snagged first with a time of 1:44.34, less than a second behind a school record.
Junior Heidi Anderson took home the triple jump with a length of 33-11.25 and was excited after coming off previous injuries.
“I feel very fortunate to have made it happen after dealing with different injuries from the triple jump in previous meets,” she said. “It is always a challenge mentally to come back stronger after an injury, but our coaching staff is so supportive as well as our teammates this year.”
Schneider was happy as well to see Anderson’s success.
“It was a tough week for Heidi so I was happy with her triple jump,” he said. “It wasn’t her best day, but (it) was her best series of jumps, so I know that she is right at the edge of a great performance.”
This Saturday the track team will be back in Steven’s Point to compete in the Pointer Eastbay Invite which begins at 10:30 a.m.