Men’s track wins dual vs. Stout

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The UW-Eau Claire men’s track and field started its season off on the right foot. In its first meet of the season, the Blugolds took the victory, beating UW-Stout by a score of 87-76.

“This was a great way to open the season,” said sophomore James Larson. “Stout has some strong runners, so we were a little worried.”

Saturday the Blugolds took 10 first-place finishes on their way to overtaking the Blue Devils.

“Stout is usually a tough opponent, but I think we did really well,” said coach Scott Steuernagel.

In the 55-meter dash, sophomore David Hanson tied for first place with a time of 6.61 seconds. Hanson also took second place in the 300-meter dash with a time of 36.42 seconds.

Freshman Sean Gavigan’s time of 1 minute and 21.96 seconds in the 600-meter dash was enough to take first. Gavigan’s time was only half a second off the school record.

“Sean had a really great performance in his 600,” Steuernagel said. “For the first meet of the season he’s running really well.”

Larson took the win in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:34.69.

Eau Claire was able to dominate the 3,000-meter run event. Sophomore Matt Goertz won with a time of 9:07.14 and was closely followed by teammate sophomore Joel Fredricks who took second with a time of 9:10.61. Sophomore Nick Hardt came in a close third with a time of 9:12.22.

The 5,000-meter run was won for the Blugolds by senior Rob Voss. Voss won the race with a time of 15:56.50, more than 20 seconds ahead of his closest competition.

Eau Claire dominated the field events, taking firsts in all but the weight throw.

“We were worried about the pole vault because Stout is usually strong in that area,” Larson said. “Most of their vaulters had trouble even clearing the bar.”

In the jumping events, sophomore Kou Thoa won the long jump, with a leap of 20 feet and 6.5 inches. The Blugolds took first and second place in the triple jump, with sophomore Jeff Bergstrom winning and sophomore Sean Corse taking second.

Freshman Nick Dudycha took the high jump, jumping 6 feet 4 inches. Junior Benton Ward won the pole vault, vaulting 14 feet, 4.5 inches. Junior Bob Schmidt won the shot put with a distance of 46 feet, 1.5 inches. Schmidt also placed second in the weight throw.

“Nick Dudycha had a personal best in his high jump,” Steuernagel said. “He’s only a freshman, but with that kind of jump, we’re looking forward to him placing at conference.”

Eau Claire will be host to the annual UWEC Invite at 3 p.m on Friday.

Steuernagel said that smaller teams usually attend, but this year Mankato State University (Minn.), which is a Div. II school, will attend the meet.

“This is a meet that we usually win,” Steuernagel said. “This meet is just a tune-up for our next meet against Oshkosh and North Central.”

Oshkosh took second in the nation last year. Eau Claire will travel to Oshkosh on February 3.

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