Track strides through Warren Bowlus Invite

The women’s and men’s track and field teams were in action this weekend as they participated in the Warren Bowlus Invitational in Menomonie.

The women placed third overall, falling just 13.5 points behind rival UW-Stevens Point. The men took fourth, finishing 24 points ahead of UW-Stout. Stevens Point took first.

Women’s coach Tracy Yengo said she was pleased with the womens’ performances at the meet.

“It was our first time competing against UW-La Crosse and Stevens Point together in a long time and we wanted to beat them both,” Yengo said. “It’s always exciting going into a conference meet and we were hoping for good competition.”

Though falling short of La Crosse and Stevens Point, the women’s team attained numerous season-best times and a few of the distance runners achieved career bests.

Four first-place finishes and a handful of second places pushed the women ahead to third place overall.

Sophomore Jennifer Stafslien took first in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.65 seconds — good enough to qualify provisionally for nationals in March. She also took first in the long jump with a distance of 5.25 meters.

Other first-place finishes for the women came in the 800-and 1,600-meter relays. The 1,600-meter relay team, made up of junior Kallie Krueger, senior Rebecca Brandner, sophomore Tanya Lien and junior Breanna McMullen, had a fast enough time also to qualify provisionally for nationals, Yengo said.

For the men, sophomore Adam Condit ran the 5,000-meters in a time of 15 minutes, 14.10 seconds, good for first place. Following him for third and fourth place were teammates sophomore Micah Hernandez and senior Nick Hardt.

For Condit, his first 5,000-meter race indoors proved successful and he said he pleased with his time.

“I think I ran well.” said Condit. “My time should put me in about the top 10 in the conference. I’m pretty satisfied.”

Condit also said his teammates ran well.

“I’m really impressed with the distance guys,” Condit said. “We’ll have even more potential in the future — two guys took this week off.”

Distance was key for the men as junior Ben Schmiege topped his teammate, freshman Zach Severson, by eight tenths of a second to win the 1500-meter run.

Junior Jeff Burkhart also placed fourth in the event.

Second-place finishes for the women went to McMullen in the 55-meter hurdles, junior Sarah Kasabian in the 3000-meter run, sophomore Danielle Brabender in the high jump and Stafslien in the triple jump.

The women will be in action again Friday at the Eastbay Pentathalon in Stevens Point.

They then will join the men’s team Saturday to participate in the Border Battle at St. Olaf, (Minn.), at 1 p.m.