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Conference hopes set high

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Rain or shine, the Blugolds’ track and field teams were set to compete this weekend.

Both the men and women teams competed in both the Drake Relays and the Kip Janvrin Open, the team’s final events before the WIAC Outdoor Championships.

Women’s Track and Field
Starting off the women’s weekend, they sent three relay teams and one individual to the Drake Relays to compete.

Junior Stephanie Barnes, who competed in pole vault, was the only Blugold to compete as an individual. Barnes placed seventeenth on a 11 feet five-and-three-fourths
inches leap.

Running the 4×400-meter relay were freshmen Liz Kooistra and Laura Broner, and juniors Liz Faller and Shalene Huth. The girls finished their relay at 3:55.15, placing tenth, but failed to make the finals.

“Getting the baton . in fifth place, remaining in fifth place for the race, and then passing a girl within the last 10 steps was amazing,” Broner said. “I was ecstatic that I passed her and hit a spilt of a minute flat, my lifetime personal best. I was so happy that I could be there for the other three girls.”

Additionally, the women sent sophomore Kjersten Holt, junior Kelly Sprague, Huth and senior Erin Kokta, who competed in the 4×100 relay, finishing with a time of 49.58, finishing in sixteenth place.

Freshman Anna Sutherland, along with Sprague, Kokta and Holt competed in the 4×200 relay but were disqualified.

The Kip Janvrin Open was more successful for the team than the Drake Relays for the Blugolds, coming away with a first-place finish and a number of third-place finishes.

Barnes jumped a 12 feet ad 11 inches in the pole vault to win the event.

Faller finished third in the 100-meter hurdles with a 15.16 time and also placed third in the long jump with a season-high 5.29 meters.

Kooistra also placed third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.25, her best performance of the season.

“We are doing amazing (this season),” she said. “I’m so proud of everyone’s hard work and dedication.”

The team’s next performance is the WIAC Outdoor Championships, held Friday and Saturday in Oshkosh.

Men’s Track and Field
The men’s team also competed in the Drake Relays this past weekend.

The team’s 4×800-meter relay, composed of sophomores Adam Wolfe and Ben Brossard, junior Joey Veriga and freshman Wes Fischer, placed fifteenth with a time
of 7:46.93.

“Overall, I think we all wish we could have placed a little better,” Brossard said, “But we held our own against some of the best Div. II and Div. III competition in the nation.”

The team’s best placing was the 1,600-meter sprint medley foursome of freshmen Bryan Tschudy and Chris Kupfer, junior Nick Aliota and Wolfe, finishing in thirteenth place with a time of 3:33.99.

“(The Drake Relays were) one of the best experiences of my life,” Veriga said, “and I will do everything in my power to run at the Drake Relays next year.”

After the Drake Relays, the team headed to the Kip Janvrin Open, where the team performed better, getting a first-place finish, two second-place finishes and two third-place finishes.

Finishing first for the Blugolds was freshman Mark Sanders, who ran in the 10,000-meter run finishing with a time of 33:58.62.

Finishing right behind Sanders was fellow freshman Eric DeSalvo, who placed second in the race with a time of 34:21.85.

Sanders and DeSalvo were the only two competitors in the 10,000-meter run to finish the race.

Also finishing in second place for the Blugolds was sophomore Andrew Kling, jumping 6 feet in the high jump, tying seven other competitors for second place.

Freshmen Grant Haugan and Wes Fischer.

achieved third-place finishes for the team.

Haugan ran a 50.68 in the 400-meter and Fischer finished with a time of 1:56.64 in the 800-meter, a season-best time for him.

The team will go on to compete in the WIAC Outdoor Championships held Friday and Saturday in Oshkosh.

“We have to have high expectations for this weekend or else we are setting ourselves up for failure,” Brossard said. “I think a good team goal for this weekend would be to place better than we did at the Indoor Championships, and place in the top half of the conference.”

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Conference hopes set high