Indoor track and field find success in final meet

Story by Rebecca Lubecki

The men’s and women’s track and field teams will send 17 individuals to nationals after competing in the last chance meet.

The team met provisional qualifying marks in five different events. Junior Talisa Emberts ran a 57.32 in the 400-meter dash, while senior Maria Peloquin had the second-best effort time of 2:15.88 in the 800-meter run.

“My goal for indoor nationals is to be All-American (placing in the top eight),” Peloquin said. “I feel confident that I will be able to accomplish my goals as long as I have a positive attitude leading up to and during the race. As my coach always tells the team, we’ve done the work to make it possible.”

Other qualifiers are the 400-meter relay team of Emberts, senior Corina Saager, sophomore Erin Schoenfelder, and junior Jordanne Greenup with a time of 3:55.65. In the field competition, junior Brittany Frederick met provisional marks in two different events: 13.81 in shot put and 16.91 in weight throw, which was also the fourth longest throw.

The 55-meter hurdles had a strong performance from junior Kim Miresse, who took third place with a time of 8.30. Junior Julia Baranek made the second-best attempt in the high jump with a leap of 1.63 meters.

Senior Liz Amici, who also played volleyball for UW-Eau Claire, qualified for the pentathlon.

The team had strong performances including senior qualifier Patrick Keyes, who had a time of 7.66 in the 55-meter hurdles, also the second fastest time in the field for that day.
The distance medley team also made nationals and is made up of senior Jake Zander, junior Patrick Mackin and sophomores Aaron Easker, and Alex Adkinson earned a spot at nationals with an exceptional time of 9:59.45. It was their first season running together in a relay, according to Mackin, who was the only one who ran in the distance medley last year.

Mackin feels they have a really good chance at the championships and their team is looking really good. His teammate Easker had thought similar things.

“I thought that the season went very well”, he said. “I trained hard from cross country to indoor season, and did well at conference. My expectations have been high this season because I feel I’ve gotten a lot better from last year.”

Mackin also stated that there were failures during the season, but in the end, none of that matters and everything comes down to nationals. That’s where you have to perform your best.

“My expectations for nationals are high as well, because I know my teammates on the relay and I are in good shape and are tough competitors. I feel we can be competing to win the DMR and that is my goal going into the race”, says Easker.

Junior Tony Sigrist just about made the automatic throwing mark of 18.75 in the weight throw competition, but had a recorded best toss of 18.72. However, he still bested the provisional mark of 17.00 meters and will be competing at nationals for the second year in a row.

The final qualifier for the men was junior Tom Breitbach who will race the 5000-meter.

The NCAA Division III Championships will be on March 11th and 12th in Bexley, Ohio. Last season, the Blugolds finished 15th at nationals, but this year with more people competing, there are hopes of placing higher.