Track teams off to fast start

Story by Brian Roberts

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Both the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams opened their seasons on Saturday at the UW-Stevens Point Triangular.  Competing against the Blugolds were teams from UW-Platteville, UW-Stevens Point and Carthage College. The men’s team took second overall with 103 points.  The women’s team was more successful, edging out the Pointers by 4.5 points to claim the meet title with 130.5 points overall.

Women

The Blugold Women claimed their first victory Saturday, getting a strong performance from Talisa Emberts, among many others.  The senior from Sussex-Hamilton took first place in the 400-meter race.

Senior Kim Miresse, last year’s conference champion in the 100-meter hurdles, thought the team performed very well considering it was the first real meet of the year.

“We have really high goals and expectations for this season,” Miresse said. “So we were definitely expecting to win the meet.”

Several Blugolds finished first in their events, including sophomore Jami Riley in the 800-meter run; freshman Lucy Ramquist in the 3000-meter run, and senior Julia Baranek in both the high and long jump. Senior Brittany Frederick also placed first, with her throw of almost 40 feet in the shot put.

Sophomore Shaina Weatherhead set a personal record in the 3000 meter run, besting her old mark by four seconds. She took third place overall in the event, and was only outdone by fellow Blugolds.

Weatherhead said she believes they have the talent to make some noise both in the conference and national levels
this year.

“We want to win conference, that’s the goal,” She said. “We want to send a lot of people to nationals.  We are aiming high, and hoping we can get there, and I definitely think we can get there.”

Men

The Men’s team experienced success in Steven’s Point, but was unable to claim an overall victory.  The team’s second place finish was highlighted by dominant performances in both the 400-meter dash and the throwing events.

Freshman Cody Prince came close to history, missing the indoor school record by .51 seconds in the open 400.  His time of 49.75 edged out sophomore, and fellow Blugold, Jacob Dennis-Oehling and Carthage’s Aryan Avant with identical times of 50.13.  Close behind were freshman Thurgood Dennis and senior Marty Richardson, who rounded it out securing four of the top five spots for Eau Claire.

The throwers showed up like they had something to prove.  Senior Joe Lilek grabbed a first place finish in shot put, throwing more than 50 feet.  While fellow senior Tony Sigrist placed 5th in shot after his throw of 47 feet 9 inches.  Sigrist added a dominating weight throw of 19.69 meters, a mark that ranks him number one nationally.

In other events, senior Bart Mestelle placed third in high jump at 6 feet 2 inches. While sophomore Tony Floyd snagged a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles after running a time of 8.63 seconds. In the 4×4 relay, seniors Mitch Sebranek and Marty Richardson, junior Jeff Marmar, and Dennis-Oehling finished two seconds behind first place with a time of 3:24.40.

Junior Patrick Swanson thought the team performed well overall at their opening meet.

“I think we did really well, we had some seniors who did very well in their events,” Swanson said. “A lot of the freshman guys stepped up big time and ran some really good races.”

Chip Schneider, coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, talked a little bit about expectations for each team.

“I think both men’s and women’s teams have some lofty goals for both conference and nationals,” he said. “Obviously it is early in the season and much can and will happen, however the right people are in place to have outstanding years.”

The track and field teams continue their indoor seasons next Saturday when they travel to UW-Stout to compete in the Warren Bowlus Open.

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