Blugolds track: Low-key meet, high-key performances

Story by Brian Roberts

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On Saturday the track teams travelled to UW-Stout to compete in the Warren Bowlus Open.  UW-Eau-Claire finished in the top tier of many events, winning eight overall.  However, there were no overall team scores kept at the meet because of numerous teams with partial squads.  The Blugolds themselves also rested many athletes Saturday.

Men

Even with a partial team, the men had some outstanding performances.

Led by a sweep of the top three spots in shot put, the men’s team placed first in six events.

Senior Joe Lilek took first place with a throw of 16.17 meters.  Following Lilek came two fellow Blugold seniors, Tyler Genovese in second with a throw of 15.56 meters, and Tony Sigrist with a throw of 14.85 meters.

For the second straight week in the weight throw, Sigrist took first place.  He threw for a mark of 19.62 meters, beating out Stout sophomore Mike Lihrman in second and Eau Claire’s Genovese in third.

“Tony’s early success is not unexpected to those who have been around him. He has worked extremely hard this off season to achieve some very important goals he has set for his senior year,” Coach Chip Schneider said.

Also for the second straight week, in the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Tony Floyd was able to outrun the competition.  He bested last week’s run by five hundredths of a second, taking first place with a time of 8.58 seconds.  Blugold senior Andy Gerver followed closely in second.

Freshman Thurgood Dennis won the sixty meter dash, technically setting a school record in the process because of this year’s switch from 55 meters to 60.  He ran a time of 6.93 seconds in the finals,  edging out junior Cody Jerabek of St. Thomas and Blugold sophomore Jacob Dennis-Oehling.

When asked about the standout freshman Thurgood Dennis and teammate Cody Prince, Schneider said he was not surprised with their success.
“Any time you have as much talent as both Thurgood and Cody possess, you expect great things,”Schneider said. “Both runners are hard working and confident. Everyone is excited to have them as part of the team and anxious to see what they will be doing this and the next three years.”

Other first place finishers competed in races they may not have normally been in at any other meet.

Freshman Cody Prince finished first in the 600-meter run, running a time of 1:22.63 and junior Eric Pronschinske finished first in the 1000-meter run with a time of 2:35.63.

Senior Bart Mestelle chimed in on the meet’s atmosphere and overall result.

“The level of competition wasn’t the best we will see all season, but it was still nice to see how we will do against more than a couple of teams,” Mestelle said. “It was also interesting to see people in a couple of other races that we don’t normally run.  Out of their elements, people did very well.”

Women

Although there was no overall team score Saturday, senior Brittany Frederick did not seem to mind.  She took first place in the weight throw, beating out second place by more than a foot.  Her throw of 54 feet 4.75 inches was one of the best anywhere in the nation so far this year.

“I’d say this was my best overall meet of my career,” Frederick said. “My series was awesome and I threw better than I ever have, other than my all-time personal record. I have been out throwing for about nine months since I injured myself at nationals last year.  Today was kind of a nice meet to get back into it.”

Coach Schneider thought it was nice to see Frederick back in the swing of things.

“Brittany is a senior who has had a lot of success as a collegiate athlete.  At this point she is expected to be one of the top throwers each week.  However, she is coming off an injury, so early success this year is nice to see,” Schneider said.

The other top place finisher for the Eau Claire women was sophomore Jami Riley who won the 1,000-meter run.  Her time of 3:09.57 beat out second place finishing senior Nicole Hughes from St. Scholastica college by about five seconds.

The Blugold women secured second place spots in many other events.

This included freshman Calla Karl in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:42.84; senior Kacey Rindy in the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10:47.74 and the Women’s 4×200-meter relay.

Likewise, last year’s conference champion in the 100-meter hurdles, senior Kim Miresse, also took second. Miresse, who is coming off of a hamstring injury, finished the race with a time of 9.20.

Next up for the Blugolds is the Pointer Invite next weekend. The two-day meet will begin at 1 p.m. on Friday at UW-Stevens Point.

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