Outdoor track and field teams compete at UW-River Falls, UW-Platteville


Story by Katie Hoffman


The Blugold men’s outdoor track and field team competed in two events last weekend — the UW-Platteville Invitational and the UW-River Falls Falcon Invitational.

Taking the fourth spot out of 11 teams at the UW-Platteville Invite, the Blugolds scored a total 72 points, behind first place UW-La Crosse, who had 138 points.

The men’s team won two events at the invite, including freshman Thurgood Dennis’ 100-meter dash time of 10.67 seconds and junior Aaron Easker’s first place finish in the 5,000-meter run in 14:37.

Easker said he expected to be near the front of the pack in the race and that he’s happy with the way the season has progressed.

“I was really pleased with my race and happy that I won,” Easker said.  “But I was more excited that …  I’m sitting where I want to be to have a good end to the season.”

In the River Falls decathlon junior Patrick Swanson took third, leading all Blugolds in the event with 5,719 points. Junior Bart Mestelle and freshman Greg Peterson also competed in the decathlon, with 5,530 and 4,841 total points, respectively.

Easker said the team has high expectations for the outdoor nationals, as well as the conference tournament.

“I’m happy with our team right now, we’re performing well and no major injuries have happened,” he said. “I’m excited to see the future and how we do at nationals. We’re on the right track.”



The No. 4 ranked UW-Eau Claire women’s outdoor track and field team competed last weekend at both the UW-Platteville Invite, as well as the UW-River Falls Falcon Invitational.

Despite recording eight top-five finishes and three runner-up spots, the Blugolds finished in sixth place out of 11 teams at Platteville. Wartburg College (Iowa) won the meet with 156 points, well ahead of Eau Claire’s 69.

Senior Kim Miresse took one of the runner-up spots in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.85 seconds. Other second place finishers were junior Erin Schoenfelder in the 400-meter hurdles and Alyssa Sybilrud’s in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with her time of 11:43.52.

Blugold senior Michelle Baranek competed in the heptathlon at the UW-River Falls Falcon Invite and placed fourth in the event with a total of 4,113 points.

Overall, the Blugolds placed 12th out of 15 teams that competed at River Falls.

Senior Julia Baranek was the Blugold’s top finisher, winning the high jump at a height of 1.65 meters.

With outdoor track and field nationals at the end of May, Baranek said she considers mid-April to still be early in the season. She said she felt good about her overall performance.

“I was happy because I had performed better in high jump compared to a week ago and a year ago,” Baranek said. “I never set my goals too unrealistic, I try to make them reachable so I’m not overconfident.”

The women’s outdoor track and field team will compete this weekend at UW-La Crosse’s Phil Esten Challenge.