Track teams in top five at Platteville Invitational

Story by Ellis Williams, Freelancer

The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s outdoor track teams competed at the UW-Platteville Invitational this past weekend.

The men finished in fourth place with 94 points, and the women finished in third place, scoring 108 points.

Sophomore sprinter Thurgood Dennis had a record setting day in the 100-meter dash. Dennis took first in the event with a time of 10.28 seconds, which broke his own school record. Dennis said though the weather was awful he was still able to run a fast race.

“I was freezing my butt off out there, but I was able to get a very good start and finish the race well,”Dennis said.

Dennis also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.40 seconds, but Dennis said breaking records does not drive him.

Instead he focuses on hard work in practice and making sure his teammates are realizing their potential.

“If my teammates and I are getting stronger everyday and achieving the workout marks we need to, then times will sort themselves out,” Dennis said. “Fast times come after you’ve put in the work.”

A pair of long distance runners, freshman Erik Rosvold and senior Aaron Esker, have seen their hard work begin to echo Dennis’ message.

Rosvold won the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:02.35. Easker also captured the first place victory along with qualifying for Nationals in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:18.91. Easker said he was satisfied with his race and that the team ran well as a whole.

“I am fairly satisfied with how I raced this weekend, and I believe that the team ran fairly well against the level of competition that was at the meet,” Easker said.

Rosvold shared Easker’s satisfaction with his own individual race as well. He said he is capable of producing a better time in future races despite his first place finish.

“The time itself was slower then I anticipated, but now I know that next time I must push the pace earlier if I wish to run a quicker time,” Rosvold said.

Rosvold said the team did a very good job competing this past weekend and that this meet is a preview for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships.

“The team did very good this past weekend,” Rosvold said. “With the amount of schools that were present we knew this meet would be one of the main precursors to our WIACchampionship meet.”

Rosvold and the rest of the men’s outdoor track and field team cheered on the women as they placed third at the UW-Platteville Invitational.

The women came up with three event victories at the meet.

Two of those victories came from senior sprinter and hurdler Erin Schoenfelder. Schoenfelder won the 100-meter dash with a time of 14.81, and won the 400-meter hurdles recording a time of 1:04.03. Schoenfelder said she also felt her team performed very well and that she was happy with her own individual performance also.

“The conditions were not ideal, so the fact that our athletes were able to go out, and hit solid marks was impressive,” Schoenfelder said. “I thought I performed very well at this past meet, but I also know that I still have plenty of room to improve.”

Both teams mirrored the motto of striving to improve this week in practice.

Dennis said the teams will look to emulate those habits for the remainder of the season in hopes of capturing both teams’ main goal of a National Championship.

He said that the team must improve everyday, and the rest will take care of its self.

“We’re a good, young team, and we just need to keep growing and achieving,” Dennis said. “We want to take first at Nationals.”