Track and field is widely considered an individual sport. A few times a year, track teams compete in meets where a total team score is not recorded. These events are where track and field truly become a solo act.
The men’s and women’s track and field team competed this past Saturday at the UW-Platteville Invitational and the men came home with three event wins while the women secured two event victories.
For the women, freshman Sydney Pretasky won her first event of the season in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:01.69.
Sophomore jumper Julia Stedman took first place in the triple jump with a distance of 11.27 meters. Stedman said competing in non-team meets is less stressful because she is competing on her own and is not worried about scoring points for the team.
“If I make a mistake, it’ll only affect me,” she said.
Individual meets are unique because it gives athletes an opportunity to try other events, Stedman said. Despite the altered format of the meet, Stedman said she still goes out and tries her hardest and focuses on the things she’s been working on in practice.
At the competition, Stedman said she was able to try new techniques during her jumps. She said this is a common practice at non-team meets because if the experiment doesn’t work out, it doesn’t affect a total team score.
The less stressful atmosphere of the meet led to six other Blugolds landing top three finishes.
Junior Carly Fehler took 3rd in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.20.
The 4×400 meter relay team of sophomore Jessie Reineck, juniors Kim Drewiske, and Megan Mulligan and freshman Sarah Glidden took second with a time of 3:58.710.
In the high jump, freshman Sarah Glidden tied for second, clearing a height of 1.61 meters. Also in the field, senior Kelsey Weigel took third in the javelin throw with a distance of 33.33 meters.
On the men’s side, it was Thurgood Dennis who remained in victory lane as he won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Dennis also broke his own school record in the 200 with a time of 10.28 seconds. His old record was 10.30 seconds.
Senior Matt Scott joined Dennis in the winner’s circle as he beat out 46 other competitors in the 5K with a time of 14:18.65.
In the 4×400-meter relay the team of freshmen William LaJeunesse and Jimmy Paske, junior Cory White and sophomore Adam Moline placed second with a time of 3:20.28 and a second Eau Claire 4×400 team finished third.
Members of that team were juniors Dennis, Cody Prince, and Brandon Zarnoth and senior Jake Dennis-Oehling.
In the 3000-meter steeplechase, freshman Ryan Graham took second with a time of 10:02.02.
The men’s and women’s track teams will both be in action this weekend at the Phil Esten Challenge at UW-La Crosse.