Track and field thrives at Esten Challenge

Women finish fourth while the men place fifth at last weekend’s meet

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Photo by SUBMITTED

The women’s team placed fourth and the men’s team placed fifth on Saturday and Sunday at the Phil Esten challenge in La Crosse Wis.

The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams competed last weekend at the Phil Esten Challenge at UW-La Crosse.

The events kicked off at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday with a calm and cloudy weather forecast. David Kornack, a junior actuarial science student, said that the whole team was motivated by the weather to compete at a high level.

“The team was ready to participate in a meet where the weather was nice and it actually felt like spring for once,” Kornack said.

Kornack finished first place in the shot put with a distance of 17.33 meters and took fifth place overall in the discus throwing 45.80 meters.

“I wasn’t too happy with that throw in my discus event this week,” Kornack said. “We haven’t been able to get much practice outside with the snow. So I know my throw can improve in next week’s practices.”

Kornack said that Paul Conlin, the assistant throw coach, makes a weekly schedule for each thrower and gives specifics on how each athlete can improve and accomplish their goals.

In the long jump, Adam Lembke, a first-year athlete, came in second place with a height of 6.66 meters while Alex Schutt, junior, took fourth in the triple jump with a height of 13.08 meters.

Michael Amerlan, a second-year multi-event athlete, had a big weekend and took first in the discus with 34.59 meters, placed second in the 100-meter run and placed fourth in the decathlon with 6,240 points.

Two Eau Claire competitors took second and fifth in the 400-meter race. KJ Munn, a second-year,  ran a time of 48.87 and Brandon Christnovich, junior, ran a time of 49.86. Munn also placed fourth in the 200-meter run in just 22.29 seconds.

JoHannah Theisen, a senior social work student, said she also felt the team was frustrated with not being able to practice outside due to the past weather, but felt ready to give the meet all she had.

“It’s nerve-wracking going into a meet like that without any good practices, but you just have to trust that you know what you’re doing,” Theisen said.

Despite the lack of outdoor practice, Theisen dominated and took first in shot put while Kassandra Lueck, a second-year thrower, took third.

Sarah Glidden, a senior athlete, won the heptathlon scoring 4,918, and Megan Wallace, a first-year athlete, came in fourth scoring 4,252 points.

Glidden added on to her first place victories with the high jump, long jump, 200-meter race, 800-meter race and took second place in the 100-meter hurdles and javelin. Wallace trailed close behind placing second in the 200-meter race and the long jump.

In the 10,000 meter race, Samantha Slattery, junior, took first and Callie Fischer, a senior runner, took third.

Kelsey Worachek, senior, placed fifth in the 100-meter race and fourth in the 200-meter race to finish the weekend.

The Blugolds will take on the Drake Relays next on Friday, April 27.