Track and field takes on nationals in Boston

Three Blugolds earn national titles at the national championship meet

Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta


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Blugold athletes gather together for a photo with their awards.

The Blugolds showed the nation what they’ve got this past weekend at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, with the men placing fourth overall and the women placing seventh.

“Anytime you come away from a national meet having won a trophy by being a top four team … you have to be happy as a coach” Head Coach Chip Schneider said. “All athletes … either had a season (personal record) or improved their seed place coming into the meet.”

These improvements showed how hard the Blugold athletes were working to compete at their best.

“This is a great indication that our athletes came in prepared physically and mentally to perform at their highest level,” Schneider said.

Erica Oawster, a fourth-year student, is one of three athletes who earned a national title, along with David Kornack, a fourth-year student, and Kyler Lueck, a third-year student.

Oawster earned the title in the women’s shot put, where she also set a school record with a throw of 14.77 meters.

“It feels great to be a national champion. I’m beyond grateful,” Oawster said. “My mental toughness comes from my faith in God … This played a big role at nationals because I was in second place going into my last throw and I was able to stay mentally tough and pull out a farther throw for the win.”

Kornack surpassed his previous record with his first attempt in the shot put which earned him his title with a throw of 19.83 meters.

“It’s always a great feeling when you win, but this one was special to me in part because of beating the record but also having my family and teammates there cheering me on was great,” Kornack said.

Lueck won the men’s 800-meter race with a time of 1:49.60, which is also the fifth fastest time in NCAA Division III history, according to

This isn’t all the Blugolds accomplished. Many other athletes finished in the top eight and earned points for the team.

Ashley Agrimson, a second-year athlete, took fifth place in the long jump, beating her seed distance with a jump of 5.74 meters and Megan Wallace, a second-year athlete, placed third in the women’s pentathlon.  

Patrick Treacy, a fourth-year student, placed third in the men’s one-mile with a time of 4:08.98.

The 4x400m relay team of Hunter Henk, a third-year athlete, Arik Skifstad, a first-year athlete, Brandon Christnovich, a fourth-year student, KJ Munn, a third-year student, finished in sixth place with a final time of 3:18.10.

The athletes who competed at nationals will have some time to recover before the outdoor season, while other athletes are already getting back into practices, Schneider said.

Kornack is excited to get back into practices and competing again.

“I’m looking forward to doing more great things with this team,” Kornack said. “I think we are capable of doing some pretty great things in the outdoor season.”

Oawster said she is also looking forward to the outdoor season as it means she gets to compete in discus again.

“I’m looking forward to getting outside if the snow ever melts,” Oawster said. “My favorite event is discus, so I’m getting really excited to throw it in competition again.”

The Blugolds will be focusing on training until their first outdoor meet on April 6 at UW-La Crosse.

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected].