The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Blugold track and field goes to nationals


    Five Blugold athletes will compete in the combined men’s and women’s indoor track championships Friday and Saturday at UW-Oshkosh.

    Junior Kathy Thompson will compete in the high jump to represent the women’s team.

    Thompson qualified for the national meet with a jump of 5 feet, 5 1/4 inches in a meet at UW-Stout Feb. 23.

    “(Kathy) had a great indoor season,” coach Tracy Yengo said. “In most meets, she had to compete in a number of events. This weekend, Kathy should be more focused with only one event to compete in.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    Thompson tied for fourth in the high jump event at last weekend’s conference meet while also competing in the pentathlon and the high hurdle race in the same meet.

    She won the gold medal in the pentathlon and placed fifth in the hurdle event.

    Thompson’s performance at the conference meet gave her the “Field Athlete of the Meet.”

    Thompson was an All-American in the outdoors last season in the heptathalon. With a top-six finish at nationals, Thompson would qualify as an All-American.

    “Considering the strength of our conference, that award is quite the accomplishment,” Yengo said. “She’s shooting to be an All-American. Finishing top six is an obtainable goal for her.”

    The Blugold men’s distance medley relay team of sophomores Sean Gavigan, James Larson, Rich Maleniak and senior Mike Mascitti also will be shooting for All-American status this weekend.

    As in Thompson’s case, a top six finish would qualify the four ‘Gold men as All-Americans.

    “We’re not setting our goals too high,” Maleniak said. “We want to keep the pressure off of us so that we can run our best time.”

    The four runners set a school record with a time of 10 minutes, 4.6 seconds on Feb. 17 at UW-Stevens Point.

    “Last year, we didn’t have the performance that we wanted to,” coach Scott Steuernagel said. “This year, these guys are ready to go. We think we’ll be one of the top programs at the meet.”

    Larson will run the first 1,200 meters of the race, Mascitti the next 400, Gavigan the next 800 andMaleniak will run the final 1,600.

    “My main objective is to get us in the lead by the first leg,” Larson said. “We’ve been practicing for this race all year long. Our goal right now is to finish in the top three.”

    Gavigan, Larson and Mascitti are new to running at the national level. Maleniak has the experience of running at nationals last year.

    Maleniak said last year the distance medley relay team was just happy to be at nationals.

    “This year, if we run as fast as we’re capable, we’re going to come home All-Americans and the places will sort themselves out,” Maleniak said. “We’re going to have a good time running in the event.”

    Maleniak said there aren’t many relay events that you can run in track. He said they hope to have fun and finish strong at nationals.

    Larson said his team should stack up well against the other nine distance medley teams.

    “We hope to come back with some hardware and four All-Americans.” .

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Blugold track and field goes to nationals