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

    Blugolds finish strong at nationals

    UW-Eau Claire was well-represented last weekend, as members of the men and women’s indoor track and field teams were some of only 300 athletes who earned All-American honors at the NCAA Division III national competition in Greencastle, Ind. The Blugolds surpassed the top-eight finishing requirements in the two distance medley relays and the pole vault to earn the elite status.

    Coach Chip Schneider said in a March 16 e-mail that the Blugolds’ finishes were on par with anticipations before the meet.

    “Things went pretty much as expected,” he said. “Our athletes placed for the most part where they were seeded coming into the meet or at the level they have been performing at entering the meet.”

    The best result for Eau Claire was a second-place finish in the women’s distance medley relay on Friday. Team members sophomore Alyssa Sybilrud, senior Hayley Suckow, junior Maria Peloquin and senior Hannah Humbach recorded a time of 11:51.63 minutes, which was just a tick behind the 11:50.46 of the University of St. Thomas (Minn.).

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    While winning the relay would have been great, Suckow said, she was proud of the team and the improvements they have made.

    Schneider said this was the event that stood out the most to him at the meet and agreed that earning second was a tremendous feat.

    “Being second was outstanding, but also a little disappointing knowing we were so close to a national title,” he said. “However, to be second in the nation is always a great achievement.”

    Suckow also had success individually, as she finished third in the pole vault after reaching a height of 3.86 meters during Saturday’s competition. Suckow said it was definitely the toughest competition she had seen all year, as the winner from Moravian College (Penn.) recorded a height of 4.16 meters.

    The men’s distance medley relay was the other event earning All-American recognition. Finishing with a time of 10:06.87, seniors Wes Fischer, Adam Flyte and Brent Kann and sophomore Patrick Mackin brought home seventh place. UW-Stevens Point won the event with a time of 10:02.38.

    Though they didn’t advance to the final round, two other Blugolds competed and had respectable results at the national meet:

     Sophomore Tony Sigrist recorded a 17.52-meter toss in the 35-pound weight throw.

     In the 20-pound weight throw, sophomore Brittany Frederick had a toss of 15.28 meters.

     Frederick also competed in the shot put and recorded a distance of 12.99 meters.

    Suckow said that while the national meet brought tougher competition, she enjoyed the challenges.

    “It’s exciting and fun to have that level of competition and show them what you’ve got,” she said. “You treat it like any other meet, but when you get there, it’s hard to contain the excitement and level of energy. You get nervous, but you work your way through it.”

    Schneider said participating in national events is evidence of the effort put in by the athletes.

    “It is always exciting to be at nationals and to have people from our team competing at the highest levels,” he said. “The athletes who get there are usually the ones who are willing to put in a lot of time, so it is nice to see them rewarded for their hard work.”

    While the meet ended the indoor events, the athletes have two weeks off before the beginning of outdoor track and field competition. The first meet will be the Oshkosh Invite on Friday, April 2.

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    Blugolds finish strong at nationals