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 gets multiple All-Americans

    Fourteen men and women of the UW-Eau Claire track and field team became All-Americans at the NCAA Division III Championships in Bexley, Ohio, this weekend.

    Coach Chip Schneider said he was impressed with the team’s outcome.

    “Things couldn’t have gone much better for us,” he said. “This is the best program I’ve had in the nine years that I’ve been here.”

    Junior Talisa Emberts, who competed in the 400-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay, said that result was rather unexpected.

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    “On paper, we were only supposed to have one person come home an All-American,” she said. “So bringing home that many … is really awesome.”

    In order to become an All-American, a competitor needs to place eighth or higher at the national level.

    The men’s team placed 14th, their best finish at nationals since 2002. They earned 12 points overall with four All-American finishes.

    The men’s best finish came via junior Tony Sigrist, who placed second in the weight throw with a toss of 19.51 meters.

    Schneider called Sigrist the stand-out athlete from this weekend but also commended the whole team.

    “He was only a couple inches from being a national champion,” he said. “But the team was really outstanding across the board.”

    In the distance medley relay competition on Friday, senior Jake Zander, junior Patrick Mackin and sophomores Alex Adkinson and Aaron Easker placed eighth with a time of 10:11.93.

    Mackin said that though he was happy with his All-American status, he had expected the relay team to perform better.

    “The track (in Bexley), for one, was a lot narrower, and one of our guys got sick,” he said, “but sometimes it just doesn’t work out.”

    Junior Tom Breitbach snagged an eighth place finish Saturday in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:33.59, his best of the season.

    The men’s team’s final All-American finish came in the pentathlon, where junior Bart Mestelle finished seventh with 3,522 points. He finished 10th or better in each of the five events.

    The women’s team placed 33rd, earning seven points total with five All-American finishes.

    Senior Liz Amici and junior Kim Miresse garnered the women’s top finishes, each placing seventh in her respective event. In the pentathlon, Amici racked up 3,261 total points. In the 55-meter hurdles, Miresse finished with a time of 8.33 seconds.

    The 4×400-meter relay team, composed of Emberts, sophomore Erin Schoenfelder, senior Corinna Saager and junior Jordanne Greenup, took eighth place with a time of 3:57.40.

    Emberts also made All-American in her individual event, the 400-meter dash, where she earned eighth with a time of 57.90.

    It was tougher to compete in two events, Emberts said, but she didn’t let the pressure get to her.

    “(You’re) trying to keep yourself thinking it’s just another meet,” she said. “It really helps that there are lot of teammates and coaches there supporting you.”

    Junior Julie Baranek grabbed the women’s final All-American title, placing eighth in the high jump with a leap of 1.66 meters.

    Schneider said that he was happy with how the indoor season turned out.

    “I’m always looking for more, but I was satisfied with what we had,” he said. “I think when you get a team as good as what we have, you start to get greedy.”

    Though Eau Claire finished better than expected, both Emberts and Mackin said most athletes are already looking toward the upcoming outdoor season.

    “(The championships were) definitely a precursor to the outdoor season,” Mackin said. “(That’s when) everyone really starts to shine.”

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    Blugold Track and field gets multiple All-Americans