Finding their strides

The UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the UW-Platteville Triangular Saturday as the indoor season sprints into full swing.

The men’s team finished second of three with 101.5 points, while the women’s team placed third of three gathering a total of 88 points.

The women’s team took home four event victories and placed in the top three in six others. The men’s team secured five first-place spots with an additional 11 top-three finishes.

Junior Roger Steen owned two of the men’s five event victories, winning in the shot put and weight throw competitions. He threw distances of 16.35 meters and 16.55 meters, respectively.

He said Saturday’s competition was a warm up for future, bigger matches.

“Placing doesn’t matter a whole lot right now,” Steen said.

He said how the team fares in conference and nationals play is the crucial aspect of the season.

Junior Kayla Kelsey won two event victories for the women’s team, finishing the 60-meter dash with a time of 8.03 seconds and the 200-meter dash in just under 27 seconds.

Kelsey said she was satisfied overall with her personal performance.

“(This weekend) was a good start to the season,” she said. “I’m obviously always looking to do better, but I would say it’s a very good start.”

She said the women’s team looks strong overall, based on her and other team members’ observations.

“A lot of our team is younger and we’ve been growing together,” she said.

Assistant coach Dan Schwamberger said he agreed the teams are young but have some good potential.

“What’s impressed me most is the way the entire team is working right now,” he said.

He said their dedication to all the little things, such as consistently getting into the weight room, shows they are really motivated.

Steen’s feelings on the men’s team were similar to Kelsey’s sentiments. He said the team’s goal is to break the record for overall points scored at conference.

The Blugolds next meet is Saturday in Menomonie for the UW-Stout Warren Bowlus Open.