Blugold track runs through wind and rain on the road

    Eau Claire takes top honors despite difficult weather conditions

    More stories from Nicole Bellford

    Eau Claire outdoor track and field took several top finishes in a windy, rainy competition this past weekend.

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    Eau Claire outdoor track and field took several top finishes in a windy, rainy competition this past weekend.

    The UW-Eau Claire outdoor track and field team competed on the road this weekend at the St. Mary’s open in Winona, Minnesota, securing several victories despite rough conditions.

    Junior psychology student Ashleigh Buergi said she felt the environment served as momentum for her team to push through competition.

    “I would definitely say the atmosphere was encouraging,” Buergi said. “The weather was kind of crappy, with wind and rain, and it was even snowing for a little bit, but we just encouraged each other. Coach told us we know this kind of playing field better than anybody.”

    The women’s team started the meet off strong with two top place finishes in the 100-meter dash. Freshman Logan Fahey earned second place with a time of 12.83 seconds, while freshman Lakyn Kummer followed closely behind in fourth place, crossing the finish line in 13.10 seconds.

    Fahey and Kummer continued their success in the 200/meter dash, once again securing second and fourth place titles with times of 26.40 seconds and 26.66 seconds, respectively.

    Sophomore Katie Marcus kept the Blugold momentum going, finishing in fifth place and earning a time of 26.68 seconds. Freshman Glory Hecker concluded the sweep, taking sixth place with a time of 26.78 seconds.

    In the 400-meter dash, freshman Sasha Riley was first on the Eau Claire roster to the finish line, taking fourth place overall and receiving a time of 1:01.28 seconds. Marcus followed in fifth place with a time of 1:01.55.

    The Blugolds continued to hit their mark with a first place finish in the women’s 400-meter relay. Eau Claire’s squad of Fahey, freshman Abbey Finnegan, Kummer, and sophomore Paige Reynolds crossed the line in 50.24 seconds.

    In the field events, the women pulled through with several top honors.

    Sophomore Lizz Ottusch secured third place in in the high jump, jumping 1.56 meters. Junior Johannah Theisen was the top finisher in the shot put with 13.49 meters, while junior Josie Burns was victorious in the hammer throw, throwing 46.55 meters.

    Buergi said she thought her team’s performance showcased their true potential for success at the end of the season.

    “I think we’ve been performing well every week,” Buergi said, “but this meet in particular showed what we can really do, and what we could do at nationals.”

    On the men’s side, Eau Claire excelled in a handful of events. Senior Connor Drexler and sophomore Michael Honer started the team off by advancing to finals in the 100-meter dash, earning fourth and seventh places with times of 11.28 seconds and 11.61 seconds, respectively.

    Drexler was successful once again in the 200-meter dash, earning the Blugolds’ top spot and third overall with a time of 22.23 seconds.

    In the 400-meter dash, freshman Kyle Groven secured top honors with a third place finish in 50.77 seconds. Freshman Alex Winn also earned third place in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:04.12.

    The men’s 1600-meter relay earned a fourth place title, with freshman Chad Louser, freshman Guenter Schwoerer, sophomore Brandon Richter and freshman Bailey Wilson finishing in 3:38.56.

    In the field events, the Eau Claire men showcased their top talent, receiving superb honors. Matt Dietlin earned a first place finish in the high jump, jumping 1.96 meters. The senior then went on to take an additional victory in the pole vault, vaulting 4.78 meters.

    Sophomore Alex Schutt secured second place in the long jump, jumping 6.65 meters. Sophomore David Kornack made a double feature, earning a third place title in the shot put with 14.83 meters and a second place finish in the discus throw, throwing 44.16 meters. Freshman TJ Lui concluded the Blugolds’ success with a second place title in the triple jump, jumping 13.52 meters.

    Jillian Moss, a freshman graphic communications art student said, in terms of the end of the season, the team emphasizes winning as a whole.

    “Of course everyone wants to get personal records and stay healthy,” Moss said. “But we really emphasize that team aspect. Everyone knows each other and supports each other. It’s just nice to cheer for everyone.”

    The Blugolds compete again next weekend in Platteville at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.