Second is the best for UW-W

Feb. 3, 2016

By Adam Reed

The UW-Whitewater track and field team was back in action on Jan. 29 and 30 at home at the Kachel Fieldhouse. Both the men’s and women’s teams earned second-place finishes.

After finishing the last two events in third place, the women’s team came up just short of the top spot by the narrowest of margins, one-half of a point behind the University of Chicago.

“It is a little disappointing when you don’t win,” senior Candice Wayne said. “We all try to race together and stay together. So usually if one of us improves we all improve, so it’s kind of like a chain reaction.”

The junior class led the way for the Warhawks, as juniors Kaylee Raucci, Liberty Wieseman, Leah Richter, Meredith Heller and Amanda Strupp all placed top 5 in their respective events, with Strupp taking first place in the weight throw with a distance of 17.75m.

“The girls are doing really well this year,” Strupp said. “There’s a lot of people who are really coming into their strong suit this year and are really performing well.”

Senior triple jumper Tyler Henderson won her event as well, with a distance of 11.04m, which was recognized by several of her teammates.

A few athletes came just short of winning their events as well. Freshman LeBraya Johnson finished second in the long jump with a distance of 5.25m, sophomore Erika Sternard placed second in the high jump with a height of 1.65m and Wayne was runner up in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.22.

“I know personally I ran one of the fastest times I’ve ran in my life at the open 400,” Wayne said. “So just being able to carry that momentum into the next meet, and then keeping it going at the conference, because we are coming into that home stretch to conference is essential.”

In men’s competition, it was the sophomores who had the biggest impact, with Robert Starnes, Theron Baumann and Parker Witt all winning at least one event. Starnes won the high jump with a height of 6’9”, and placed second in the long jump with a distance of 6.91m. Baumann won the shot-put with a distance of 16.64m. Witt finished first in both the 60m and 200m dash, with times of 6.91 and 22.18, respectively.

“We performed very well on Friday,” junior thrower Nathan Smith said. “It’s just a huge momentum builder going into the rest of the year, especially [as the team looks] towards conference and nationals.”

Sophomore distance runner Brett Harms, who placed 56th at the NCAA Division-III national championship cross country race in December, rounded out the contributions for the sophomores with a fourth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run, posting a time of 8.42:58.

The men’s team also received significant contributions from junior Josh Selje and senior Levi Perry. Selje placed second in the heptathlon with a score of 4,558, and Perry joined his counterpart Strupp in winning the weight throw competition with a distance of 16.44m.

Members of both the men’s and women’s teams pointed to the family atmosphere of the program as a cornerstone to recent success. The teams practice together, and are coached by the same staff, regardless of gender.

“I think our coaches do a great job,” Smith said. “One thing unique about Whitewater is we don’t have a [different] girl’s throwing coach and a guy’s throwing coach, so we are able to put more resources in to specific coaching.”

Both teams will resume competition on Feb. 6 at the Pointer Invite hosted by UW-Stevens Point.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email