Next stop: Grinnel, Iowa

By Emily Leclair

March 9, 2016

Seven members of the UW-Whitewater men’s and women’s track and field team qualified for the 2016 NCAA Division-III Indoor Track and Field Championships last weekend.

They became eligible to the championships by competing in back-to-back meets at the UW-Platteville Last Chance Meet and the UW-Stevens Point Final Qualifying Meet.

“I would say it was pretty difficult to go from Friday-Saturday going from two tough heats on Friday night to another fast group of guys on Saturday morning,” senior CJ Klingbeil said. “I came into both days feeling pretty confident, but may have been a lot more tired on Saturday morning than I had ultimately realized.”

Team scores were not recorded in the meets, due to the fact that not all members of the teams competed.

Sophomores Robert Starnes, Parker Whitt, Theron Baumann and Cameron MaGee, juniors Levi Perry and Amanda Strupp and senior Zach Stockheimer qualified for seven different events at the championships at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

“For some, there is a little added pressure going into last chance meets because we are either barely qualified for nationals and are trying to stay qualified or almost qualified and we have a stellar performance to qualify,” senior Candice Wayne said. 

Starnes will compete in the high jump and long jump, while Witt will compete in the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash.

Starnes is ranked No. 1 in D-III in the high jump and the long jump, is a three-time All-American and is the defending outdoor national champion in the high jump. He currently holds the school record in the indoor high jump event.

“Obviously the team expects to score some pretty significant points in regards to the individual’s standings in the national rankings, but there is absolutely no predicting how people will perform in a meet like this,” Klingbeil said.

Witt holds the top time in the 200-meter dash (21.86) and the fourth-best in the 60-meter dash. At the WIAC Indoor Championships this year he won the 200-meter dash and took third in the 60-meter, while also qualifying in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash in last season’s outdoor meet.

Perry and Stockheimer both qualified for the weight throw event, and Baumann will compete in the shot put event. MaGee qualified for the high jump.

Baumann is a two-time All-American in shot put and is currently on a six-week streak setting personal best scores in the event. Baumann is joined by Stockheimer, who is a 2015 national outdoor qualifier in the hammer throw, and Perry, who is a first-time qualifier.

MaGee secured his spot in the championship at the UW-Platteville Last Chance Meet with a leap of 2.07 meters.

Strupp was the only the only one to qualify for the women’s team, with a spot in the weight throw event.

Strupp is ranked sixth nationally in the weight throw. She posted a career-high throw of 17.75 meters earlier this season at the Warhawk Classic Invitational and Multi.

“Everyone that is going to nationals has individual goals but all revolve around representing our school,” Wayne said. “From past experience at the national meet last year, its just to do our best that we can be and have the mindset that it is just like every other meet we have competed at this year.”

The NCAA Championships will take place on March 11 and 12 in Grinnell, Iowa. The individual event times can be found on NCAA.org.

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