’Hawks battle the elements

By Cameron Schwarz

April 13, 2016

The No. 2 nationally ranked men’s track and field team opened up the outdoor season finishing in first out of five teams as they hosted the Rex Foster Invitational.

After placing second at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships, the team said it has lofty goals and expectations for the outdoor season.

“As a team, I think the ultimate team goal is to take home that national championship trophy,”  freshman sprinter Connor Arneson said. “We definitely feel like that is in reach especially after placing runner up at the indoor national championships.”

Despite dealing with scattered rain all day and having the invitational postponed from Friday to Sunday, the ’Hawks were able to place eight individuals in first place out of 17 total events.

“For the conditions that we had and moving our meet from Friday to today, I feel that the team did well overall with a lot of top finishes at home on both sides,” senior thrower Josh Davidson said.  “Of course, we would love better weather but at this point in the season, we as a team were not expecting Florida-like temperatures out there.”

In the 100 and 400-meter dash, junior Grant Loess and senior Bryce Rudebeck earned first place finishes, with Loess finishing the 100 at a time of 10.63 seconds and Rudebeck clocking in at 49.44 seconds at the 400.

The ’Hawks were able to get some help from Arneson, who competed in the 200 and 400-meter dash. Arneson placed fourth in each event and racked up 10 total points.

“There are always things I wish I could do better in a race or things I wish I would’ve done differently,” Arneson said.  “Overall, I was pleased with my performance and am excited to see how the rest of the season goes.”

Sophomore thrower Theron Baumann lived up to his All-American status as he took first place in the shot put with a throw of 51-07.75 (15.74 meters).  Baumann also earned first place honors in discus as he had a measurement of 148-06 (45.27meters).

“Theron Baumann stole the show winning both shot put and discus,” Davidson said.

The women’s track and field team also competed in the invitational as they placed third with a total 214 points. 

Runner up UW-Oshkosh outscored the ’Hawks by just one point, while Northern Michigan University earned first with a score of 239.

“Today gave us a pretty good prediction of where we are early on in the season and areas where we need to work on,” senior Candice Wayne said.

Wayne was able to earn a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.83, and also placed third in the 4×4-meter relay along with teammates Kaylee Raucci, Morgan McCuen and Leah Richter.

“I feel with the 4×4, the wind doesn’t help and everybody being tired doesn’t help either,” Wayne said.  “We can definitely drop time there; we know we can, we just have to do it.”

As for other first-place finishes, senior Amy Kahl lead the way in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:54.45, junior Genny Stringer had the longest discus throw with a distance of 139-00 (42.37 meters) and freshman Celeste Madda earned first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.42 seconds.

The men and women’s team will both resume action at the UW-Platteville Invitational on April 16.

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