Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Track and field starts with high hopes

Dan Emary
Gunnar Schlender paces the field in the 3000m race ultimately won by Brandon Massman.

As winter begins to set the track has come alive. The UW-Whitewater Men’s Track and Field team kicked off their season with the alumni intrasquad meet. This meet begins the 2023-24 indoor track season.

Some of the notable performances from the meet were sophomore Cam Hughes in the 60m, sophomore Brandon Massman winning the 3k and returning sophomore Kobe Chandler.

“We are really looking for people to step up and contribute to the team and help make a difference, specifically the sophomore class to step up after completing a full season and Kobe Chandler to step up and continue with his success,” head coach Mike Johnson said.

Johnson will look for Chandler, a NCAA qualifier the previous year, to step up and help lead the Warhawks this season. 

The Warhawks enter this season with high expectations and goals as a team.

“My goals and expectations for myself heading into the season are to score points at the indoor conference meet and qualify for the national meet,” junior Spencer Steffen said on his goals for the season. 

“We are definitely a more balanced team,” Johnson said. “We have a mix of new talent and returning experience so the expectations are pretty high for where we are at right now. Our goal is to see where things are today and build off them during the break.”

The Warhawks returners include NCAA qualifiers Justin Krause, Gunner Schlender, and defending national champion Christian Patzka.

“We are trying to be top four at the national level and win a trophy but to do that we need to put in the work,” Johnson said of the overall goals for his team this season.

Johnson isn’t the only one thinking about taking home a trophy this season. Steffen echoed his statement.

“The goal for the team this season is to take home a trophy from nationals,” Steffen said.

Steffen is looking forward to the season as the team has evolved over his first two years with the Warhawks.

“The team culture has shifted a lot since I was here as a freshman, every year our teams get more competitive on the national scale, and are consistently top 10 in the country, so I am excited to see what we will be able to accomplish this year,” Steffen said. 

With high expectations, a mix of talent, and a determined mindset, the Warhawks set their sights on a season filled with growth, achievement, and the pursuit of national recognition. As winter unfolds, the track becomes the canvas for their collective journey, and the team is ready to make every stride count. 

The Warhawks will not be in action again until 2024 when they will host the Karl Schlender Invitational, Jan. 20, followed by hosting the Squig Converse invite Jan. 26. The Warhawks will wrap up their season before NCAA competition by hosting the WIAC conference meet. The NCAA meet will be March 8-9 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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About the Contributor
Dan Emary, Men's Sports Editor

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