Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

First chance for Warhawk outdoor track

Katie McIlheran
Last season, the UW-Whitewater men’s track and field team’s opening outdoor meet was the Rex Foster Twilight meet, which returns April 5.

The UW-Whitewater men’s track and field team participated in the First Chance Invitational, held at North Central College, March 28 and 29. The meet allows for athletes to kick off the outdoor season early, but with the university on spring break, the meet was optional for all athletes.

“In the midwest, it’s rare we can even start this early,” head coach Mike Johnson said. “So it’s our ‘first chance’ at good weather.”

Despite several top athletes and All-Americans not participating, the Warhawks garnered 128 points in the North Central meet. This showing was good for second in the meet, behind the host team.

The results began flooding in on day one, with junior Chris Allen notching a first-place finish in the 10,000-meter with a 32 minute 17.55 second run. The distance runner took the lead 5,600 meters in and never looked back, winning by a margin of 14.55 seconds.

“When you move to the outdoor season there are more events to contest,” Johnson said. “The 10,000 meter is vastly different from the 5,000m for some athletes and outdoors holds an event where we can really shine.”

Alongside Allen’s finish, juniors Sean Larsen and Kasey Skabroud added fourth-place and 10th-place finishes respectively in the hammer throw, pushing the Warhawks to 15 points after Thursday.

In Friday’s events, a Warhawk contributed points in every event that they participated in. In the track events, sophomore Colin Lewandowski kicked things off with a sixth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run, before junior Marlon Cystrunk placed first in the 110-meter hurdles.

In fact, Cystrunk showed his dual-threat ability in this meet, placing fourth in the javelin throw, and contributing 15 points just by himself.

“[Cystrunk] is a good example of how we can use the talents of our team in different ways,” Johnson said. “At the same time, it works well where they usually aren’t going on at the same time during a meet so it’s workable to be able to focus on one event at a time.”

Continuing on the track, three more Warhawks compiled first-place finishes: sophomore Cam Hughes in the 100-meter, freshman Ben Bojar in the 200-meter, and sophomore Kobe Chandler in the 400-meter. On top of that, three other athletes supplied points for the team in those same events.

“Having so much depth this year is very exciting, especially when acknowledging how young the group is,” Chandler said. “It conveys how much we can improve as a team, regardless of the success we’re currently seeing.”

In the field events, junior Tyler Jensen picked up a second-place finish and a personal record in the discus throw, a 47.33-meter toss. Freshman Jordan Jackson and sophomore Brady Frey both placed inside the top 10 for shot put, with Jackson adding 1.5 points to the team score.

Junior Shelvin Garrett II topped the long jump with a jump of 6.86 meters, along with sophomore Ethan Molzahn maneuvering his way to a sixth-place finish. Garrett did not participate in the triple jump, where he recently won an indoor track championship.

In his absence, three Warhawks placed inside the top four: freshman Aiden Neduzak in second, freshmen Connor Anderson and Max Wallace in third and fourth respectively.

To wrap up the points for the Warhawks, freshman Jonathan Weah placed eighth in the high jump event, giving the team 0.5 points.

“With track being known as an ‘individual sport’ and having such a big team here with different event groups, it’s important to acknowledge those we don’t normally practice with,” Chandler said.

The Warhawks are back in action April 5, hosting the Rex Foster Twilight. Field events kick off the meet at 11 a.m.

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About the Contributors
Chase Keller
Chase Keller, Assistant Women's Sports Editor
Katie McIlheran
Katie McIlheran, Lead Photographer

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