The month of May has been good to the UW – Eau Claire women’s and men’s track and field teams. There were some very strong performances by the middle distance / distance women and men at the outdoor conference meet, which was hosted by UW-Platteville on May 6th and 7th. On the women’s side, Ashlyn Mauer (so.-Sheboygan Falls) led the way winning the 3,000m steeplechase by over 25 seconds in a PR and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 10:49. Kelly Palmer (sr.-Chaska, MN) placed 4th in 11:24 and freshman Shaina Weatherhead (Robbinsdale Cooper, MN) placed 9th overall in a 30” PR time of 12:14 in the steeple. In the 10K the Blugolds placed 3 in the top 8 with sophomore Michelle Brunshidle (St. Croix Central) leading the way in 2nd place with a PR time of 39:09. Molly Woodford (sr.-Waukesha South) wasn’t far behind finishing 3rd in a PR time of 39:17. Kacey Rindy (jr.-Fennimore) finished 8th in 40:12. Senior Maria Peloquin (Prescott) had a busy weekend anchoring the 4 x 800 relay in 2:22 on Friday evening, then on Saturday Maria finished 3rd overall in the 1500m run with a PR time of 4:44 and ran the third leg of the women’s 4 x 400 splitting 59.4 to help the 4 x 400 to a 3rd place finish in a time of 3:54. In the 5K sophomore Madison Sawyer (Champlin Park, MN) led the way for Eau Claire finishing 4th overall in 17” PR of 18:16.
On the men’s side sophomore Jeremy Kieser led the way for the Blugold distance crew finishing 2nd overall in the 3,000m steeplechase with a NCAA provisional and PR time of 9:21. Max Renner (sr.-Green Bay East) had a season’s best time of 9:28 to finish 8th overall in the steeple (0.25 seconds from 6th!). In the 4 x 800 Eau Claire had the lead through the first 2 exchanges with Jake Zander (sr.-Chippewa Falls McDonell) leading off in 1:53.9 and freshman Matt Scott (Kiel) running the second leg in 1:55.6. Freshman Bryan Krause (Webster) got out a bit too quick the first lap of the 3rd leg (54.0) and ended up splitting 1:59.9. Eric Pronschinske (so.-Arcadia), who had just run his lifetime PR of 1:55.74 earlier in the day during the 800 prelims, ran a strong anchor leg of 1:56.8 (his 2nd best time ever) to help the 4 x 800 team finish 5th overall in 7:46. Jake Zander came back strong on Saturday finishing 3rd overall in the 1500 in 3:57. Matt Scott also ran a very strong 1500 finishing 9th overall in 4:01 and missing the top 8 by 0.01 seconds.
Here’s a link to the complete conference results:
The completion of the outdoor conference meet signals the end of the season for the majority of the team, however, the two weeks after conference provide runners a final opportunity, “Last Chance Meets”, to qualify for Nationals or simply go after a PR. This past week the Blugolds had a small group of runners competing at two different Last Chance Meets, which were the North Central College Dr. Keeler Invite in Naperville, IL this past Thursday and Friday and the UW-La Crosse Open this past Friday. At North Central Ashlyn Mauer punched her ticket to Nationals running an NCAA Automatic qualifying time of 10:40 in the 3,000m steeplechase. Ashlyn finished 2nd overall and was the top collegiate runner in the race. In the 800, Maria Peloquin ran her season’s best and NCAA Provisional qualifying time in unorthodox fashion. She was out her first lap in 67.2 and came charging home in 65.8 to finish in 2:13.07. This negative split tells me Maria can definitely run faster! Maria won her heat, was the top collegiate in the meet and finished 2nd overall. The men who competed at North Central also had some very impressive performances. A warm humid night didn’t slow Thomas Breitbach (jr.-Muskego) down in the 5K. Thomas closed his last 400 in 60 seconds to win in 14:25.26, which is 0.26 seconds off of the NCAA automatic standard, but should get him into the National Meet since he already has an automatic mark in the 10K (the 14:25 lowers his school record, which was 14:29 set in early April at UW-Platteville). In the 1500 Jake Zander closed his final 300 meters in 44 seconds to finish 3rd in his heat and 5th overall with a 2 second PR and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:52.76. At UW-La Crosse Madison Sawyer finished 2nd overall in the 1500 with a time of 4:52 and freshman Eric Knutson (Brookfield Central) won the 5K in 15:53.
Here’s a link to the complete North Central College results:
Here’s a link to the La Crosse results:
This is finals week at UW-Eau Claire and the final week of Last Chance Meets. A few student athletes will compete this Thursday, May 19th at UW-La Crosse. Outdoor Nationals is next Thursday, May 26th through Saturday, May 28th at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
Here’s a link to the NCAA DIII Outdoor National Meet Information: