Monday, May 23, 2011

UWEC CC/Track – Outdoor Update

It was a record breaking week for the UW-Eau Claire men’s and women’s track & field team who competed at the UW-La Crosse Last Chance meet this past Thursday. Jake Zander (sr.-Chippewa Falls McDonell) won the men’s 1500 in a school record time of 3:50.76. The previous record was held by Rich Maleniak who ran 3:51.25 in 2002. Blugold Alum Adam Condit also had a great day finishing 3rd in the men’s 5K with a PR time of 14:55. On the women’s side Maria Peloquin (sr.-Prescott) broke her existing school record in the 800 by running 2:12.84 and finishing 2nd overall. She then went on to help the women’s 4 x 400 relay team set another school record and automatically qualify for Nationals with a time of 3:50.06. The relay team consisted of Talisa Emberts (jr.-Sussex Hamilton) – 56.5 split, Erin Schoenfelder (so.-Antioch, IL) – 58.9 split, Maria Peloquin – 58.6 split and Jordanne Greenup (jr.-Fridley, MN) – 55.9 split.

Here’s a link to the complete La Crosse results:

The NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championships are this Thursday through Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. There will be five men competing for the Blugolds: Thomas Breitbach (jr.-Muskego) – 5K (14:25) & 10K (29:49); Tyler Genovese (jr.-Stevens Point) – Discus (51.76m = 169’10”); Tony Sigrist (jr.-Byron, MN) – Hammer (56.24m = 184’6”); Andrew Storsveen (Winona Cotter, MN) – Decathlon (6310 pts) & Jake Zander – 1500 (3:50).

Nine women will compete at Nationals for the Blugolds: Julia Baranek (jr.-Port Washington) – High Jump (1.67m = 5’5.75”) & Triple Jump (11.83m = 38’9.75”); Talisa Emberts – 200 (24.84), 400 (56.24), 4 x 100 relay (47.68) & 4 x 400 relay; Brittany Frederick (jr.-Green Bay Preble) – Discus (47.01m = 154’3”), Hammer (54m = 177’2”) & Shot Put (13.87m = 45’6.25”); Jordanne Greenup – 100 (12.12), 200 (24.65), 4 x 100 relay & 4 x 400 relay; Lindsey Haller (jr.-Hartland Arrowhead) – Shot Put (13.47m = 44’2.5”); Ashlyn Mauer (so.-Sheboygan Falls) – 3K Steeplechase (10:40); Kim Miresse (jr.-Waukesha North) – 100m Hurdles (14.59) & 4 x 100 relay; Maria Peloquin – 800 (2:12) & 4 x 400 relay; and Erin Schoenfelder – 4 x 100 relay & 4 x 400 relay.

Here’s a link to the NCAA DIII Outdoor Track & Field Championship website:

Track & Field Teams Ranked Nationally

With the UW-Eau Claire track & field teams headed to the national championships this week, both the men's and women's teams are now nationally ranked.

The women, who have been ranked the majority of the season, are ranked seventh in the week eight poll. The men appeared in the rankings for the first time this season at No. 21.

In the region, the Blugold women are second while the men are ninth.

View National Poll

View Regional Poll

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Women's Track & Field No. 8 in Week 7 Poll

The UW-Eau Claire women's outdoor track & field team moved up one spot to No. 8 in the week 7 USTFCCCA top 25 poll.

In regional rankings, the Blugold women are No. 2 while the men are ninth.

View Complete National Poll

View Complete Regional Poll

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Terry Gibbons - Coach shows his love for basketball

Article from

With 2.8 seconds left on the clock, Terry Gibbons scanned the court to determine his options. Colorado College was up on his Western State Mountaineers by 3 points and had the ball to inbound; they had sent everyone to the other end of the court for the full court heave...

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

UWEC CC/Track – Outdoor Update

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:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Women's Track & Field Moves up 31 Spots in Latest Poll

The UW-Eau Claire women's outdoor track & field team jumped significantly in the week six USTFCCCA top 25 poll.

The Blugolds had been at No. 40, outside of last week's poll, but moved up to No. 9 this week after finishing in second place at the WIAC Championship.

In the Midwest regional rankings, the Blugold women are No. 2 while the men are ranked eighth.

View Week Six National Poll

View Regional Rankings

Monday, May 9, 2011

Guess What We're Doing this Weekend?

My face hurts from smiling, my eyes hurt from crying and my heart hurts from fluttering. These have been an intense 24 hours but I can finally sigh in relief that the 2011 Blugolds are on the map! The range of emotions that I have felt over the conference tournament and into this morning are impossible to describe but I'll do my best for those of you who didn't get to witness it first hand.

Friday: We all loaded the bus after morning classes to start our journey into a post season run. As Karen said, we all read our anticipated spotlights that had us all in tears of joy and laughs of love. To keep the relaxed mood going, we watched the infamous "Ellen Degeneres, Here and Now" stand up comedy that ALWAYS keeps me laughing even though I can recite the whole thing by heart. When we got to the field, our warm up was shortened, and intensified but there were still nerves flowing through us but nerves were a natural feeling considering the circumstances. We knew this game would dictate the battles and challenges we would have to face the rest of the weekend. Challenge Accepted. We came out with the most energy that I've seen from this team the whole year. We battled a dominating pitcher for the first 6 innings and after an amazing diving catch by baby birdie Jenny Hess, we had the momentum going into the 7th. We knew we were in good hands when we lead the inning off with a walk and 6 runs later...BOOM. We were on the scoreboard. Yes, we gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th but isn't the point of softball to score more runs than your opponent ?? Thought so...check...we did that and started the tourney 1-0 :)

Saturday: After breakfast and a wonderful morning of being able to sleep until 8, we were ready for game two. We were facing a LaCrosse team that had been on a role as of late. We came out of the gates scoring our first run right away. But once again, LaCrosse got the best of us for the 3rd time this year and we were handed our first loss. To be honest, I don't remember much of this game. If there is anything Coach and Robin have taught me through my struggles this year is that you have to let it go. Holding on to negative experiences whether it be defensive plays or at-bats will only make your future successes few and far between. It took me a while to really buy into this concept because I'm stubborn and I'll admit it. But I think I've finally grasped the lesson and thus, I just let that LaCrosse game go. We still had another game to play. Our bats came out hot against Superior scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the first. And once again, having to supply the energy for both teams, with an added morning loss wasn't easy. But we weren't ready to go home yet and kept our post season dreams alive with a 6-1 win.

Three teams left. Eau Claire, LaCrosse and River Falls. We played LaCrosse first. The mentality was much the same as during our first game vs. Whitewater. We were intense but relaxed...we had what I like to call, some serious fun during that game. Our pre game warm up was the same, with the addition of the cupid shuffle by our rhythmically talented infielders. It was a great ball game. We battled LaCrosse the entire way, chasing their starting pitcher from the game and keeping them unbalanced in the batters box. At the end of 7, we once again found ourselves with more runs than our opponent, and like the night before, kept our dreams alive.

Two teams left: Eau Claire and River Falls. We were just starting to play our best ball and we once again were faced with a battle. The game was intense play after great at bat after dominant pitching from both teams. At the top of 7, we were up 4-2 with three outs to go. Somewhere between getting the 2nd and 3rd out, River Falls managed to put up three runs on us to go up 5-4. We threatened in the bottom of the 7th but couldn't get a runner across the plate and thus, had been defeated. Feelings of disbelief and heart break were among all of us. We played so well and yet, found ourselves without an automatic bid into the post season tournament. Without focusing too much on the negatives, I'll just say that in those moments after our loss, standing there with not only my teammates, but some of my best friends, we were devastated to say the least. We didn't know if we'd have a shot at an at large bid and thus. It could have been the last time the 2011 Blugolds were on the field together. It hurt and it made me sick to my stomach. None of us knew what to think.

It was hard to stay positive after that game. We knew there was still a chance at a bid, but it wasn't in our control anymore. We had to play the waiting game which I can now tell you is my least favorite game of all time, hands down. I personally couldn't get too positive or too negative about the situation because going to either extreme had the potential to set me up for heart break once again. I was a zombie. Not knowing if I would play again this season simply didn't seem real. I didn't want to believe it.

Wake up at 5:00am...I can't sleep. The weather certainly isn't giving me extra hope and guess what I have to do? Go to class. Awesome. The selection show wasn't until 11:00am so I had to make it through two classes, dodging the question on how the weekend went and when my next game was. At 10:50 I booked it up the hill, met up with my teammates and coaches, and prepared for the moment. Linked arm and arm, we sat there waiting. To make matters worse, we play in a state where every school starts with "The University of Wisconsin...." so each time we heard Wisconsin, our hearts raced, only to find out it said Whitewater, or La Crosse. We got to the Eau Claire regional, the first four teams were announced and then it popped up on the screen. THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE. You'll have to watch the video of us to see our reaction because I can't do it justice by trying to explain it. Hugs, tears, name it, it was there. We made it. We got to continue our dream of a post season run. We were given a second chance and for that, we are all very grateful. For me though, it's more than that.

As an upper classman, I've been to regionals before: my freshmen year. We received an at large bid that year to the Illinois Wesleyan regional but I didn't even get to set foot on the dirt. In 2009 we had more players on the team than the NCAA allowed to suit up during the post season. We had two more than the allotted number and thus, I was one of two players who had to witness the action from the bleachers. I couldn't be in the dugout or warm up or even play catch. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do as a college softball player. Not being able to be with my team during that time made me frustrated, upset, angry, sad, and happy for my teammates all at the same time because of what they got to experience. I wanted nothing more than to be with them during such an exiting and amazing time and I couldn't. I remember it like it was yesterday. The feelings, the tears....everything.

So this year, getting into Regionals is extra special. I finally get to experience what my fellow upperclassmen got to experience without me in 2009. I get a chance to play and lead a team in the post season. I get to step out on the dirt and participate, and I get to do it at Gelein nonetheless. And what makes it extra special? Every single one of us 2011 Blugolds gets to suit up. Our entire team will be there together, fighting until the end. No one will have to experience what I had to in 2009 and for that, I am ecstatic and grateful. Coach said it best after our River Falls loss in that "there's just something special about this group of girls. I don't know what it is, but there's just something." I couldn't agree more. I couldn't imagine playing with 20 more amazing people that I call my teammates and my best friends. Being able to play on our home field, in front of the best crowd in Division III and to have all of us there doing it together, makes going through everything we've had to go through soooooooo worth it. I didn't think it was possible but my love of softball has grown even more these past few days. This game is constantly changing my life and my relationships with those around me for the better. Each and every day that I'm surrounded by my Blugold family I realize even more that I'm truly blessed to play on this team. Ladies, I cannot wait to see what's in store for us as we finally get our chance to Chase the Dream.

Until Next Time,

Friday, May 6, 2011

No Time Like Tourney Time

It's morning of the WIAC tournament.  The Blugolds, ranked 4th, are facing the Whitewater Warhawks, ranked 3rd, this afternoon at 2:00 pm in River Falls.

Our record is 0-0 at this point.  Nothing else matters.  We are bringing our ultimate "A-game", complete intensity, and constant enthusiasm today.  The energy on the bus is already positive, especially after distributing the highly anticipated "Spotlights."  We all have taken time to acknowledge each contributing member of this team to spotlight how much we appreciate them.  Today, this team is more eager than ever to step onto the field together and bring it.

Well, it's 10:30 a.m. and it's already 58 degrees.  And I should mention it is a high of 68.  There's blue skies.  Sun shining.  Trees budding.  I am finally wearing sunglasses...and get this...SHORTS.  Sure, I have my 6,000 other layers packed - my UnderArmour get-up, 2 pairs of mittens, wool socks (that I happened to borrow and not return after the last freezing game from AT Dickie), 2 sweatshirts, 2 jackets, mayyybe 4 long sleeves, and my fleece blanket - but I am rejoicing that I won't be huddled beneath my blanket, putting all my energy into retaining my body heat.  Sure, everyone will be blinded by my snow-white, sun-deprived skin, but I'm just ecstatic for a beautiful day to be at a ball game.  And not just ANY ball's the first game of the WIAC.  Let's get it, 'golds!

- Karen Hansen, Student Manager

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

UWEC CC/Track – Outdoor Update

Although many of the middle distance / distance runners had this past weekend off in preparation for conference this Friday and Saturday it was a historic weekend for the Blugolds. Thomas Breitbach (jr.-Muskego) won the 10K at the Hillsdale College Gina Relays in a school record time of 29:49. The previous record of 30:18 was set 23 years ago by Blugold Hall of Fame runner Dan Held. Thomas ran a very smart race passing through the 5K mark in 15:08 and the 8K mark in 24:05. Tom ran his final 2K in 5:44 and closed the final 800 meters in 2:12 for a final 5K of 14:41. Jake Zander (sr.-Chippewa Falls McDonell) also had a strong performance at Hillsdale winning the open 1500 in a PR time of 3:54. At the St. Mary’s Invite freshman Matt Wenaas (Chippewa Falls McDonell) ran a 21 second PR in the 5K to finish 4th in 15:39, and Jeremy Kieser (so.-Verona) ran his first steeple of the year in a PR time of 9:34 to finish 3rd overall. On the women’s side, Maria Peloquin (sr.-Prescott) fought through very breezy conditions to tie her season PR in the 800 with a 2:15 at Hillsdale College, and freshman Shaina Weatherhead (Robbinsdale Cooper, MN) ran the first steeple of her career and finished 5th overall in a time of 12:44 at the St. Mary’s Invite.

Here are the Hillsdale College Gina Relay results:

Here are the St. Mary’s results:

The WIAC Outdoor Conference is this Friday and Saturday at UW-Platteville. Here’s a link to meet information:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

UWEC Blugold Fastpitch Softball 2011-05-03 18:51:00

Returning home …

This weekend we travel to the conference tournament, to a place I called home for 6 years. It is a place of familiarity to me. I know the field like the back of my hand: the smells, the sounds, the familiar faces, everything about it. I spent more time on that field than anywhere else on campus and it shows by my grades :). I’ve seen wonderful things happen on that field; I’ve seen amazing plays, team unity, pride, and home runs that seem like they can go forever.

But this will be the first time I travel back to my former home proudly wearing the new colors of blue and gold. I’m with a different team now. A team that works harder than any team I know of and the girls will attest to this after on of their hard conditioning workouts. Its a team that really is a team where everyone contributes and everyone has ownership to its success.

For a long time I was an outsider looking in wondering how does a program like Eau Claire continue to succeed year after year? How do they get their teams to perform at their fullest potential every time out? When I arrived this fall and joined the team I learned quickly why. To start off the main coaching staff here is some of the best coaches you can find in DIII softball. They know how to win and they expect to win every time out. If you know Coach, you know what I am talking about. She is one of the most competitive people I have ever met. Loosing is not in her vocabulary. But because of her competitiveness, her players learn how to win and they soon expect the same things she wants. People have asked “what is it like to play there?” The pressure to play at the top level at all times must be intense and overwhelming. It can be but as we say “Pressure is a Privilege”.

One of the things that got said this fall by a staff member has stuck with me till this point. There are 400+ colleges at the Division III level, 50 of those teams will pull to the top to compete for a National Championship by the end of fall. When you come back in the winter after practicing in the off season on your own there will be 20 teams at that point that have worked hard enough when a coach wasn’t there that will make a legit run for the 8 team championship. Will you be one of those teams? I honestly believe that we have put in the work necessary to be one of those top 8 teams. There was so much time spent in the gym taking those extra cuts, getting the extra grounders, working out and climbing their way to the top, and putting in the extra work when no one else was looking. Take pride in the hard work you have put in. Go on and dominate for yourself and for your team. You owe this to yourself.

I want to leave you with a few parting quotes:

“A true champion is someone who wants to make a difference, who never gives up, and who gives everything she has no matter what the circumstances. A true champion works hard and never loses sight of her dreams”. –Dot Richardson

It’s always about wanting to one-up myself from the day before. There’s never an absolute 100% perfect performance, but going out and striving for that perfect performance is what keeps me going.” – Cat Osterman

“A winner’s strongest muscle is her heart”-Cassie Campbell

“You have to chase your dreams, no matter what. The impossible just takes a little longer. One stroke at a time, one step at a time, the impossible is easy to achieve.” –Tori Murden