PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The Pioneer track and field team was forced to pick its battles with Mother Nature for another week when the decision was made to move the UW-Platteville Invitational to Thursday, April 12. The attending teams included Augustana, University of Dubuque, Edgewood, Wartburg, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, and UW-Whitewater. Multiple other teams also brought athletes to compete in the invitational 5,000m run where many national-level athletes competed for a qualifying time to the DIII NCAA Outdoor Championships.
On the track and in the field, the Pioneers showed the fruits of their labors are finally starting to present themselves. The men's and women's 4x100m relay was contested for the first time this season. The men's 4x100m relay of Ryan Swanson, Paul Rapp, Zach Frei, and Rodrick McMiller placed second with a time of 42.63. The women's 4x100m relay of Briana Iwans, Gwen Orr, Rachel Aumueller, and Chenoa Stuhr placed sixth with a time of 50.25.
McMiller went on to take second in the 200m dash with a season best time of 21.64 and placed ninth in the long jump with 6.47m (21-2.75). Rapp ran for a season best in the 400m dash with a time of 49.78, while teammate Frei posted a collegiate best time of 50.95 for 14th place. In the women's 400m dash, Iwans took ninth place with 1:00.97 and teammate Katheryn Holter followed in tenth with 1:01.09. Stuhr posted a collegiate best time in the women's 200m dash placing seventh with 26.50.
In the hurdles, freshmen Katie Schilling finished in first place in the 100m hurdles with 15.44. She also contested the 400m hurdles and placed eighth with 1:10.10. For the Pioneer men, Charlie Gifford took second place in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.15. In the men's 400m hurdles, sophomore Matt Hokanson destroyed his season best posting a time of 54.16 taking first place. A trio of Pioneer men, Jacob DeBonis, Cole Gore, and Sean Komro, competed in the 400m hurdles and placed in the top 10 of the event.
Zach Lee clocked a season best time of 1:53.15 in the 800m run for fourth place. Benjamin Nemec ran the 1500m in 4:07.64 for fifth place.
In the invitational 5,000m runs the Pioneers went to work. For the men, senior Walker Rynes placed ninth with a time of 14:42.35. For the women, Janelle Ferguson finished with a time of 18:16.62 and Katie Wardinski finished close behind with 18:20.51. Both Pioneer women posted personal best times in the 5,000m run.
Among the throwing events, the Pioneers saw a continuation of the progress being made a practice. Rachel Beuthin took fifth in the shot put with a season best of 12.64m (41-5.75). Freshman Lindsey Francque threw a season best in the discus of 35.65m (115-9). Freshman Ty Oster also saw a season best thrown in the men's shot put of 13.94m (45-9). Alexander Walechka placed eighth in the men's discus with 42.16m (138-4). Finally, in the men's javelin three Pioneer placed in the top ten. Cody Faust threw 50.34m (165-2) for fourth place, Josh Miller threw 47.72m (156-7) for seventh place, and freshman Jacob Rice threw 46.35m (152-0) for tenth place.
The Pioneers will be traveling to Rock Island, IL for the meet at Augustana College. Women will be competing on Friday, April 20 and men will be compete Saturday, April 21.