Four Pioneers crowned champions and three records fall at WIAC Championships

Four Pioneers crowned champions and three records fall at WIAC Championships

River Falls, Wis. – Day two of the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships began at 10 a.m. with the decathlon. Field events competed throughout the day included the high jump, triple jump, discus, and shot put. Events on the track were all final heats. The Pioneers came away with champions in the decathlon, 1500m, 200m, and 5,000m run. Several other Pioneers found themselves on the podium, finishing in the top eight of their events.

Cody Faust and Jacob Hirsbrunner finished the decathlon in first and fourth place respectively. Faust had a personal best 110m hurdle race running 15.94 seconds, as did Hirsbrunner running 16.73 seconds. Faust proceeded to throw a personal best in the javelin, throwing 52.14m (171-0.75). In the end, Faust scored 6,496 points through the two day event, breaking his own school record, and Hirsbrunner scored 6,246 points. Faust finds himself ranked at No. 8 in NCAA DIII national rankings; Hirsbrunner is No. 16.

Zach Lee became the 1500m champion after running an aggressive race from the start. Lee finished in 3:50.43, a personal best time ranking him at No. 7 in the NCAA DIII national rankings. Lee competed in the 800m run as well, placing second with a time of 1:53.11. He is No. 33 in the NCAA DIII national rankings in the 800m.

Freshman Rodrick McMiller continued to impress his speed on the conference in the 200m dash. McMiller ran a school record to win the 200m dash in 21.06 seconds. This personal best time improves his nationally leading time in the NCAA DIII rankings. McMiller also made an imprint on the 100m dash finishing in third place with a school-record-breaking time of 10.52 seconds. His 100m dash time is No. 5 in the NCAA DIII national rankings.

Senior Walker Rynes captured the 5,000m champion title as he crossed the finish line well in front of his competition. Rynes ran a smart race from the beginning, battling 80 degree heat, to finish in 14.59.44.

Noah Steiner finished in second place in the high jump, jumping 2.00m (6-6.75). Steiner remains in No. 9 in NCAA DIII national rankings after the completion of the conference championships.

The men's 4x100m relay of Ryan Swanson, Paul Rapp, Zach Frei, and McMiller took third place, running a season best time of 41.67 seconds. The men's 4x100m relay is No. 15 in the NCAA DIII national rankings following Saturday's performance. The women's 4x100m relay of Tina Bean, Gwen Orr, Briana Iwans, and Rachel Aumueller ran for sixth place, running a season best time of 49. 82 seconds.

Freshman Katie Schilling ran for fourth place in the 100m hurdles. In Schilling's first race of the day, she ran the 100m hurdles in 14.76. Schilling went on to place eighth in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:07.67. For the men's 110m hurdles, Charlie Gifford took third place running 14.68 and Matt Hokanson ran for fourth, running 14.90. Gifford's finish in the 110m hurdles lands him No. 25 in the national rankings. Hokanson had advanced to the 400m hurdle finals as well where he took second place running a small personal record of 53.87 seconds. Hokanson is No. 21 in the NCAA DIII national rankings after this weekend. Cole Gore also had advanced to the 400m hurdle finals. Gore took fifth place, running 56.03 seconds.

Senior Iwans made her way on to the podium, placing seventh in the women's 400m dash. Iwans ran a season best time of 59.09 seconds. In the men's 400m dash, junior Rapp finished in fifth place with a personal best time of 49.23 seconds.

In the women's 1500m, juniors Janelle Ferguson and Johanna Meister took fifth and sixth place respectively. Ferguson ran 4:47.57 from the fast heat, while Meister muscled her way on to the podium from the slow heat, running 4:48.83. Meister also found herself on the podium for the 800m run, running for third place with a time of 2:15.58.

After Katie Wardinski made it onto the podium on Friday night for the 10,000m run, she ran for seventh place in the 5,000m run. Wardinski, along with the other women in the field taking the pace out slow to adapt to the heat, ran 18:48.65.

Brian Spaeth finished in ninth in triple jump with 13.41m (44-0). Spaeth was tied for eighth place with Samuel Sadowski from UW – La Crosse. However, Sadowski's next best jump was nearly 10 centimeters further than Spaeth's, breaking the tie.

Brianna Hall took seventh in the discus with 39.51m (129-7). Two Pioneer men made it into the discus finals, Alex Walechka and Cole Eastlick. Walechka threw a massive personal best throw of 49.32m (161-10) to take fifth place. Walechka ranks in at No. 18 in the NCAA DIII national rankings. Eastlick finished in ninth place with a throw of 46.39m (152-2).

To finish the day, the women's and men's 4x400m relays both took fifth place. The women's relay consisted of Iwans, Schilling, Katheryn Holter, and Meister. The women ran the relay in 4:03.92. The men's 4x400m relay of Rapp, Frei, Kyle Buechner, and Blake DeMunck crossed the line in 3:20.15.

The final team rankings after all events where scored revealed a third place finish by the UW – Platteville men's track and field team and a seventh place finish by the women's track and field team. In the men's team rankings, UW –La Crosse won the championships and UW – Whitewater took second. In the women's team rankings, UW – La Cross won, UW – Eau Claire finished second, and UW – Stevens Point rounded out the top three.

Several of the Pioneers will continue competition in the next two weeks at last chance meets, where athletes will put forth final attempts in order to qualify to the NCAA DIII National Track and Field Championships. Athletes in individual events must qualify in the top 20 for men and top 22 for the women. To qualify to nationals the relay teams must place in the top 16 of the national rankings.