Duhawks and Spartans Step onto the Track early in Dubuque Duel
Dubuque, Iowa – Friday evening, the Duhawks visited their neighbors to the west, the University of Dubuque Spartans, to compete in a two team duel in what is the start of a new tradition. The idea of the Duhawk/Spartan Duel was born in the summer of 2014 when Loras Head Coach Matt Jones and his University of Dubuque counterpart Chad Gunnelson met and decided both teams could benefit from an early start to the season.
With campuses located less than a mile apart, fan support was strong as the rivals faced off. Though the meet was not scored, notable performances came from athletes on both sides.
For the Loras women, freshman Alyssa Simon took home the fastest 55 meter time (7.63) in her first-ever college meet. Right behind her was sophomore Elizabeth Brrandenburg (7.71) who also placed first in the 55 meter hurdles (8.71) and the pole vault with a height of (8.71).
For the men, freshman Gerrand Moody completed the sweep of the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 8.14. Senior Zac Gassman placed second in the 300 meter behind University of Dubuque freshman Deshond Robinson (35.88), shattering his own previously set school record with a time of 36.34. Sophomore Brandon Gradoville placed 3rd (36.88) nipping junior teammate Stedman Foster (36.89) by one-hundreth of a second. Senior Kyle Ward took 3rd in the 55 meter dash with a time of 6.58 tied with UD freshman Sterling Jones.
In the field events, Loras senior All-American Morgan Steere threw 12.36m in the shot put to take the victory. Duhawk freshman Sarah Schoel placed second in the long jump landing at 4.89m followed by senior Chalea Coleman (4.84m). She would settle for second in the hammer throw (14.50m) 0.01 meter behind University of Dubuque’s Nicole Forson. Loras junior Dan Vatch tied UD’s Eric Harris for 1st place clearing 1.85m. Junior Devin Kennedy won the pole vault for Loras clearing 4.27m.
Coach Jones stated that he was “very pleased” with the performances he saw in the early meet and expects a bright future for his team in 2015. The Duhawks are scheduled to return to the University of Dubuque on January 17, for the Solomon W. Butler Classic. In that meet, Loras and UD will be joined by other IIAC conference rivals. The Duhawk/Spartan Duel is an annual event, expected to occur again in December 2015.