The Duhawks continued their successes on the track and in the field at UW-Platteville last weekend as they approach their penultimate meet before conference.
The women’s team won six events and celebrated a lot of personal records across the board. One of the biggest achievements on both the track and the field was junior Audrey Hooks. Hooks took first in the 60-meter hurdles with the time of 9.02 in the finals, but her PR was set in the preliminary heat with 9.01. She took third in the triple jump jumping 10.61 meters, which surpassed her lifetime PR by 9 inches.
“I am beyond excited for both events!” Hooks said of her performances. Since both of these events ended up close together, Hooks was forced to run back and forth between them.
“I was exhausted,” she said, “and never thought I would have such a great day.”
Her time of 9.01 puts her at the third fastest time in Loras history.
“When I looked up at the time board Saturday, I was in shock!”
Her performance earned her the rank of 15th in the hurdles in Division III.
“After Saturday,” Hooks said, “my goal for hurdles has completely changed! I’m going to try to snag a spot at the Indoor National Championship meet.”
Her triple-jump performance has her sitting second in the conference.
“As far as triple jump, I have my eye on receiving an All-Conference title.”
Freshman Audrey Miller shined in the 5,000-meter run, dominating the oval with a first place finish. Her time of 17:52 was approximately 24 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. It also earned the second fastest time in Loras history!
Other accomplishments included senior Brittnee Powers taking first in the 200-meter dash. Junior Elizabeth Brandenburg won the pole vault but was unable to take down the indoor record this week. Sophomore Allison Ewald had a lifetime PR in the pole vault and high jump with the heights of 2.57 meters and 1.41 meters, respectively. Junior Alexis Hanson took third overall in her first 800 meter run with the time of 2:22.39.
The women swept the relays with strong performances. In the 4×200, Powers and Hanson along with sophomores Alyssa Simon and Rachel Kilburg ran their fastest time of the season at 1:47.28. The 4×400 relay, consisting of Powers, Hanson, Kilburg and sophomore Emily Ney, went 4:08.25.
On the men’s side, the distance runners earned a handful of PRs in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs. Junior Benjamin Hedges set a lifetime record in the 3K with the time of 9:14.7. In the same race, sophomore Matt Gagen ran a 9:18.10, improving almost 11 seconds from his time last year. Junior Colin Ensminger dropped more than 30 seconds of his previous indoor best in the 5K with the time of 16:09. Sophomore John Stoppelman dropped 25 seconds off his lifetime record after running a 16:18 this weekend.
In the 800-meter run, senior Zach Frey and sophomore Kylian Lally took first and third, respectively, with times of 1:53.61 and 1:56.92. In his final season, Frey is closing in on an important goal: making finals in the 800 at Nationals.
“I don’t want to leave anything on the table,” Frey said about the upcoming weekends. “I’m doing everything I’m capable of to finish stronger than ever. I’m extremely confident right now with where my fitness level is at, and that matters more than any ranking.”
He’s currently No. 9 in the 800, so he has a lot of training ahead of him.
“Coach (Matt Jones) does an excellent job of responding with different workouts based upon how my body is feeling. (Jones) has been challenging me this year with more interval training and additional mileage.”
Frey has not been alone in his training, as Lally has been right there with him.
“He (Lally) has been critical to my success this year. He has been my go-to training partner, and we feed off each other in workouts.”
In addition to the satisfaction of his own success, Frey was excited about Lally’s PR.
“I would love to see us go 1-2 at the conference meet, and I know he will develop that confidence.”
On top of his Nationals goal, Frey has other aspirations this season.
“I want to help out the team as much as possible at the Iowa Conference Championships, win the 800 (and) break the school record.”
In the field events, senior Keontae Neely tied his outdoor high jump mark at 1.87 meters finishing fourth overall. First year Jake Berg set a new PR in the shotput by almost a meter with the mark of 12.93 meters.
Like the women, the men also swept the relays, and both ran their fastest of the season so far. Seniors
Stedman Foster and Nick Ball with sophomore Brandon Gradoville and freshman Zach Minch ran the time of 1:32.84 in the 4×200 relay. Frey, Lally, Gradoville, and Foster finished the meet with the time of 3:25.71 in the 4×400 relay.
The “Duhawks of the Day” for the last weekend were Jake Berg for men’s field, John Stoppelman for men’s track, Audrey Miller and Audrey Hooks for women’s track, and Allison Ewald for women’s field.
The Duhawks compete this Friday at the University of Dubuque for the Spartan Invite.