Track-and-field teams prospering outdoors

Finally getting a taste of nice outdoor weather, the Duhawks showed their strength amongst some of the top competition throughout all of Division III track and field.

Despite only having a few top finishes at the UW-Platteville Invite this weekend, the Duhawks were able to achieve many personal records throughout last week. A few of these athletes were junior Zach Soer, crushing his previous PR in the Hammer Throw last week by seven meters with a mark of 50.31 meters. Junior Emily Day and sophomore Kelly Minear went third and fourth in the Steeple Chase both with PRs of 12:01.75 and 12:17.83 respectively. The men’s 4×400 relay consisting of seniors Jake Brock and Stedman Foster, junior Brandon Gradoville, and sophomore Kylian Lally who ran a seasonal best of 3:18.12.Senior Bree Powers continued to improve her 200 meter dash time, marking 25.19 most recently.

The top finishers for the Duhawks this past weekend in Platteville include the women’s 4×400, also featuring Powers. Running with junior Alexis Hanson as well as sophomores Rachel Kilburg and Alyssa Simon, the relay won the event and are currently 9th in the nation in Division III. Junior Elizabeth Brandenburg continues to raise the bar on her school record vaulting over 3.89 meters. It also places her in 2nd in the Division III rankings. Finally, after a disqualification of a UW-Oshkosh athlete, senior Zach Frey posted the current fastest 800 meter time in Division III at 1:50.89. With that, he’s inching closer to the school record and makes for promising performance in his final outdoor season.

One of the more exciting races of the night was run by senior Jake Brock. After competing in his first full indoor season this year, it appears the extra training paid off. Brock tallied two fourth place finishes in the 400 meter hurdles and the Javelin throw. His javelin throw wasn’t a PR this weekend, but he maintains the first position in the Iowa Conference. However, he shined in the 400 meter hurdles, running a lifetime PR of almost two full seconds, 55.43, this placed him first in the Conference as well.

“Overall, I felt really good about my results Saturday,” Brock said. “Good competition combined with the gorgeous weather was something that got me really excited to go out and compete.”

Brock was also pleased to achieve beyond the goals he set for himself

“I exceeded even my own expectations and was shocked when I first heard the official time I ran.”

Looking ahead, he has his sights locked on the Conference meet.

“As the season dwindles down, I am most looking forward to the conference championships. This will be my first conference meet in four years where I have a realistic shot at making the podium as an individual for multiple events.”

He also mentioned how much the team is improving.

“Our team as a whole is putting ourselves in a good spot to have a great meet that weekend,” Brock said, “and I am excited to see what we can do.”

Another star for the Duhawks competed on Friday night under the lights in the 5,000 meter run. First year Audrey Miller continued to leave her mark on the track among some of the fastest 5K runners of Division III. She finished in fourth place with the time of 17:27.18. Though it wasn’t enough to take first, she did shatter a long standing school record.

Miller talked about how she felt about her race.

“Before the race, I was pretty nervous because Coach Schultz had some pretty lofty goals for the race.”

Since it was on Friday night, she got the opportunity to race under the lights as well.

“After my race,” she said, “I was surprised to find out that I had broken the record, because I didn’t even achieve my goal time! I was much happier with my performance when I found out I had broken the record.”

Her performance has helped her look forward to the remainder of the season.

“We are currently training really hard and putting a lot of miles in… But when we are rested for conference, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of great performances on the team!”

Besides helping her team as much as she can, she’s also looking forward to having the chance to qualify for Nationals.

“One of my big goals for this season is running a fast enough time to qualify for Nationals in the 5K. The Nationals 5K race is actually going to take place on my birthday, so I think it would be a pretty awesome birthday present to qualify and run a National race on my birthday.”

The Duhawks compete at the University of Dubuque this weekend while the 10,000 meter runners will travel to Augustana Friday night.

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