Last Thursday, April 12 the Loras Track and Field program traveled just over the river to University of Wisconsin-Platteville to take on a stacked field of competitors. With nationally ranked opponents such as University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and University of Dubuque making up a portion of the field, the Duhawks rose to the challenge and locked down a multitude of top five spots.
The 25th-ranked women came to perform on Thursday, amidst outstanding performances from familiar athletes. Sophomore Gabrielle Noland locked up three top-three finishes over the course of the meet. Noland finished in second place in the 400m dash, and accompanied that with a third place finish in the 200m dash.
To go along with her successful day, she and fellow teammates sophomore Terrianna Black, junior Bella Solis, and sophomore Alexis Alt locked down a first place finish in the 4x100m relay. Solis added a second place finish in the 400m hurdles to go along with the first place finish as well. Junior Kemunto Ondande locked up a fourth place finish in the 1500m run with a time of 5:00.79, and was quickly followed up by junior Allie Serres, who notched a fourth place finish in the 800m. To finish the day of track events, the 4x400m team of first-year Valerie Herbst, sophomore Brittany McNamara, junior Molly Walker, and first-year Hannah Insko finished in fourth place.
In the field, the women looked just as impressive. Junior Ester Johnson notched a fourth place finish in the hammer throw with a mark of 160-0. She followed this performance up with a fourth place finish in the javelin throw, finishing one spot behind teammate junior Taylor Dooley, who threw for a distance of 114-8. In the jumps, sophomore Elyse Acompanado led the way with a first place finish in the long jump, with a jump of 18-3.25. Junior Taylor Schaefers took hold of the fifth spot in the triple jump, finishing with a distance of 33-7.25.
The men gave a performance that matched the solidity of the women’s results. There were three men who notched two top-three finishes on the day, all of whom were members of the nationally recognized 4x400m team. While sophomore Shamari Scott, junior Anakin Hall, senior Kylian Lally, and sophomore Patrick Mikel teamed up for a third place finish in the 4x400m, Scott, Lally, and Mikel notched individual victories of their own. Lally finished third in the 800m with a time of 1:52.98, while Mikel finished with yet another first place in the 200m to add to his already impressive resume. Meanwhile, Scott finished in fourth place in the 400m hurdles, followed closely by senior Andrew O’Neill who finished fifth.
Sophomore Logan Hayes had a day in the steeplechase, finishing in second place with a time of 9:49.06. Junior Jack Carroll put together a solid performance in the 1,500 as well, crossing the line in 4:04.77, good enough for a third place finish amongst a tough field.
In the field events, junior Jake Berg launched his way to a third place finish in the hammer throw, tossing a 168-3. Senior Colby Rattenborg took to the runway and flew to a third place finish in the long jump. The Duhawks grouped up to take over the triple jump, as senior Hunter Dunlap, first-year Doyle Carroll, sophomore Connor Gillespie, and first-year Peter Kilburg notched third, fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes respectively. The consistency shows just how competitive this group of athletes will be as the season continues.
Up next, the Duhawks will travel to Rock Island, Illinois, where they will compete in a field against the powerful Augustana track and field program, including the fourth-ranked men. In the Meet of Champions, the Duhawks hope to emerge victorious. The meet will present the Duhawks with the opportunity to bolster their national rankings, moving them quickly up the charts.