Last Saturday, seniors Matthew Kane, Ryan Sheeran, and Adam Varnas as well as sophomore Ben Hedges participated in a rather unique steeplechase at the UW-Platteville Invite. Sophomore Emily Day competed in this event on the women’s side. Though it usually takes place at the beginning of the meet, at this meet, the 3,000-meter steeplechase went off around sunset. But that didn’t stop the Duhawks, as they all improved upon their times from the week before.
Sheeran, who has All-Conference honors from last year’s outdoor Iowa Conference meet, finished the day with a time of 10:09.06. He, along with Varnas, went two and three in the event this weekend.
“I felt awesome during the race,” Sheeran said. “Each barrier was going down one at a time, next thing I knew it I was coming up to the last water jump and telling myself to just sprint.”
“My goal for the outdoor season is to crack the Loras Top 10 list in the steeplechase,” he added. “I hope to be in the top at the [Iowa] Conference meet in May.”
In Saturday’s race, he pulled ahead of teammate Adam Varnas, but in the middle, he began to fall off.
“Varny definitely helped me on the laps that he (set pace),” Sheeran said. “I watched his jumps over the barriers, and he looked smooth. I kept telling myself to do that., to jump these like Varny.”
Varnas, Kane, and Hedges finished with a 10:13.26, 10:27.49, and 10:30.40, respectively. In the women’s event, Day finished with a time of 12:10.31, earning a top-three finish at the meet.
In the other events, the Duhawks competed against some of the toughest competition in the NCAA Division III. The meet this past weekend was hailed as the “Meet of the Week” due to the top caliber teams that participated there, such as Wisconsin-La Crosse, Whitewater, Oshkosh, and Eau Claire. There was some conference competition, with Wartburg competing there as well. Regardless, some Duhawks soared to top times in their events.
On the men’s side, the nationally ranked 4×400-meter relay team took first place running a time of 3:16.87, which is not their fastest time of the season. Sophomore Brandon Gradoville lead off the relay followed by senior Josh Goerdt, junior Stedman Foster, and senior Zac Gassman. They will look to race the 4×400-relay at the Drake Relays in a few weeks.
Goerdt also took second place overall in the 400-meter dash, running a time of 48.88, which ranks him at 20th in Divison III. After taking a year of eligibility off due to injuries, it appears that Goerdt has come back and hit the ground running as the outdoor season approaches its final month.
Frey is continuing to drop times in the 800-meter run. This week, he took second place in the 800, running a time of 1:52.64. This pushes him into 10th in the division, and it also marks the fastest he has run an 800 since the Outdoors National meet last year.
The performers of the meet this week are sophomore Nathan Kimbrell, first-year Andy Reed, and first-year Emily Ney. Kimbrell shattered his personal record in the 800 this weekend, running a 1:57.93. Reed set personal records in the javelin throw with a distance of 42.79 meters. Ney ran a 1:01.38 in the 400 meter dash, which is her personal record and the second fastest 400 time currently on the women’s team. She also ran on the fifth place 4×400-meter relay, which posted a season-best time of 3:59.04.
The Duhawks will compete at the University of Dubuque Invite this weekend.