Men’s Track places fourth at Whitewater Invitational

Austin Walther

The UW Oshkosh men’s track and field team began outdoor competition at the UW-Whitewater Invitational and finished with 114.5 points for fourth-place out of nine competing teams. The fifth-ranked Warhawks won the competition with 218 points followed by UW-Stevens Point with 148 points, Michigan Tech University with 123 points and rounding out the top five, finishing behind Oshkosh, was North Park University (Ill.) with 32 points. Head coach Eamon McKenna said he is glad the guys are back into competition mode despite imperfect weather. “The conditions were really windy,” McKenna said. “So times and performances won’t be anything huge moving forward, but it was nice to get started with the outdoor season.” The seventh-ranked Titans had two first-place finishes with freshman Kallen Bentz in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.38 seconds’ and junior Zachary Baehman in the shot put with a measurement of 16.22 meters. As for Bentz, he said the weather conditions in Whitewater helped better his performance. “I came in with a good seed time and I just wanted to go there and compete,” Bentz said. “To run against good competition in the wind always feels great to me.” Oshkosh received second-place finishes from senior Kenny Halloran in the 800-meter dash with a time of 2 minutes and 10 milliseconds and senior Mike Heinz with a measurement of 48.07 meters in the discus throw. Halloran was able to finish fourth in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:08.99. Sophomore Joe Zack joined Halloran in the 800-meter dash running 2:02.63 for fifth-place. In the 1,500- meter, Zach finished sixth with a 4:11.81. Heinz also received scoring in two other events, including a third-place finish in shot put with a measurement of 15.63 meters and a fourth-place mark of 51.05 meters in the hammer throw. Heinz said it’s all about staying focused and preparing for throwing events in the early stages of the outdoor season. “I’ve been staying consistent with my practice schedule,” Heinz said. “I try to remember what I do in practice so it carries over into the meets.” Senior Nick Grosskopf also performed well with a fourth-place measurement of 15.02 meters in the shot put and an eighth-place finish in the hammer throw at 46.86 meters. Junior Ryan Paulick recorded a sixth-place measurement of 46.99 meters in the hammer throw and a seventh-place finish in the shot put at 13.85 meters, while senior Scott Heinz finished third in the discus with a measurement of 47.07 meters and seventh in the hammer throw at 46.90 meters. McKenna said the numbers should improve with the weather and he expects at least four throwers at nationals. “Those guys continue to do a good job for us,” McKenna said. “We have a lot of upperclassmen that have achieved some nice things for us.” As for sprints, the Titans highest scoring event was the 100-meter dash with three participants finishing in the top eight. A pair of freshmen, Nolan Peterson and Jaron Olson, shared a final time of 11.19 seconds and finished fourth and fifth respectively, while junior Mike Finn finished eighth with a time of 11.67 seconds. Rounding out distance scoring was a double finish in the 5,000-meter run with senior Mike Foust running a 16:05.21 for third-place, and freshman Nathan Nozzi right behind him in fourth place at 16:57.36. The Titans placed two pole vaulters in Whitewater with freshman Devan Gertschen finishing third with a height of 4.45 meters and sophomore Matt McMullen sharing seventh-place at 4 meters. Oshkosh saw two top eight finishes in jumps when freshman Aaron Monnot finished third in the triple jump with a measurement of 13.03 meters. McKenna said there were a few guys who didn’t participate at the meet for personal reasons, so expectations weren’t high, but he expects a quick turnaround moving forward. “We should be top two minimally at a meet like that,” McKenna said. “But with the amount of guys missing, we weren’t really looking at a specific team goal.” The Titans will continue the outdoor season with the UW-Platteville Invitational that starts this Friday on April 10.