Track and Field compete in Stevens Point

Sean Maloney

The UW Oshkosh men’s track and field team finished in first, while the women’s team finished in third on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Stevens Point. The men’s team scored 188 points over the course of 15 events to beat UW-Whitewater and UW-Stevens Point, while the women scored 96 to finish in third behind UW-La Crosse and UW-Stevens Point. Devan Gertschen, who was named the UW Oshkosh Male Student-Athlete of the Week for the period of Feb. 8-14, led the way for the men’s team. Gertschen defeated all 11 other competitors in the pole vault and helped earn a team title for the men. Gertschen said focusing on his jumps is what led to his success over the weekend. “I stayed patient while I was up there, letting my hips rise and not reaching for the cross bar,” Gertschen said. “The best thing I did for myself was not worrying how high the bar was, and focusing on making every vault as perfect as possible.” Head coach Ben Dorsey, who took over as both the men’s and women’s head coach for the first time this year, said he and the other coaches thought Gertschen’s performance is continuing to improve. “He had an awesome week of practice,” Dorsey said. “He had been on the precipice of something big the last couple of weeks.” Gertschen also said the team as a whole has been impressive as of late and will be important as conference and national meets are rapidly approaching. “Every event group has had success and that is going to be huge going into conference and eventually Nationals,” Gertschen said. “As we get close to those meets, more and more of my teammates are starting to find their groove.” Even after setting a personal best and winning on Saturday, Gertschen said he thinks there is still room for improvement heading into their next meet this upcoming Saturday. “During the end of the competition, I let myself get a little too mellow after I set a new [personal record],” Gertschen said. “As a result, I wasn’t bringing enough speed on the runway or being aggressive enough at takeoff.” The women’s team finished third at Stevens Point and senior Taylor Sherry, who finished first in the 60 meter hurdles, said the team was able to accomplish the goal of getting some of the other girls on the team eligible for upcoming meets. “We were able to buckle down and get some more girls qualified for conference,” Sherry said. “[We] hope to get even more this Saturday.” Gertschen said with conference and national meets coming up, the team will need to stay loose and bring the intensity. “One of the best things we can do as a whole is keep ourselves fresh,” Gertschen said. “We have to bring our own energy…no matter where we are, we have to own the field house.” This Saturday, a select number of the men’s and women’s track members will be heading to Stevens Point for the Eastbay Pointer Invitational, while the remaining athletes will stay in Oshkosh for the UW Oshkosh Titan Challenge.