Track and field competes at nationals

Nate Proell

The UW Oshkosh men’s and women’s track teams wrapped up the season on March 12 at the NCAA Division III indoor championships held in Grinnell, Iowa. The men finished 13th with an overall score of 13 and the women finished 17th with an overall score of 11. Senior Zachary Baehman, freshman Wal Khat and freshman Ryan Powers each earned All-America accolades for the men. Baehman finished third in shot put with a toss of 57-7. The first place toss was by UW-Whitewater’s Theron Baumann with a toss of 58-3 and runner up Alex Mess of UW-Eau Claire had a toss of 57-9 ¾. Regardless of the third place finish, Baehman said he is very pleased with his result. “I was happy with the way I had competed at nationals,” Baehman said. “I would have liked to see a different outcome. My story as an athlete is not over yet. I will finish writing it this outdoor season. Hopefully the story ends on top of the podium.” Khat placed fifth in his 800-meter run with a time of 1:55.91. The first place finish for the 800-meter run went to Mitchell Black of Tuffs University who finished with a time of 1:52.48. Powers earned his first All-American after running the second best 400-meter in program history, placing sixth with a time of 48.7 seconds. Ben Zill’s 2010 time of 48.33 is the only other fastest race. Head coach Ben Dorsey said he is nothing but excited about Zill’s performance. “For a freshman to come through big like he did is very exciting for the next three years,” Dorsey said. Four other men represented UWO at the national competition. Junior Hunter Effa took 10th place in the long jump with a leap of 22-0 ¾ while sophomore Devan Gertschen took ninth in pole vault with a best clearance of 15-7 and sophomore Roberto Lara took 12th in the mile-run preliminaries with a time of 4:16.01. As for senior Naji Allan, he tied the school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.86 seconds and finished ninth in Friday’s preliminary round. This was the first time ever in Division III track and field history the time of 6.86 seconds has not made it to the final round, but Dorsey said he is still proud of the senior. “In that situation it’s hard to be real frustrated,” Dorsey said. “I just hope that he realizes that he had done everything that was asked of him. He left it all out there.” As for the women, senior Taylor Sherry claimed her third career indoor All-American laurel after she placed fourth on Saturday in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.72 seconds. Sherry said she was happy with how her senior season came to a close. “I did what I was supposed to do,” Sherry said. “I wanted to run a little faster but I was pleased with my place.” Junior Elizabeth Abhold made it to the final on Saturday thanks to her throw of 57-7 in the final round of the preliminaries. Dorsey said he is very pleased with her performance en route to her first All-American. “Getting your first All-American is always the hardest so for her to have that breakthrough is huge as we enter the outdoor season,” Dorsey said. “I’m extremely happy for her.” After coming into the nationals meet seated 15th, sophomore Emily Reichenberger finished sixth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.52 seconds which led to her first All-American. Dorsey said he is very proud of her making it that far. “That’s what you need at a national meet,” Dorsey said. “You need the people that overachieve.” Also representing the UW-Oshkosh women’s indoor track team was Kasey Ederer who finished 11th in the high jump with a height of 5-5, but came up short of earning All-American status. The outdoor season begins on April 8 when the team travels to UW-Whitewater.