UWO track competes in two meets

UW Oshkosh track and field had a busy week, competing in both the Phil Esten Challenge, hosted by UW-La Crosse, and the Lewis University Twilight Meet in Romeoville, Illinois.

The Titans commenced their hectic week in La Crosse on Saturday and Sunday where both the men and women turned in a slew of impressive performances, including multiple first place and top-five finishes.

Junior sprinter Ryan Powers was one of many Titans to find his way to the top of the podium, finishing first in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.80 seconds. UWO also impressed in the field, with junior thrower Bailey Quinn winning the hammer toss with a throw of 167-9.

The Titans added to their collection of strong performances with a handful of second-place finishes as well.

Junior sprinter Lauren Wrensch finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.61 seconds. The Titan women also achieved success in the field events, showcased by junior Megan Leahy’s second-place effort in the pole vault with a measurement of 11-7.

Other strong performances came from freshmen Robert-Albert Ogbuli, who finished third in the 100-meter dash, and Michael Juarez, who finished fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

According to Quinn, the team continues to overcome the adversity necessary to help them reach their peak.

“Right now, our team is building from indoor season and battling some injuries and building into these next couple of meets, trying to qualify for our conference meet to get a good squad to move forward for that,” Quinn said.

The team followed up its outing in La Crosse with another impressive performance at Lewis University on Tuesday where again the Titans became frequent visitors of the podium, achieving an array of top-five finishes.

Both the men’s and women’s teams had their fair share of event winners. The 4×100-meter relay team consisting of Ogbuli, Powers, senior Nolan Peterson and freshman Erik Schwandt came out on top of their event with a time of 42 seconds flat. Leahy was the top performer for the women’s team, turning in her second victory of the week in the pole vault with a measurement of 11 7-3/4.

The Titans also strung together a handful of second-place performances during their time in Illinois.

Schwandt added to his medal count with a strong individual performance in the 100-meter dash, finishing second with a time of 10.52 seconds. Sophomore distance runner Amanda Van Den Plas finished runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with her time of 12:15.72.

Other notable finishes came from sophomore distance runner Jacob Rost, whose time of 9:48.19 earned him third place in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, and sophomore jumper Jenna Trione, who finished fourth in the high jump with a height of 4 8-1/4.

According to senior sprinter Emily Reichenberger, the key to her team’s success in Illinois was the consistency displayed in every event.

“We have a lot of athletes consistently achieving good marks,” Reichenberger said. “I think consistency now is preparing our team to do big things and blow up at conference in two weeks.”

The team will look to build on that consistency as push towards conference continues. Its next meet begins today and carries through Saturday as the team has a three-day relay event in Hillsdale, Michigan, followed by a one-day alternative event in Whitewater also on Saturday.

Head distance coach Eamon McKenna said the next meet will allow the team to keep doing the things they’ve been doing that have allowed them to be so successful this season.

“We will continue to follow the programs designed to lead to team and individual success, and we expect to have a number of highlights at each week’s meet,” McKenna said. “This weekend will be no different.”