Men’s and women’s track blows out competition

Powers, Wrensch shatter UW Oshkosh school records in the first meet of 2018-19 indoor season

Evan Moris, Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh track and field team opened their season with wins by both the men’s and women’s teams at the Early Bird Invite, hosted by the Titans at the Kolf Sports Center.

The men’s team scored a total of 332 points on Saturday, which included 12 first-place finishes and 10 second-place finishes to secure their first victory as team. They outpaced the rest of the competition by outscoring second place Carroll University who had 87 points and third-place Carthage College with 55 points. Concordia University Wisconsin, Edgewood College and Wisconsin Lutheran College all finished with less than 35 points.
Ryan Powers, a stand out Titan sprinter from Saturday, broke his own school record in the 200 meter dash, running a 21.83 and capturing first place.

UWO head coach Justin Kinseth said that what Powers did on Saturday was mind-boggling.

“Before I got here, the school record was 22.23 in the 200 indoors,” Kinseth said. “Then he ran 22.01 last year at this meet. Just when I thought the kid was fast, he runs 21.83. The idea that he shattered the old record, which was his own before, is absolutely incredible.”

Powers said he felt confident going into Saturday’s meet, but exceeded his own expectations breaking the school record.

“This past weekend I had performed better than I originally thought I was going to, but I knew I felt good before the races so I had high hopes for each one,” Powers said. “I was not expecting to run so well the first meet of the year but I am glad I did.”

The Titan men performed well across the board. In the 5,000 meter run, UWO took the top five spots in the race led by Lucas Weber carrying a time of 15:05.24, followed teammates Cody Chadwick, Kiernan Koepke, Fabian Salinas Arroyo and Jack Rindahl.

UWO had winners in three other running events. Justin Skinkis won the 800-meter dash, Christian Lopez in the 60-meter dash, and Andrew George took first in the 3,000 meter run.

Winners on the field side of the team were Justin Rivers in high jump with a leap of 6-9; Jonathan Wilburn jumped 47-7 3/4 in the triple jump; Joe Vils placed first in the pole vault with measure of 15-5; Jackson Sheckler with a distance of 50-7 1/4 in the shot put and Bailey Quinn in the 35-pound weight throw with a 54-9 1/2

UWO men’s long jumpers took the top four spots led by winner John Auer with a jump of 23-7 1/4 as Jamyle Brantley, Benjamin Jung and Devin Moody took second, third and fourth respectively.

The UWO women’s team defeated all other schools in attendance with a score of 211.5 points while Carroll University placed second with 122 points.
UWO sprinter and long jumper Lauren Wrensch won the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.60 and broke the UWO school record in the long jump with a leap of 19-3 1/4. The previous record was set in 1995 by Tara (Harding) Jaeger with a distance of 19-1 1/4.

Kinseth said Wrensch’s performance on Saturday was a testament to her natural abilities and the work she put into the off-season.

“She had a lot of natural talent and now she’s starting to understand the track and field seasons,” Kinseth said. “She PR’d in every single event. Her biggest differential from last year to this year was her speed. Her speed development has gone through the roof. All she had to do was put that foot down and fly out and she hit 5.87, 19’ 3”. She smoked the school record; it was incredible.”

Wrensch said she was surprised by her performance at the Early Bird Invite.

“I definitely exceeded my expectations for myself in every event,” Wrensch said. “Especially in the long jump, I had big goals for myself and had my eye on the school record, but I definitely did not think I would achieve this so early in the year.”

The Titan women had six other first-place winners from Saturday’s meet. Taylor Pralle took first in the 60-meter dash, Breanna Van Den Plas won the 800-meter run while twin sister Amanda Van Den Plas won the mile run. Cara Volz took first in the triple jump with a distance of 38-0 and pole vaulter Megan Leahy with a height of 10-11 1/2 in field events.

Kinseth said this season’s goal is to stay positive and push the athletes to be the best they can be in order to help the team.

“The overarching goal is obviously always is to have these kids PR,” Kinseth said. “When it comes down to what you can do to help out the team is all dependent on what you can do in your lane, when it’s your turn on the runway and when it’s your turn in the ring. So within overarching goal, always to give these kids one heck of an experience so that way they can stay motivated throughout the season.”

The UWO track and field team will head to Olivet Nazarene University for the Holiday Invitational in Bourbonnais, Illinois. Friday, Dec. 9. The meet is set to begin at 4 p.m.