Three Titans earn last spots at nationals

UW Oshkosh’s Robert Ogbuli, Roman Hill and Amanda Van Den Plas secure final spots in the Indoor National Championships this weekend

Evan Moris, Sports Editor

“The UW Oshkosh track and field teams competed in two last-chance qualifiers in hopes of earning a bid to the Indoor National Championships in Boston, Massachusetts next weekend.

Carthage College Final Qualifier

On Friday, three Titan women, Megan Leahy, Sadie Huth and Allie Marineau represented UWO at the Carthage College Final Qualifier in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Leahy competed in the pole vault, placing seventh in a field of 13. Leahy finished at height of 10-08 1/2.

Huth captured a first place in the long jump with leap of 18-2 1/2. The sophomore finished fourth at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference the previous week.

In the women’s shot put, Marineau took sixth with a measurement of 48-00 1/2. None of the UWO women were able to qualify for the Indoor National Championships.

On the men’s side, nine members of the men’s track and field team traveled to Carthage College.

In the men’s 55-meter dash, UWO senior Christian Lopez and freshman Denzel Thomas sprinted to a third and fourth place finish, respectively. Lopez finished third with a time of 6.58 seconds and Thomas trailed with a time of 6.60 seconds.
UWO’s Joe Vils took home gold in the pole vault with a height of 16-04, landing himself a spot at the national meet this weekend.

Roman Hill and Ben Jung earned themselves a spot at the national meet after placing first and third in the long jump. Hill took first with a leap of 23-3 1/2, and Jung finished with a measurement of 22-7 1/2.
Titan triple jumpers Adam Tallman and Jared Benson placed fourth and and ninth with lengths of 45-4 3/4 and 43-8 1/2. Both Tallman and Benson were unable to qualify for nationals.

UWO throwers Jackson Sheckler and Bailey Quinn eached placed third in the weight throw and the shot put with throws of 49-1 1/2 and 55-6 3/4, respectively.

UW-Stevens Point Final Qualifier

On Saturday, members of both the women and men’s track and field teams traveled to UW-Stevens Point in a final effort to claim a spot at the Indoor National Championships.
Hill, Robert Ogbuli and Amanda Van Den Plas secured three of the few final spots for Boston.

Hill took first place in the long jump with a jump of 22-09.00. Hill out-jumped the second place finisher Adam Lembke of UW-Eau Claire by two-and-a-half inches.
Ogbuli sprinted to a second-place finish in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.93 seconds trailing only Darren Luther of Texas Luther who took first at 6.88 seconds.
Ogbuli said making nationals had been a lifetime goal of his.

“I was running around everywhere. I was super excited,” Ogbuli said. “Last year I was just dreaming about being at the collegiate level and now that I got the opportunity to do it with my brothers and sisters, it’s like a dream come true.”
Ogbuli said senior leadership this season has been a major help in the team’s success.

“Ryan Powers and Jared Benson,” Ogbuli said, “They bring so much positivity to the team. They bring the assignment to practice everyday. Last year it wasn’t like that. We had senior leaders, but they weren’t very vocal. They are so encouraging.”

Van Den Plas was the lone qualifier on the Titan women’s team. The junior from Kewaunee ran a 5:08.92 mile time. Van Den Plas was nearly three seconds faster than second-place finisher Aria Plewa of St. Scholastica.
Van Den Plas said the roster becomes a tight-knit group as the season progresses.

“As the meets get more competitive, our team gets closer as a whole,” Van Den Plas said. “We all start to recognize the growth our team has made by seeing the accomplishments we all put forth.”

The UWO men will have 12 individuals and one relay team (4×400) represent the University at the Indoor National Championships, and the women will be sending three individuals. The Indoor National Championships will take place March 8-9 in Boston, Mass.