Consistent UW Oshkosh close in on Eagles

Greg Sense, Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh men’s track and field team placed second and the women’s team placed third at the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championship on Feb. 28 and 29.

The UWO women’s team recorded three individual champions, junior Cara Volz won triple jump, freshman Libby Geisness won the 800-meter run and senior Ashton Keene won the 3,000-meter run.

Volz had won the triple jump in the 2018 WIAC Indoor Championships, but missed the 2019 championship due to injury.

Despite struggling with injuries throughout the season, Volz’s triumphant comeback renewed her confidence and possibly earned her a spot at nationals.

“Recording my best jump of the season at conference was huge,” Volz said. “I have been struggling all season with injury and I just wanted to repeat as a champion since the last time I competed in the WIAC Indoor Championships. I was glad to be able to feel as well as I did … this jump gave me my sense of who I am as a jumper back since my surgery and continuing injuries.”

UW Oshkosh Photoshelter
Sophomore Jamyle Brantley soars to a first place finish in the long jump with a distance of 7.25 meters, his best of the season.

The men’s team recorded two individual champions at the WIAC Indoor Championship, as sophomore Jonathan Wilburn won the triple jump for the second year in a row and sophomore Jamyle Brantley won the long jump.

Brantley credited his stellar performance at the WIAC Indoor Championship to hard work and preparation throughout practice.

“It felt amazing recording my best jump of the season especially on that big of a stage,” Brantley said. “It goes to show that all of the hard work put in building up to the championship is paying off.”

In addition to the individual champions, many other Titans finished on the podium at the WIAC Indoor Championship.

Among some of the Titans’ top finishers on the men’s team were freshman Jaylen Grant, who finished second in the 60-meter dash, senior Joe Vils finished second in the pole vault, sophomore Steven Potter earned second place in both the mile and 800-meter run and senior Todd Beadle finished in second place in the 400-meter dash.

The 2020 WIAC Indoor Championship was one to remember for Beadle, as he recorded his fastest time in the 400-meter dash this season.

“It felt amazing,” Beadle said. “I never got on the podium for an individual event during the indoor season, so taking second in my event was a big accomplishment.”

On the women’s team, freshman Emma Warr finished second in pole vault, the distance medley group consisting of sophomore Alexandra Demco, senior Taylor Pralle, freshman Lauren Rabe and junior Amanda Van Den Plas also finished second.

The team results for the WIAC Indoor Championship for the men’s teams are as follows from first to eighth: UW-La Crosse, UWO, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Stout, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls.

The team results for the WIAC Indoor Championship for the women’s teams are as follows from first to eighth: UWL, UWEC, UWO, UWSP, UWW, UWS, UWP, UWRF.

Despite the men’s team finishing second to UWL, Brantley is as confident as ever in his team.

“Putting up the fight we did at the indoor conference championship gives me a ton of faith in my team,” Brantley said. “We came so very close to ending La Crosses’ 19-year championship streak. Instilling fear into their athletes at La Crosse is a huge accomplishment because we almost pulled off something that hasn’t been done since 2001.”

The Titans will get the chance to compete again during the final qualifier opportunity for nationals on March 6 at Carthage College and March 7 at UW-Stevens Point.

Volz also has a strong belief that the UWO women’s track and field team is leaving the WIAC Indoor Championship a more confident, stronger team.

“”As a team, we brought in our own energy and used it to our advantage in every way we could,” Volz said. “Our biggest take away from this Indoor Championships is realizing that no matter what place we took overall, no matter how we did in every event, we’re still not done yet and we have more to show.”