Defending conference champion Eagles fly in for Titans’ men’s track & field opener

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The UW Oshkosh men’s indoor track & field team gets the 2021 season underway Saturday at home against UW-La Crosse in a battle of programs that were highly ranked in last year’s national poll. The season opener begins at 1 p.m. in Kolf Sports Center.

UW Oshkosh, which qualified 19 student-athletes to last year’s NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship before the event was canceled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, went into the 2020 national meet ranked third in the country by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Reigning Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion UW-La Crosse was fifth in the final 2020 USTFCCCA regular season poll.

This season WIAC teams will compete against league rivals exclusively.

UW Oshkosh travels to UW-Whitewater on Feb. 13 and Feb. 19 before participating at the UW-Stevens Point Multi-Event Invitational on Feb. 24-25. The Titans return home to host UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 27 and conclude the season March 6 at UW-Whitewater.

The WIAC Championship, originally scheduled for Feb. 26-27 at UW-Platteville, and the NCAA Division III Championship, previously set for March 12-13 in Geneva, Ohio, have been canceled.

Fourth-year UW Oshkosh head coach Justin Kinseth, the 2020 Division III men’s indoor track & field Coach of the Year, welcomes back 12 athletes who garnered All-America recognition following the cancelation of the 2020 national meet. The Titans, who placed fourth at the 2019 Division III Championship, won the national title in 2009.

Headlining the Titans’ 32 returning letterwinners are junior defending WIAC champions and All-Americans Jamyle Brantley and Jonathan Wilburn along with 2020 WIAC Newcomer of the Year Jaylen Grant. Brantley and Wilburn won the conference long jump and triple jump titles, respectively. Wilburn, who was also a 2019 All-American in the triple jump, holds the UW-Oshkosh triple jump record at 50-3 1/4. Grant, an All-American at 60 meters last season, set the program record in the 60-meter dash (6.81 seconds) during his freshman campaign.

UW-Oshkosh’s other returning 2020 All-Americans are seniors Benjamin Jung (200 meters), Robert Ogbuli (60 meters) and Justin Rivers (high jump); juniors Andrew George (mile), Steven Potter (800 meters), Jackson Sheckler (shot put) and Amitai Wheat (1,600-meter relay); and sophomores Adrian Girone (1,600-meter relay) and Eli Tranel (pole vault). Ogbuli also earned All-America honors in the 60-meter dash in 2019.

UW-La Crosse captured its 19th consecutive WIAC title last season, scoring 169 points to hold off runner-up UW-Oshkosh’s total of 148.5. Completing the 2020 WIAC standings were UW-Eau Claire in third place with 119.66 points, UW-Whitewater in fourth with 74.33, UW-Stevens Point in fifth with 64.5, UW-Stout in sixth with 46, UW-Platteville in seventh with 39 and UW-River Falls in eighth with 2.

UW-Eau Claire entered the 2020 Division III Championship ranked first by the USTFCCCA while UW-Whitewater was ninth and UW-Stout was 16th.

Spectators will not be allowed at WIAC events during the winter sports season. All contests will be conducted in accordance with NCAA Division III regulations, as well as institutional, state and local health and safety guidelines.

All UW Oshkosh men’s track & field home meets (selected events) will be streamed live online. The links will be posted on the UW-Oshkosh men’s track & field schedule page when available.