Titans track and field wins the UW Oshkosh Titan Challenge meet


Jacob Link / the Advance-Titan — Oshkosh’s Alaina Wagner lands after a her first attempt of the day in the triple jump at the Kolf Sports Center Feb. 18.

Brandon Cobb, Staff Writer

Both the UW Oshkosh men’s and women’s track and field teams took first at the UW Oshkosh Titan Challenge on Feb.18. The meet was spearheaded by a plethora of personal bests and a few new program records as well.

It was a home meet for the Titans, with nine teams competing on the men’s side and 11 teams on the women’s side.The men and women both won the meet with 226 and 150 points respectively.

The men’s victory in the field events was led by senior Eli Tranel who broke a 16-year-old record in pole vaulting and is now No. 1 in the country for D-III pole vaulting. He broke the record at the 5.07-meter mark, followed by UWO freshman Zach Zirgibel, who finished second in the event.  

Tranel reflected upon it breaking the record at home.

“When I broke the record it was … with pretty much my whole team watching me and that’s not a coincidence,” Tranel said. “Especially when you’re a vaulter and you see everyone line the runway, it’s definitely a huge motivator.”

Senior Jonathan Wilburn and sophomore AK Toheeb-Lawal also set program history in their respective events. Wilburn landed at the second best distance in program history for the triple jump with a team season best of 15.38 meters. Toheeb-Lawal  got the sixth longest distance in program history and a team season best on the high jump with 7.16 meters. Toheeb-Lawal viewed such a dominant win as confirmation of all the hard work done within the indoor season.

 In other men’s field events, sophomore Caleb Cornelius took first in men’s high jump with a season high for the Titans and now sixth in the nation, sophomore Sebastian Jefferson placed second in men’s long jump and freshman Caleb Wright placed second in men’s triple jump.

The women’s victory in the field was led by junior Brenna Masloroff, who placed first in the 20-pound weight throw while setting a new season best. She also placed seventh in the shot put. 

Sophomore Megan Hunt and junior Vanessa Jenneman both contributed greatly to the team’s win as well. Jenneman gave the team a third-place finish while also setting a new season best in the long jump and Hunt followed with a fourth place finish in the long jump .

The Titans also had a few honorable mentions. Freshman Haley Kanitz took sixth in pole vault, junior Anna Bubolz took fifth in the long jump and senior Micky Barrette placed seventh with a personal best 20-pound weight throw. 

The women saw significant success on the track as well. Sophomore Amelia Lehman made a huge impact with a season beat 3,000 meter race that put her in the history book as the eight fastest time in program history.

 Sophomore Amelia Lehman had a team season best and a first-place finish  in the 400-meter dash.This effort was followed by junior Alaina Wagner, who took second in the 400-meter dash and sophomore Andrea Glaz who placed fifth.

In addition, Meygan Benzing  placed second in the mile run, Libby Geisness placed second in the 800-meter run and the 4×400 relay team placed first.

On the track, the men saw a lot of success as well being led by Elijah Pena who got the fastest time in program history for the 60-meter hurdle. With a time of 8.21 seconds, he made his mark in Titan history.

Sophomore John Till placed first in the 5,000-meter with a season best and took some time to reflect on the victory of his entire team.

“Supporting one another is a big thing in our success,” Till said. “if someone does have a bad day we do lift them up so when someone does  well we try to match that energy.”

In addition, sophomore Joe Hertel finished second in the 5,000-meter, senior John Ford placed first in the 400-meter dash and sophomore Keegan Cullison placed second in the 60-meter dash.

Looking ahead to the WIAC competition on Feb.24, all the athletes will turn up the intensity as they prepare for the pinnacle of their indoor track and field season.

“The intensity only increased on both men’s and women’s teams,” Toheeb-Lawal said. “We all are making sure we do everything in our capability to help each other achieve the goals to dominate at the upcoming WIAC meet.”