UWO track and field prepares for outdoor season


Courtesy of UWO athletics — UWO pole vaulter Eli Tranel prepares for a jump in the UW Oshkosh Titan Challenge Feb. 18.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

UW Oshkosh track and field starts their outdoor season on Saturday after earning nine All-America honors at the indoor track and field national championship.

In comparison to the 2022 season where the men’s indoor team placed 10th nationally, in 2023 the team placed fifth. This was the best indoor placement since 2014, when the team placed third, showing a possibly strong men’s team going into the outdoor season.

Jonathan Wilburn, who earned All-America first-team honors in the triple jump, said that he has high expectations for the remainder of the season, but is weary not to burn himself out.

Every season, there’s an expectation to perform, but knowing my ability and thinking of my accomplishments reminds me that I have and will succeed,” he said. “The beginning of every season is a slow burn, starting off slowly, and towards the end there is a lot of excitement.”

Wilburn earned a program record in the triple jump with a 15.56-meter mark and said that his plan to improve will be a combination of working on previous technique and experimentation.

“I try to be a technician, and pay very close attention to all parts of my triple jump technique,” he said. “From runway to take-off, phases and landing, I want to be as perfect as possible. With my schedule being as busy as ever, I try to get as much training as possible with the time I have. This includes looking for new exercises and making every rep count.”

Londyn Little said that after the performance at Alabama in the nationals, the team is ready to do better.

Placing fifth and not being able to bring a trophy home by one point …That’ll be the way we keep the spark going into the outdoor season,” he said. “Knowing we were right there competing with all the top schools in the nation and to fall just short only makes us want to come back even better and stronger when outdoor season hits.”

During nationals, Little set a season record 200-meter dash with a time of 21.79 seconds, a time that he said he has plans to improve.

“My plan to improve my 200-meter is to first off stay in my lane,” he said. “Because at the conference championships this year I set a new PR of 21.76 and broke the school record again, but got disqualified due to lane violation,”

Little said that he can achieve between a high 22.6 and a low 22.7 in the 200-meter, but his goal is between a high 22.1 and low 22.2.

He said that he feels more prepared going into this leg of the season due to improved health.

“I feel way more confident going outdoors solely because my body is feeling great this time,” he said. “I was having hamstring issues throughout the entire indoor season, but with a break I was able to rest and get my body feeling better.”

The women’s team placed 34th in the nationals, however the team has shown that they are capable of moving up in the national rankings. In 2019, the team moved from 27th to 23rd between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Brenna Masloroff competed in two events, the 20-pound weight throw and shot put, earning All-America sixth team and 15th respectively. She said that her goal for the second part of the season is to continue developing herself while developing an improved team atmosphere.

My goals for the second leg of the season is to continue growing my knowledge of throwing to help myself grow as an athlete, teammate and person,” she said. “Also, I want to have fun. I want to make memories with my amazing teammates that I can look back and laugh on.”

Masloroff said that the championship facilitated a strong team energy, despite most of the team not attending the Alabama meet.

While Katie (Fruth) and I are competing at nationals, we are obviously not on our phones,” she said. “When we finally got on our phones, our throwers group chat was blowing up. Everyone was wishing us luck and congratulating us. It is an amazing feeling to know we both have teammates who support us, even being half way across the country.”

Masloroff said that she plans on making the next nationals, and that getting her foot in the door is an opportunity to do something amazing.

My personal goal by the time outdoor nationals comes around is to be at the meet,” she said. “It is a big honor to qualify for the meet in the first place. Hopefully, once we are there, we can go out and compete. Everyone knows once you are at nationals it is an open field and anything can happen.”

Wilburn said that the team is energized and that the team unity will propel the group forward.

Our track team is very passionate; we have a lot of energy and even more talent,” he said. “One of our main goals as a team is to hone in and focus that potential in the right direction, whether that be at the competition, at our training, supporting each other… We try to harness and use that to our benefit. This is how we attack every season, and when we get it right, great things happen.” 

The Titans will return April 1 at the Washington University in St. Louis Invitational and the UW-Platteville Pioneer Open on Saturday.