Track and field competes at Platteville Invitational


Courtesy of UWO Athletics — UWO’s Steven Potter runs in the UW-Platteville Invitational.

Evan Stapleton, Staff Writer

The UW Oshkosh men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the UW-Platteville Invitational on Friday, April 14th. The men’s team finished fourth with 88 points and secured three event wins, while the women’s team took seventh place with 41 points. 

The men’s track and field team at UW-Oshkosh had some impressive performances from 2022 outdoor All-Americans.

Senior Steven Potter won the 800-meter run with a team season-best time of 1:51.69.

“After each race, I ask my coach for feedback, especially about my time,” Potter said. “My goal is to get a national qualifier, which is 1:51:06 or faster and I’ve run a personal best of 1:49:51 before so I’d want to break that again.”

Potter was able to achieve his second win and top-three finish of the season by putting in the work and executing a solid strategy during his race.

“We had a rabbit from Madison who got out pretty far and I was able to use that as a starting point around 200 meters out,” said Potter. “I threw a surge in there with 300 meters to go, listened to my coaches from the side, and checked out the shadows to see where everyone was until nobody caught up to me.”

Potter says he aims to get the conference and national qualifier out of the way in any meet and knows that experienced runners can help with those times.

“This Friday is a fast race with guys from all different divisions in my heat,”  Potter said. “Going against these experienced runners can give me an edge in future events.”

Confidence is one thing that allows Potter to be successful while always maintaining his nerves during his races.

“It’s easy to approach a race and be nervous and that’s okay,” Potter said. “If I were nervous at some point in the middle of the race, it could affect everything else so having confidence in myself is the best.”

Another Titan that won their event was Junior Rashaad Henderson took first place in the 200-meter dash with a personal career-best time of 21.24 seconds, the second-fastest in program history. 

“The 200 has been my favorite race since I first ran it in high school and I kind of struggled in the event in college,” Henderson said. “My confidence has honestly never been higher than it is right now in regards to the 200.” 

Henderson hasn’t missed a step since transitioning from indoor to outdoor but says his training and lengths of the races are the biggest differences.

“From a practice perspective we lengthen the duration of our pushes a considerable amount to compensate for this change of distance,” Henderson said. “I also place more of an emphasis on speed over endurance in my training, as my indoor season was tailored more towards endurance/lactic training.”

As Henderson’s confidence continues to improve off back-to-back wins in the 200-meter dash, he attributes his success to his self-belief on the track. 

“My belief in my ability is the main contributor to my overall success on the track,” Henderson said. “I have zero self-doubts before I step into the blocks for the 200 and that allows me to perform at my best under any circumstance.”

Freshman Aden Sears placed third in the 110-meter hurdle finals running a time of 15.04 seconds, while Devin Williams ran a team season-best to finish third in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.09 seconds.

Junior Elijah Pena ran a time of 57.18 seconds to finish eighth in the 400-meter hurdles with a new team season-best time, and Sophomore Caleb Cornelius won the high jump for the second consecutive week with a team season-best mark of 6’9” (2.06m).

Abdul Karim Toheeb-Lawal set a team season-best jump in the long jump of 23’1 ¼” (7.04m) and finished fourth overall. 

The Titans’ only competitor in the pole vault, sophomore Zach Zirgibel, finished third with a height of 14′ 6 1/2″ (4.43m).

On the women’s team, several athletes stood out with their performances at the UW-Platteville Invitational. 

Jamie Catania won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:57.66. 

Meanwhile, Libby Geisness finished third in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:16.05. 

The 4×400-meter relay squad also performed well, finishing third with a team season-best time of 4:03.15.

In addition, Rachel Castelli had a strong showing with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter dash, clocking in with a personal career-best time of 12.28 seconds. Her time tied for the 10th-fastest time in program history. 

Castelli also finished sixth in the 200-meter dash with a team season-best time of 25.48 seconds, the fourth-fastest finish in program history. 

Micky Barrette had a notable second-place finish in the discus throw with a personal career-best and team season-leading cast of 142′ (43.27m). 

Finally, freshman Haley Kanitz had a solid performance, finishing ninth in the triple jump with a skip of 35′ 0 3/4″ (10.69m) for the best jump by a Titan this season.

“Winning multiple events is cool but our coaching staff keeps us grounded so our heads don’t get too big,” Henderson said. “When talking about the week after a successful meet, we just leave it in the past because anything could happen in the following meet.”

The Titans will look to further their success on the road April 21-22, at the UW-La Crosse Phil Esten Challenge. Events will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.