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Men's Track & Field Takes Third at Challenge
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
LA CROSSE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Five runner-up finishes powered the UW-Eau Claire men's track & field team to third place out of the seven teams competing at Friday's Phil Esten Challenge.
Host UW-La Crosse took top honors at the event, racking up 199.50 points. UW-Oshkosh earned second with 171.50 and the Blugolds wrapped up the top three with a score of 114. In total, Eau Claire recorded 14 finishes of fifth or better.
Blugolds thrived in distance events. Conor Rafferty (So.-Menomonee Falls, Wis.) nailed a second place finish in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:56.25, leading fourth-place teammate Alex Cole (Fr.-Lakeville, Minn./North). Eau Claire also nabbed second and fourth places in the 10,000-meter event with runners Charlie Daehler (Jr.-Milwaukee, Wis./Whitefish Bay) and Aric Runzheimer (So.-Delafield, Wis./Kettle Moraine).
Eau Claire also found success in hurdle competition. Arabin Lightfoot (Sr.-Mosinee, Wis.) and Andy Gerver (Jr.-Mahtomedi, Minn.) scored third and fourth place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles with Lightfoot’s time of 15:31. In the 400-meter hurdles, Nate Kelly (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon) crossed the line in 57.78 for fourth.
Three of the Blugolds’ second place finishes came from field events. Jon Gillespie (So.-Altoona, Wis.) earned second in the triple jump with an effort of 12.98 meters (42-07.00). In the javelin throw, Logan Koerten (Sr.-Plover, Wis./SPASH) led third-place Patrick Swanson (So.-Hastings, Minn.) with an effort of 45.09 meters (147-11).
Tyler Genovese (Jr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) placed second in the discus throw with an effort of 50.26 meters (164-11), a provisional qualifying toss, while teammate Tony Sigrist (Jr.-Byron, Minn.) scored fifth. Sigrist and Genovese also picked up respective third and fourth place results in the hammer throw.
Next weekend, the Blugolds will participate in the two-day Kansas Relays in Lawrence Kan. as well as the Winona State Invitational in Winona, Minn. Competition is set to begin at 8 a.m. in Kansas and 12 p.m. in Minnesota.