Bartes, Thatcher impress at Stevens Point Open

Each time, it becomes sweeter. At the UW-Stevens Point Open this past Saturday, Feb. 8, senior Brielle Bartes broke the school record in the weight throw for the second time this season.

Breaking her own school record in the event, she heaved the weight 12.4 meters, almost a half meter further than her previous record of 11.85 meters. The event, which is only featured during the indoor track season, has recently been a site of Lawrence Viking attention, as the record had been broken previously by sophomore Genna Matt with a throw of 11.68 meters.

It was somewhat surprising to Bartes that it happened in such grand fashion. “I heard the scorer say the distance and I did a double take,” she laughed. “I didn’t believe it at first.” Bartes, who does double athletic duty every day being a member of the softball team in addition to track and field, says that it has been “phenomenal” working with the team this year. “Everyone approaches it with a lot of heart and soul and seems to be showing a lot of improvement.”

Improvement seems to be the theme of the week. Junior Spencer Swick notched a personal best in the men’s weight throw with his toss of 14.28 meters. Senior Mike Mangian tied his personal best in the mile run with his time of 4:37. Freshman Elin Karlsson took fourth overall in the 3000-meter run, crossing the line in 11:00. She was followed closely by sophomore teammate Clare Bruning, who finished in 11:09. The women’s 800-meter relay nabbed second overall with their time of 1:55:79.

Freshman Wes Hatcher led the men’s team. The freshman from Wautoma, Wis. grabbed fifth place in the triple jump with his length of 11.05 meters. The distance squad remained strong this week as Junior Kyle Dockery ran to a fifth place finish in the 3000-meter run, followed closely by senior teammate Jamie Brisbois. Their times were 9:15 and 9:19, respectively.

Both men’s and women’s teams finished above their fellow conference teams at the meet, which is solid momentum to carry into the end of the season, especially as the Midwest Conference meet is less than a month away. “We have been working our butts off in practice.” noted Bartes, “It’s awesome to see it start to pay off.”

The Vikings return to action next weekend when they compete in the Eastbay Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 22.

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