UW-Oshkosh Invitational good practice for Vikes

Matt Hoh

Saturday, Apr.5 both the men’s and women’s track and field teams were in action at the J.J Keller Field at Titan Stadium in Oshkosh. Sophomore stand-out, Madeline Steininger, led the way for the Vikings with three top ten performances. She boasted two third place finishes, one with a 1.65 meter jump in the high jump and the other with a 5.21 meter long jump. She also placed seventh in the 100 meter hurdles. “It’s nice to see other state schools that have higher caliber athletes. It helps to push yourself,” Steininger commented about her performance.
Steininger’s outstanding performances helped the women’s team by adding to their 24 points, placing them ninth out of a strong 14-team field. Others competing included the UW-O men’s and women’s track and field teams who placed first and second respectively last year in the Division III championships, along with competition from Division II schools like Michigan Tech.
On the way to the ninth place finish, the Vikings had help from senior Chelsea Fickbohm who had a good day, placing nith in the Javelin throw with a distance of 28.89 meters, along with a seventeenth place finish in the 400 meter dash with a time of 68.89 seconds. Senior captain Joy Manweiler received a top ten finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 13.5 minutes. Fellow senior captain Laurel Benson also had a great day with her fourteenth place finish in the triple jump with a jump of 10.10 meters.
For the men, Sophomore Evan Farnum had the best finish in Javelin with a throw of 40.36 meters, earning him a fourteenth place finish. In addition to the tough competition, it was Lawrence’s first outdoor meet of the year. “It’s tough to compete with these teams. Because of who they are and how they have finished in past years, they have better facilities, more money and more coaches to help out,” Farnum said. “We have two great coaches, who do a phenomenal job, but that is like having only two football coaches for an entire team. Compared to other schools, it’s a major disadvantage.”
It’s also tough when you do not have the right equipment to use. As Farnum commented, “It’s like asking a basketball team to practice on a nine-foot hoop with only half a court. It just creates a lot of challenges.”
With the tough competition, the Viking men’s team was able to pull off some top 20 finishes including a sixteenth place finish by the 4×400 meter relay team of Russell Geisthardt, Jesse Peterson, Greg Haas and Matt Eddy. Also with sixteenth place finishes were junior Derek Micke in the long jump, with a distance of 6.08 meters and Mitch Guenther with a high jump of 1.73 meters.
There were also three nineteenth place finishes by Micke in the 100 meter dash, Haas in 400 meter hurdles and Guenther in triple jump. “When it comes down to it, this is incredible practice and great preparation for conference,” Farnum said.
The Viking track team is back in action on April 12 when they head to the Wisconsin Lutheran relays. The team goes with hopes for continued success for many and hopes for improvement for many more, as there are several team members who have never participated in track before. The lack of experience leaves much room for learning and for team improvement.