Whitewate track meet yields 5 more qualifiers

By Karl Striepe

Five Maroons met NCAA Division III qualifying standards this weekend at the Wisconsin Warhawk Invitational in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Overall, the men finished fifth and women fourth in what was clearly their most competitive meet of the year. The men’s team now ranks 11th and the women 9th in the national Division III track and field polls.

Fourth-year Tom Haxton, already part of the qualified distance medley relay squad, won the highly competitive 5K in only his third race of the season. His finish of 14:31.08 was just under the automatic qualifying standard of 14:33.00. With the time, Haxton placed himself as the top 5K-runner in Division III and will likely be favored to win the event at the national meet on March 13.

Also qualifying, or rather re-qualifying in impressive fashion, was fourth-year Adeoye Mabogunje. Mabogunje already held the top performance in the triple-jump in Division III coming into the meet, but he solidified what appears to be his complete dominance of the event by beating his mark not once, but six times. His farthest jump of 15.35 is almost half a meter ahead of the automatic qualifying standard of 14.94 meters and the next best performer in the country, DeAndre Bovan of the University of Dubuque, at 14.81 meters.

Fourth-year Patrick Sullivan won the men’s mile and qualified provisionally in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:12.42, just missing the automatic qualifying standard of 4:10.90. Sullivan, also a member of the already qualified distance medley relay squad, stands third in Division III with the mark and his efforts have all but assured him a place in the meet.

Second-year Jessica Winter, who earlier meet the provisional-qualifying standard in the 1,500 meters, won the women’s mile in a time of 5:03.39, easily meeting the women’s provisional mile mark of 5:07.80. She stands ninth in the country in Division III.

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, second-year Gabby Jones won the women’s long jump with a jump of 5.54 meters, well ahead of the provisional standard of 5.40 meters. With the mark, Jones stands fifth in the country and is all but assured of a bid to the meet.

First-year Emil Bojanov and fourth-year Babak Yousefian barely missed qualifying standards. Bojanov finished sixth in the men’s mile in a time of 4:17.12, shy of the provisional standard of 4:16.70. Yousefian finished fourth in the men’s 55-meter high hurdles in 7.78 seconds, missing the standard of 7.74 seconds.

Also having success on the men’s side, second-year Teague O’Connor finished 11th in the mile in 4:23.69 and second-year Pat Hogan was 18th in a strong 5K field with a personal-best time of 15:35.88.

The men finished fifth as a team, scoring 43 points. UW-La Crosse won the meet with 183 points, UW-Whitewater was second with 161, and UW-Oshkosh was third with 109.

On the women’s side the Maroons continued to perform very well in the distance events. Third-year Erin Steiner finished second in the 5K in a time of 18:04.59, first-year Al Robertson finished fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:21.44, and second-year Annie Sanders and fourth-year Darcy Flora finished third and fourth respectively in the 3K in times of 10:39.10 and 10:41.60.

Fourth-year Val Anderson, who already qualified for the national meet in the weight throw, finished fourth in that event with a distance of 15.45 meters. First-year Melissa Lopez finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 10.45 meters.

The women finished fourth overall, scoring 90 points. UW-La Crosse won the meet with 155.50 points, Wartburg College was second with 149.33, and UW-Oshkosh was third with 139.33.

Both the men and women compete again this weekend’s Chicagoland Championships in Romeoville, Illinois. The women’s events are set for Friday, at 5 p.m., and the men for Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.