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Eagles Track and Field Dominate at WIAC

Retrieved+from+uwlathletics.com
Retrieved from uwlathletics.com

Retrieved from uwlathletics.com

Retrieved from uwlathletics.com

Cal U'Ren, Sports Reporter

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse completed a sweep of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships (WIAC) for Indoor Track and Field. This was the men’s team’s 16th straight title and the fifth in a row for the women.

The consistency successful programs, both indoor and outdoor track and field, has been a staple of UW-L athletics.

“It’s a product of the quality of athletes we bring to campus, also our admissions and academics, they all create a dynamic of success on the team,” stated Men’s Track and Field Head Coach Josh Buchholtz.

“I think UW-L draws high quality student athletes. There is a tradition of winning,” explained Women’s Track and Field Head Coach Kaitie Wagner.

The results are a testament to work put in throughout the season as well as in the off season. In track and field, hours of preparation go into a few seconds of performance. “Our sport isn’t games, so 90 percent of the time these guys spend preparing in their diet, lifting, and workouts in the summer are just to compete maybe ten times. That’s a hard life to live,” explained Buchholtz.

While the sport of track and field may is often thought of as an individual sport, there is a present team aspect that’s often missed.

“There’s a lot of pressure when you’re on a good team, but when it’s time to compete it’s just you. In track and field everyone is on their own. You have to have mental toughness to compete at a high level,” stated Wagner.

Speaking on continued success Buchholtz mentioned, “You have to create and instill a mentality.”

This mentality paid off as both the men’s and women’s teams saw success in a variety of events. Senior Ross Denman won his fourth straight 400-meter indoor title, becoming the first to do so in WIAC history. For the women, UW-L placed five athletes in the top-10 in triple jump, and took second in the 60-meter hurdles and 3,000 meter run.

Heading into regionals six of the top ten nationally ranked teams went to WIAC schools for the men’s side. This didn’t appear to surprise Buchholtz.

“Out straightforward goal every year is to win conference and then bring back a national championship trophy to UW-L.”

Even with past success, spots at the national meet are never a guarantee for either team. Discussing goals for the upcoming weeks Wagner mentioned, “We need to get as many people there to the national meet. We have a couple upperclassmen who should be there.”

UW-L winning on a national stage is not only achievable for both teams, but also feasible. The Eagles will look to continue their success in the coming weeks, with expectations set high. While the indoor season closes, the focus is shifted to the outdoor season.

“As an outdoor team we have a better chance with some of the events coming up,” stated Wagner. Buchholtz also appeared optimistic about future, “I think the talent is yet to be discovered but small pieces are giving us a taste here and there.”

Both the men’s and women’s teams will be sending select athletes to qualifying meets in preparation for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field National Championships held in Naperville, Illinois March 10-12.

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Eagles Track and Field Dominate at WIAC