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Falcon Invite finishes before snowfall

April 9, 2009

It was looking as if the annual spring snowfall that Midwesterners are so used to was going to affect the Falcon Invitational, but the track event was finished just in time at Ramer Field on the UW-River Falls campus.

“Pretty good weekend for our team,” senior Kim Altenhofen said. “It was a good performance and it was a little cold, but we did great.”

One of the strong events for the Falcons in the indoor season was the long distance running events and last weekend they proved to be solid yet again.

On the women’s side, sophomore Natasha Arnold won the 400-meter event with a time of 1:01.38. She also placed fourth in the 200-meter dash.

In the 3,000-meter run, Carly Eggert took first place honors with a time of 10:44.48 and finished more than a minute faster than her next opponent.

“Some people are intimidated by the bigger track outside,” UWRF Head Coach Martha Brennan said. “Our athletes have been looking forward to getting outside and our long distance runners have done well.”

Junior Leah Korf had a successful 1,500-meter run with a second place finish and a time of 4:59.68.

For the men’s team, it dominated the 400-meter dash, taking home the top three spots.

Dan Rodewald won with a time of 50.65 and beat teammates Indy Liljevall and Lucas Mueller, who were all in the same heat together.

With the Falcons participating in their first outdoor event of the season, some of the younger throwers were going to have to try different events such as the javelin and discus, which are not performed during the indoor meets.

The men did not fare well in the throws. Out of the three events, only one made it to the finals and that was sophomore James Walrath in the javelin with a toss of 116-10 and a ninth place finish.

The women did better in the throwing events.

In the shot put, Altenhofen, who is a two-time All-WIAC second team member in the event, finished second when she had a 41’ 4 1/2’ mark in the finals.

Sophomore Caitlin Brendum was the best of all the women’s throwers with two second place performances.

In the hammer throw, she finished with a 142-2 mark and followed that with a 98-6 toss in the javelin for second place honors.

“Great first outdoor meet of the season,” Altenhofen said of the throwers. “We had some new people in new events and they all did a good job for the first time being out.”

With the weather in the Midwest changing by the minute, Brennan said it is the field events that are affected the most.

“It’s the throwing events, the high jumps and pole vaults that feel it the most,” she said. “There is so much that you have to look at when you go into those events.”

With UWRF participating in its first outdoor meet of the season, Brennan said she was not expecting anything that would surprise her, good or bad.

“It’s the first one of the year so I don’t expect any record numbers,” she said. “We just want to get out and have a good meet and see what we have to work on for the WIAC meet, which is coming pretty fast.”

For the past several seasons, the Falcons have traveled to southern states to start the outdoor season.

They did not go this season and were constrained to practicing indoors through most of the year so far for outdoor events.

“I think most of us were ready to get outside,” Brennan said. “We did not get a chance to go down south, so we might be a little bit behind some teams, but we are excited to get going.”

The Falcons are scheduled to be at the Gustavus Adolphus Invitational this weekend. The aforementioned WIAC meet is May 1 and 2 at UW-Oshkosh.