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UWRF track record broken

April 6, 2012

“The biggest thing is it’s the first men’s national championship ever,” said Torrion Amie, assistant track and field coach.

Freshman Mike Sandle won the national title in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor National Championships track and field meet held at Grinnell College in early March.

Sandle is the first male track and field athlete from UW-River Falls to win an NCAA National title, nonetheless, as a freshman.

“That’s huge as a freshman, it’s rarely done and especially because he wasn’t ranked No. 1, he was ranked No. 2 going into it,” said Amie, Sandle’s jump coach.

According to Amie, Sandle defeated a previous national champion, three All-Americans, and had the best jump out of freshmen across all divisions the weekend of nationals.

Sandle first joined track his sophomore year of high school at Eden Prairie, Minn., He said his expectations going into the season were to further his personal record and to make it to nationals.

He said he has similar expectations going into the outdoor season.

“I want to win nationals and finish off my year here at UWRF with all academic honors as well as two national titles as a freshman,” Sandle said.

Head Coach Aaron Decker said coming out of the national meet with a personal best and a title will help him achieve his goals and it’s a big leap for the program in the right direction.

“He’s one of the kids we’d like to see other athletes model themselves after, as an athlete, a student and a person. It also helps to verify that UWRF is just as competitive as any other UW school,” Decker said.

At Eden Prairie, Sandle was high school field athlete of the year and is the best high school triple jumper in Minnesota history. Sandle attended the junior Olympics and finished sixth in the nation, according to Amie. He is currently the fifth-ranked freshman in all divisions across the country.

Men’s track and field captain Michael Woodward said Sandle is a good teammate, is respectful and does what he’s asked.

“He’s ultra competitive, he’s not used to losing as talented as he is, his goal going into each meet is wanting to win. His success brings more exposure to the jumps crew and makes it a lot more fun,” Woodward said.

Sandle has the school record of 50 feet and 6 inches, according to the UWRF website. He said winning the national title is a stepping stone of where he wants his track career to go.

“It just shows me how far I can go with my potential if I’m focused and determined. My ultimate goal is to make the 2016 Olympics and become sponsored by Adidas or Nike,” Sandle said.

The first outdoor track and field meet is April 5 hosted by UWRF, a dual against UWStout, and the Falcon Invitational is April 13 and 14.

“I think he’ll stay humble and regardless if he decides to stay or transfer to Division I, no matter where he goes he’ll do well. He’s taking his studies more serious now,” Amie said about the biology major.