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Track and field team has strong outing at St. Mary’s Cardinal Open

April 29, 2015

The UW-River Falls men’s and women’s track and field teams competed at the 2015 St. Mary’s University Cardinal Open on Saturday, April 25, in Winona, Minnesota, and both the men’s and women’s team had several top-five finishers.

The men’s team performed very well with freshman Colton Sorensen and junior David Paynotta breaking school records in the pole vault and 200-meter dash, respectively. Sorensen placed third overall at the meet while Paynotta placed first in two events (the 100-meter dash prelims and the 200-meter dash). Paynotta didn’t compete in the 100-meter dash finals.

There were several other notable performances from the team. Senior Jordan Crockett placed second in the 200-meter dash with his season best time of 21.62. Freshman Justin Barnes placed second in high jump while his freshman teammate Hunter Hulley placed fifth in the same event.

Several other Falcons went on to earn season bests. These student-athletes include: freshman Dylan Olson in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 16.06; junior Alex Gilles in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:57.74; and sophomore Scott Smith in shot put.

“We sent three people this year to nationals,” said junior captain Matt Griffin. “Other than that, we have had some meets we won, meets we got second at, so overall a pretty good season so far.”

Griffin went on to say that he hopes to see the team improve as it always does.

The women’s track and field team placed first in the 4×100-meter relay and finished with seven top-five performances on Saturday.

The first place 4×100-meter relay team consisted of sophomore Grace Curran, sophomore Sherahlynn Linkert, freshman Jacinta Roggenbuck and freshman Angie Reed. The team won with a time of 50.27.

Linkert also placed second in the 400-meter hurdles and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles. Curran placed fourth in the 100-meter dash and eighth in the 100-meter hurdles. Roggenbuck placed third in the 400-meter dash with a season best time.

The 4×400-meter relay team placed third with a season best. The team consisted of junior Rachel Stairs, freshman Meagan Weisshahn, sophomore Emma Hayes and freshman Amara Meyer.

The Men’s team placed eighth at the WIAC Indoor Championship back in February, while the women’s team placed also placed eighth.

Griffin hopes to place fifth or sixth at the conference meet.

“We should be able to place higher than we did for indoor,” Griffin said. “Outdoor has always been a little stronger for us than the indoor season, so hopefully that will go well.”

Both teams have sent players to the NCAA tournament, but have not placed this year, and that is one thing that Griffin said he hopes to see more improvement on and more participants in, in the upcoming seasons.

The team will next compete at the 2015 WIAC Outdoor Championship in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on May 1-2. Friday’s meet will begin at 3 p.m., and Saturday’s meet will begin at 10 a.m.