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Track and field teams break through at St. Norbert Invitational

April 22, 2015

The UW-River Falls men and women’s track and field team had a strong showing at the 2015 St. Norbert Invitational on April 18.

The men placed first in the competition and had 13 top-three finishes. Junior David Paynotta placed first in 100-meter dash with a time of 10.6. The time set a new school record which was already previously broken by Paynotta in 2014. Paynotta also placed second in 200-meter dash with a time of 22.83.

“I’m just happy to know that I’m able to consistently run faster than I did last year and I hope that I will continue to improve for the WIAC and NCAA meets,” Paynotta said.

Paynotta was one of many who had a strong showing at the meet. Junior AJ Walsh-Brenizer placed first in the pole vault with a leap of 15-3 which broke the school record. Freshman Colton Sorensen placed second in the pole vault. Walsh-Brenizer also placed third in the javelin throw. Even though Walsh-Brenizer broke the school record he believes this pole vaulting group is capable of more.

“I’m always happy with a personal best and it’s nice to break the school record, however the pole vault group is capable of higher heights as the indoor season showed,” Walsh-Brenizer said.

Junior Matt Griffin placed first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.62. Junior Shane White placed second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.3, a season best for him. Many on the men’s team finished well and placed in the top three in a variety of events.

The women’s team also did well as it placed third in the meet. The women had two first-place finishes, one by sophomore Grace Curran and one by sophomore Riley Claude. Curran placed first in the 100-meter dash with a season-best time of 12.5. Curran also placed second in the 200-meter dash with another season best time of 27.45.

“I had probably the best day that I have ever had at a track meet in my career,” Curran said. “The weather was absolutely perfect and the wind was to my favor for every race but one, and that made it possible to hit the times that I did.”

Claude placed first in the pole vault with a leap of 11-11 3/4 after also placing first in the same event in the previous meet. Sophomore Sherahlynn Linkert placed second in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.33. Junior Anna Reimer placed second in the javelin throw with a toss of 106-10.

With both the men and women having a strong showing at the meet, many on the team are optimistic about the team moving forward.

“I definitely feel that the team is starting to hit its stride, especially after all the great performances this weekend,” Curran said.

“I think we are right where we want to be with people improving their marks right into conference,” Walsh-Brenizer said. “I’m excited to see how our team competes at the conference championships in two weeks.”