The Gustavian Weekly

Track and Field outdoor season begins: Gustie athletes show strong individual performances

By Michael O’Neil - Staff Writer | April 7, 2017 | Sports & Fitness

Sophomore Michael Hensch competes in javelin during a meet last season. Hensch placed third in javelin at the Hamline Invitational with a throw of 170-10.

Sophomore Michael Hensch competes in javelin during a meet last season. Hensch placed third in javelin at the Hamline Invitational with a throw of 170-10.

The Gustavus Track and Field team kicked off their 2017 outdoor season over Spring Break as Gusties traveled to the Point Loma Nazarene University Invitational on March 25 in San Diego, California.

Then, on April 1, a number of Gusties competed at the Hamline Invitational meet, marking the Gusties’ first outdoor competition in Minnesota for the year.

The field in San Diego was full of top Division I, II, and III talent from Tufts, Cal Poly Pomona, Williams, Middlebury, La Verne, Yale, Concordia (CA), Cal Tech, Cal State– San Bernardino, and Pomona-Pitzer. The field also featured unaffiliated athletes that recorded many of the top times of the day.

Nine Gustie men competed in seven different events, while eleven Gustie women competed in eight different events.  First year jumper Matthew Montplaisir was the lone competitor in field events, finishing 10th in the long jump and 13th in the triple jump.  Senior Sam Remine added two more good performances for the Gusties in the 400-meter and 800-meter sprints, finishing 37th and 12th respectively.  In the 800-meter, junior Ryley Sandberg took 9th place out of a field of 47 runners with a time of 1:57.10.  Andrew Wischnack, Jack Schugel, and Connor Sandok also competed in the 800-meter race. In the 1500-meter race, brothers Andrew and Alex Wischnack finished right next to each other and were the first Gusties to cross the finish line.  Following the Wischnacks were Jack Schugel and Connor Sandok with impressive times of 4:25.74 and 4:33.90 respectively. Finally, in the 5k, sophomore Robert Nelson competed for the Gusties and notched a 16th place finish to round out the meet for the Gustie men.

On the women’s side, First year Katie Keelin was a standout in the field events. Keelin took 1st place in the hammer throw and 11th in the shot put.  Freshmen Courtney Erickson and Madison Carlson also competed in the hammer throw, finishing 7th and 8th respectively.  In the discus, Carlon led the way for the Gusties, finishing 9th, followed by a 13th place finish from Erickson and a 17th place finish from Keelin.

On the track, sophomore McKayla Stowell led the Gusties, earning a 7th place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.61 seconds. A trio of freshmen followed: Lindsey Schmidt, Adonya Gray, and Ester Archer all competed well and finished 20th, 23rd, and 26th respectively.  Another freshman finished as the top Gustie in the 200-meter dash.  Lily Anderson earned 24th place with a time of 26.98 seconds and was followed closely by senior Kristen Mertens in 31st place, Adonya Gray in 31st, Ester Archer in 38th, and freshman Elizabeth Uribe in 39th.  In the 400-meter dash, Anderson finished in 8th place as the fastest Gustie once again, followed closely by Mertens in 11th place.  Junior Jordan Schwakopf was the lone hurdler, and earned a 12th place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. In the women’s long distance events, freshman Haley Anderson finished 43rd in the 1500-meter race with a time of 5:14.62.

At the conclusion of a successful trip to San Diego, the Gusties returned home, and geared up for their first outdoor meet in Minnesota. Luckily, Saturday was a beautiful spring day, not too much colder than it was a week before in sunny San Diego. The Hamline Invitational featured a large field of competitors from 21 different Division II and III Universities.  The two Gustie standouts of the day were Kayla Stowell who took 2nd place out of 49 in the 100-meter dash, and sophomore Michael Hensch who took 3rd in the javelin throw with a distance of 170-10 and 12th in both the shot put and discus.

Other top performers on the women’s side include sophomore Bailey Van Den Heuvel, who took 11th in the hammer throw and 21st in the shot put.

On the men’s side, sophomore Nelson Finne took 12th place in the high jump with a height of 5-7, and senior Sean O’Connell also earned a top-20 finish with a 23.44 second finish in the 200-meter dash.

Overall, it was a very productive break for the Gustie track and field team and they will continue their spring outdoor season this Saturday, April 8th at the St. John’s Invitational in Collegeville, MN.  The meet will begin at 11:30 am.