Pioneers shine in final regular season meet

Pioneers shine in final regular season meet

Three women broke school records at Friday night's Spartan Invitational hosted by University of Dubuque.

The biggest record breaking performance of the evening came from freshman thrower Rachel Beuthin. Beuthin improved her own shot put school record by almost 3 feet to 46-3.5 (14.11m). After setting a personal best in the fourth round she hurled the record setting toss on her sixth and final throw. Her previous record was 43-5.25 (13.24m). Beuthin finished second but now leads the conference in the event and is ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III national rankings.

Brittany Ehlen broke an 11-year old record by jumping 11-7 (3.53m) in the pole vault. The previous mark of 11-5.75 (3.50m) was set by Beth Ambrosius in 2006. Ehlen finished third overall and is currently ranked seventh in the conference honor roll.

Amber Williams finished second in the 55m hurdles in 8.43 to break the school record. The previous record of 8.48 was held by Crystal Stietz and was set in 1998. Williams' time converts to a 9.07 in the 60m hurdles and keeps her in the third spot of the conference rankings.

Williams also took the top spot in the long jump with a season best leap of 18-10.5 (5.75m). Megan Marotz finished second with a jump of 16-9.75 (5.12m)

Devan Montgomery won the 400m dash in a personal best indoor time of 59.49. Montgomery earned her second victory of the night anchoring the 4x400m relay. She was joined by Williams, Briana Iwans and Marotz to finish in 4:01.76.

Haley Nelson and Abigail Merriam both jumped personal bests in the high jump. Their jumps of 5-3 (1.60m) earned them second and third places respectively. Both are currently tied for the fourth best performance in the conference this season.

Camille Felton ended the regular season with a second place finish in the 3,000m run. Her time of 11:32:02 was just two hundredths of a second from her personal best.

The women's team finished the night in third out of seven teams with 108 points. Hosts Dubuque took the win with 138 points and Loras second in 118.

The men's team claimed the title with 166 points followed by Dubuque in 126 points.

The distance men swept the 3,000m race claiming the top-4 spots. Cole Shurbert-Hetzel won the race in 8:57.96. Zack Klokow finished second in 9:08.49 followed closely by TJ Pitcock in 9:09.25 and Mitchell Muffler in 9:10.00.

The Pioneers also claimed the top-2 spots in the 55m hurdles. Freshman Matthew Hokanson claimed his first collegiate win crossing the finish in 8.04. Sophomore Jacob DeBonis followed close behind in 8.13. Freshman Charlie Gifford had the best time of the day with a preliminary time of 8.03 but misjudged the first hurdle in the finals to finish fourth.

Jacob Hirsbrunner won the high jump with a 6-4.75 (1.95m) clearance. Noah Steiner finished second with a 6-2.75 (1.90m) jump.

Matt Dwyer won the pole vault and improved his season's best mark to 16-4.75 (5.00m). Hirshbrunner, Sam Bronitzke and Josh Miller all cleared personal bests of 14-7.25 (4.45m) to claim third, fourth, and fifth respectively.

Also earning top spots for the Pioneers were Ryan Swanson in the 55m dash and Logan Steinhoff in the 800m. Both ran away with second place finishes. Swanson in 6.67 and Steinhoff in 1:58.93.

The night ended with excitement as the Pioneers battled with Augustana in the 4x400m. The foursome of Alec Burcham, Tonie Johnson, Greg Stribling and Wyatt Thompson battled to the finish as Augustana pulled away in the final leg. The Pioneers crossed the finished in 3:18.94 behind Augustana's 3:18.00. The time puts the Pioneers in the fifth spot nationally with Augustana's time leading the nation.

The Pioneers ended the regular season on a good note and head into the conference meet next weekend with confidence. The WIAC Championships will be hosted by UW-Stout and begin on Friday at 11:30am with the field events.