MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire men's indoor track and field team finished in third place after winning four titles after the two-day 2012 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship in Johnson Fieldhouse at UW-Stout today.
UW-La Crosse won the conference championship with 140 points, its 37th title in program history and 11th straight. The Blugolds scored 108 points, just behind UW-Whitewater, which claimed a runner-up finish with 108.5 points. Eau Claire's third place finish was its best since the 1997-98 season when they also took third. Last season the Blugolds were fourth.
Thomas Breitbach (Sr.-Muskego, Wis.) broke conference and facility records as he won the 5,000-meter run title with a time of 14:32.96, almost 17 seconds in front of the rest of the field. The previous conference record was 14:33.00, set by Eau Claire's Dan Held in 1988.
Thurgood Dennis (Fr.-Allouez, Wis./Green Bay Notre Dame) picked up two conference titles as he won the 60 and 200-meter dashes. He broke a school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.69 seconds. The previous school record was 22.15 seconds, set by Steve Crutchley on March 5, 1999. Dennis also broke his own school record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.90 seconds.
The 4x400-meter relay team of Cody Prince (Fr.-Appleton, Wis./North), Marty Richardson (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./Kimberly), Nik Ihlang (Fr.-Chanhassen, Minn.) and Dennis also won a conference title with a time of 3:19.96.
In addition to the wins, four other school records fell.
With a runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash, Prince broke a school record with a time of 49.03 seconds. The previous school record was 49.24 seconds, set by Mike Henning on March 1, 1993.
Tony Floyd (So.-Whitewater, Wis.) set a school record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.39 seconds as he took fifth place. He held the previous school best of 8.42 seconds, which he set last weekend at the Eastbay/Pointer Invite.
The 4x200-meter relay team of Dennis, Seth Friedrich (So.-Pine Island, Minn.), Prince and Richardson broke a school record with a time of 1:28.85. The previous school record was 1:29.07 set on February 24, 2007.
Bart Mestelle (Sr.-Sun Prairie, Wis.) also broke his own school record, which he set earlier this year, in the heptathlon. He finished with a score of 4,804 in fourth place. The mark was also better than the previous facility record.
Following the championship, Tyler Genovese (Sr.-Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) was named to the WIAC All-Sportsmanship Team.
Next Saturday, the Blugolds will compete at the UW-Stevens Point Last Chance meet. Action will get underway at 10:30 a.m.