EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - It's not uncommon for the 4x400-meter relay team and Aaron Easker (Sr.-Eland, Wis./Wittenberg-Birnamwood) to highlight the UW-Eau Claire men's outdoor track and field team.
This weekend, however, they made extra loud noise by winning events at two different, prestigious meets in school record times as the Blugolds competed in three meet in three different states this weekend.
After making noise at the Drake Relays last year, the 4x400-meter relay quartet of Jacob Dennis-Oehling (Jr.-Whitewater, Wis.), Cody Prince (So.-Appleton, Wis./North), Marty Richardson (Sr.-Kimberly, Wis.) and Thurgood Dennis (So.-Allouez, Wis./Notre Dame) was back at it to defend their title they earned last year.
And the defending Drake Relays champions did not disappoint, narrowly beating Lincoln (Mo.) in the 4x400-meter relay with a school record time of 3:08.31 Saturday afternoon at the prestigious meet in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Blugolds' time at this year's Drake Relays betters their 2012 time by more than two seconds and also bests the school record time of 3:10.57 that was set in 1990.
The defending Indoor National champions are now ranked first in the NCAA Division III and were also shown on ESPN hours after the meet.
Easker, on the other hand, created quite a buzz in an event that is quite unfamiliar to him. Competing at the Gina Relays on Friday night, a competition that features some of the elite distance runners in Division III, the three-time All-American outshined them all in the 10,000 meter run, the first one he has ever raced.
The senior ran a time of 29:33.37, just more than 16 seconds better than his former teammate Thomas Breitbach's for a new school record. Easker outran the second place finisher by less than a second to claim victory.
Easker now finds himself ranked second in the nation in the 10,000-meter run and he is also ranked second in his signature event, the 5,000-meter run.
The majority of the Blugold team competed at the St. Mary's Invitational, hosted by St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn. There, three Blugolds earned first place finishes.
Tony Floyd (Jr-Whitewater, Wis.) won the 110-meter high hurdles in a time of 15.00 seconds.
Jeffrey Quednow (So.-Rib Lake, Wis.) won his first career race in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:47.52.
Roger Steen (So.-Luck, Wis.), who placed third in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Nationals this past winter, won that same event today with a heave of 15.52 meters.
The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet awaits the Blugolds next week in La Crosse. The men's competition will get underway at noon on Friday.