LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – UW-Eau Claire men's track and field thrower Roger Steen (Sr.-Luck, WI) broke an 11-year old school record as the Blugolds posted five first-place finishes at the Phil Esten Challenge hosted by UW-La Crosse here today at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex.
Eau Claire finished second out of 11 teams earning 154 points. The host Eagles won the challenge finishing with 207.5 points.
Steen won the shot put with a record-setting toss of 60-5.25 feet (18.42 meters) which was more than seven feet further than his next closest competitor. Entering today's competition as the top-ranked shot put thrower in NCAA Division III, Steen crushed his previous season best of 56-8.75 (17.29 feet) set on March 27 at the Emory Classic in Georgia. Steen's throw broke the previous school record of 58-6.50 (17.84 meters) set by John Schuna on May 29, 2004 in Decatur, Illinois at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Millikin University.
Sprinter Thurgood Dennis (Sr.-Allouez, WI/Green Bay Notre Dame) competed in the 100 and 200-meter dashes for the first time this season going on to win both events. Dennis won the 100 in a nation-best time of 10.47 seconds breaking the previous NCAA Division III national-best time of 10.49 seconds. Dennis won the 200 with a time of 21.35 seconds clocking in just one one-hundredth of a second off the the nation's best NCAA Division III time of 21.34.
Greg Peterson (Sr.-Hartland, WI/Arrowhead) won the decathlon finishing the two-day event with the nation's highest point total of 6,692 points. Peterson won the 110-meter hurdles and 1,500-meter run while finishing second in the 400-meter dash and the pole vault and third in the long jump and shot put.
Cody Prince (Sr.-Appleton, WI/North) rounded out the five first-place finishes for the Blugolds winning the triple jump with a leap of 45-6.5 feed (13.88 meters).
Cory White (Sr.-Tomah, WI) had a strong showing finishing second in the 200 and the high jump. White ran the 200 in 21.84 seconds while jumping 6-7.5 feet (2.02 meters) in the high jump. Rylan Page (Jr.-Milwaukee, WI/The Prairie School) placed second in the javelin with a throw of 140-11 feet (42.95 meters). Page also finished third in the 110-meter hurdles clocking in at 15.11 seconds.
Matthew Cooper (Jr.-Ashwaubenon, WI) and Matt Cyra (So.-Eagle, WI/Mukwonago) led the Blugolds in the distance events. Cooper finished third in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:50.56. Cyra placed third in the 10,000-meter run completing the event in 31:32.58.
Rounding out the Eau Claire top-three finishers were Brent Mantzke (So.-Appleton, WI/Xavier) in the long jump placing third covering 20-10.75 (6.37 meters) and Alex Mess (Jr.-Lake Mills, WI) in the shot put with a toss of 52 feet (15.85 meters)
The Blugolds will split to complete in three different events next Friday and Saturday. They will compete at the Drake and Gina Relays in addition to the St. Mary's (MN) Open.