EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire track and field programs announced their team awards after a successful 2019 campaign.
Earning Most Valuable Performer honors for the women's team was Erica Oawster (Sr. – Lino Lakes, MN/Centennial) and on the men's side, Kyler Lueck (Jr. Germantown, WI/WI Lutheran) and David Kornack (Sr. – Edgar, WI) earned co-MVP recognition.
Oawster led the Blugold women at the NCAA Division III Championships during both the indoor and outdoor season. The senior claimed the national title in the shot put at indoors and was the discus champion at the outdoor championship. Oawster also was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Midwest Region Field Athlete of the Year and owns the eighth-best mark in NCAA DIII history in the discus.
Lueck led the Blugold men with 18 points at the outdoor championships after the junior won the 800m and was second in the 1500m. At the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Championship, Lueck set a new WIAC record in the 800m prelims. He also won the indoor national title in the 800m with a meet record time of 1:49.60, which is the fifth fastest time in NCAA Division III history.
Kornack won both the indoor and outdoor national title in the shot put this season, along with a third place finish in the discus at the outdoor national meet. At the WIAC Championship, Kornack set a new meet record and went on to be named USTFCCCA Midwest Region Field Athlete of the Year and National Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor and outdoor season. All four of the senior's recorded marks in the shot put at the outdoor national meet went over 18.73m (61-5.5); each of which landed in the top 10 in meet history and his winning mark of 19.32m (63-4.75) made Kornack just the second man in NCAA DIII history to put three career throws past 63 feet. The senior ended the year with three of the top-10 marks in NCAA DIII history in the shot put, including the seventh-best heave of 19.38m (63-7).
Lueck and Kornack also won the 800m and shot put at the Drake Relays and were the Most Valuable Performers at the Indoor National Championships and at the WIAC Outdoor Championships.
Kochendorfer was a national qualifier for both the indoor and outdoor season in her first year as a Blugold. The Hudson native was seeded 20th in the triple jump entering the indoor national meet yet earned a 16th place finish in her national debut. She also earned a spot on the 4x100 relay that placed 13th at the outdoor national meet.
Skifstad earned a spot on the 4x400 in his first year and earned All-American honors for both the indoor and outdoor season. The indoor relay finished sixth at the national meet while taking fourth at outdoor championship. The Eau Claire native and his teammates also claimed the WIAC outdoor title while setting a new WIAC best.
Christnovich helped the 4x400 relay team to All-American status at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA championships and was also a national qualifier in the outdoor 400, placing 12th.
Brenner was the WIAC Champion in the 100m hurdles and a national qualifier in the 60m hurdles for the indoor championship and 100m hurdles and 4x100 relay for outdoor. The senior placed 17th in the hurdles and 13th in the 4x100.
The Blugold men capped off the year with their first outdoor national championship in dominating fashion, scoring 68 points and winning the meet by a 30-point margin. Eau Claire also earned a trophy at indoor nationals, placing fourth.
On the women's side, the Blugolds finished 14th in the nation for the outdoor season and tied for seventh at the indoor championship.