GENEVA, Ohio (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's track and field team captured the program's first NCAA Division III Outdoor Championship on Saturday and did so in commanding fashion as the Blugolds tallied 68 points, beating runner-up MIT by a 30-point margin.
Entering the meet as the No. 1-ranked team in the country, the Blugolds wasted no time putting points on the board. Eau Claire took the lead after just the fifth event of the meet and never looked back.
Three Blugolds scored 11 or more points over the three-day meet with Kyler Lueck (Jr. Germantown, WI/WI Lutheran) leading the way with 18 points. The junior defended his 800m title from the indoor season on Saturday with a time of 1:51.94 and was second in the 1500m with a time of 3.49.57. Both Lueck and first place finisher Aidan Ryan of Williams College beat the stadium record for the event.
David Kornack (Sr. – Edgar, WI) followed with 16 points after claiming the shot put title and was third in the discus. The win in the shot put made Kornack the third Blugold male athlete in the past five years to win the event (Roger Steen in 2015, Alex Mess in 2016). In addition, all four of the senior's recorded marks 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.
Darin Lau (Sr. - Eau Claire, Wis./Immanuel Lutheran) added 11 points in the distance events, placing third in the 10K and fourth in the 5K. Lau turned it on for the national meet, as the senior came in seeded sixth in the 5K but turned in a time of 14:47.37 to place fourth and give Eau Claire five more points on Saturday. In Thursday's 10K, Lau jumped up from his fourth seed to finish in third.
Patrick Treacy (Sr. – Fall Creek, WI/Eau Claire Memorial) had a strong Saturday as well, taking third in the 1500m after entering the meet ranked fourth, clocking in at 3:49.80.
Eau Claire earned 12 points in the decathlon as Dylan Cooper (Jr. – Holmen, WI) took second with the fifth-best score in meet history and seventh-best in NCAA DIII history. Teammate Abrahm Schroedl (So. – DeForest, WI) added four more points with a fifth place finish.
The eighth-seeded men's 4x400 team of Hunter Henk (Jr. – Beldenville, WI/River Falls), KJ Munn – Jr. – Bayport, MN/St. Croix Prep), Arik Skifstad (Fr. – Eau Claire, WI/North), Brandon Christnovich (Sr. – Holmen, WI) turned in an impressive performance in the last event of the meet, coming out with a fourth place finish (3:11.09).
While the 2019 crown is the first outdoor title for the Blugold men, Eau Claire has two indoor national championship trophies from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and finished as the national runner-up for both of the outdoor seasons those years. The Blugolds were also the outdoor national runner-up in 2012-13.
On the women's side, the Blugolds tied for 14th with 16 points. Erica Oawster (Sr. – Lino Lakes, MN/Centennial) won the national title in the discus for 10 points while sophomore Megan Wallace (So. – Burlington, WI) earned six points with a third place finish in the heptathlon.