Skip to main content

Men's track and field team earns first National Indoor Championship

For the first time in school history, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's track and field team earned a NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Team National Championship. 

The Blugolds scored 62 points March 14 — the final day of the 2015 NCAA Division Indoor Track and Field National Championships — to take first-place honors. 

Roger Steen, a senior from Luck, won his first indoor national championship in the shot put when he set a school and meet record of 61-8.5 (18.81 meters). Steen broke the school record for the fourth time this season and became the third Blugold indoor shot put national champion in school history, joining John Schuna (2002) and John Mago (1986). 

Joining Steen on the podium was teammate Alex Mess, a junior from De Pere, who finished third in the shot put with a personal-best throw of 59-10.25 (18.24 meters). 

Brandon Zarnoth, a senior from Appleton, earned his first heptathlon national title, scoring 5,425 points. Zarnoth is the first Blugold to ever win the heptathlon national title. His seven-event total set a new school record. Zarnoth won the pole vault, clearing 14-11 (4.55 meters); earned second-place in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.20 seconds, falling short of taking first place by five one-thousandths of a second; and finished eighth in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:54.70. This is the third time Zarnoth has earned All-America honors in the heptathlon. 

Teammate Greg Peterson, a senior from Harland, gave the Blugolds a 1-2 finish in the heptathlon. Peterson entered the day in sixth place and jumped to second place by scoring 5,206 points to join Zarnoth on the medal stand. Peterson scored 2,455 points in the final three events to finish second place. He won the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:40.68; finished fifth in the pole vault clearing 14-7.25 (4.45 meters); and was ninth in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.57 seconds.

Thurgood Dennis, a senior from Allouez, was two-hundredths of a second short of winning his third 60-meter dash national championship. Dennis finished second, posting a time of 6.75 seconds, his fastest time of the season. 

Josh Thorson, a sophomore from Plymouth, Minnesota, placed third in the 3,000-meter run with a school record time of 8:11.80, breaking his previous school record set earlier this season.

Cody Prince, a senior from Appleton, finished sixth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.19 seconds. Prince also finished eighth in the triple jump, covering 46-9 (14.25 meters). Both finishes will earn Prince All-America status. 

The 4x400-meter relay team finished 10th with a time of 3:19.91. Team members were Dennis; Will LaJeunesse, a junior from Belle Plaine, Minnesota; Prince; and Jimmy Paske, a sophomore from Minnetonka, Minnesota. 

Head coach for the men's indoor track and field team is Chip Schneider.