Multiple RU Records Fall at Dubuque Invite

Justin Christiansen
Justin Christiansen

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Rockford University outdoor track and field teams had yet another outstanding meet on Friday with both teams finishing in sixth place at the University of Dubuque Invitational. Individually, the Regents set numerous personal bests along with breaking three school records and tying a fourth.

The top overall finish of the day went to senior Justin Christiansen (Rockford, Ill.). Christiansen won the high jump event, vanquishing his competition, and tying his own RU school record in the event with a height of 1.90 meters. He also placed fifth in the pole vault and set a new personal best with a height of 3.85 meters. Christiansen's final event was the 110 meter hurdles where he placed seventh with a personal best time of 18.79 seconds. 

The men's 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams both scored points placing sixth and eighth respectively. The 4x100 meter team featuring Nathan Alldritt (Winnebago, Ill.)Joe Werkheiser (Chicago, Ill.)Christian Devant (Winnebago, Ill.) and Chris Wilson-Poston (Carlock, Ill.) finished in sixth place with a time of 46.42 seconds. The 4x400 team of Bailey Beard (Rockford, Ill.), Werkheiser, Anders-James Wermuth (Spring Green, Wis.) and Wilson-Poston crossed the finish line in 3:37.03 to place eighth. 

Joe Werkheiser and Anders-James Wermuth also both ran in the 400 meter race. Werkheiser turned in a very impressive performance placing third with a time of 50.86 seconds, which is just one second off the school record. Wermuth also ran well finishing in ninth with a time of 56.55 seconds. 

Bailey Beard and Chris Wilson Poston both participated in additional events as well. Beard set a new personal best in the 800 meter race with a time of 2:14.35. Wilson-Poston placed 10th in the long jump with a distance of 5.87 meters and the 200 meter with a time of 23.67 seconds.

Sophomore Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) continues to lead the Regents in the throwing events. Johnson began by placing 19th and breaking the school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 33.57 meters. He also participated in the discus and shot put events placing 11th and 15th with respective throws of 35.50 meters and 11.15 meters. 

Junior Chase Gray (Alton, Ill.) had perhaps his best meet so far this spring. Gary set a new personal best and momentarily broke the school record in the hammer throw with a distance of 32.64 meters, before his teammate ultimately took it from him later in the meet. He also recorded a new personal best in the discus with a throw of 28.55 meters to finish in 18th place. His final event came in the shot put where he placed 21st with a throw of 8.86 meters. 

The first record to fall on the women's side came in the 4x100 meter relay. The team of Kayla Barthels (Fort Worth, Tex.)Jamie Buechner (Island Lake, Ill.)Lexie Collins (Earlville, Ill.) and Maddy Pearson (Peru, Ill.) shattered the school record by 6 seconds with a time of 53.89 seconds to finish in seventh place.

Kayla Barthels and Lexie Collins each also participated in one additional event on the day. Barthels placed sixth in the long jump with a distance of 4.82 meters, while Collins finished in seventh in the 400 meter race with a time of 1:07.60. 

Jamie Buechner built upon her performance in the relay with a pair of excellent showings in the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Buechner set a new personal best in the 100 meter and was just 0.15 seconds off the school record when she crossed the finish line in 13.10 seconds. She also turned in a season best time in the 200 meter dash, crossing the finish line in 27.72 seconds to place eighth. 

Junior Nicole Melson (Harvard, Ill.) was the final Regent to break a school record on Friday. Melson reclaimed the RU record in the hammer throw with a distance of 31.72 meters to finish in ninth place. She also placed tenth in the shot put with a throw of 8.90 meters. 

Katrina Kopfhamer (Portage, Wis.) and Maddy Pearson were the final two throwers to compete for Rockford. Kopfhamer set a new personal best in the hammer throw with a distance of 29.85 meters and placed 11th in the shot put with a throw of 7.80 meters. Pearson finished eighth in the javelin with a throw of 21.94 meters, ninth in the shot put with a throw of 9.03 meters and 12th in the hammer with a distance of 27.89 meters.

Sophomore Virginia Reed (Rockford, Ill.) turned in a trio of solid performances in the jumping events on Friday. Reed's best effort came in the high jump where she placed third with a season best height of 1.35 meters. She also participated in the long jump finishing 14th with a distance of 3.91 meters and the triple jump where she placed eighth with a wind-aided distance of 9.30 meters.

The Rockford University men's team had one individual compete again again on Saturday at the CUC Cougar Invitational. Sophomore Christian Devant ran in the 5000 meter race finishing in seventh place with a time of 16:30.57. It was an especially impressive performance as it was the first time he has competed in the event. 

The RU outdoor track and field teams are set to return to competition next Friday, April 28 at both the Beloit and Drake Relays.