PLATTEVILLE, Wis. - Saturday was a very exciting day as the Rockford University men's and women's indoor track and field teams opened their 2017 seasons at the UW-Platteville Open. It was an excellent start to the year for the Regents as Rockford had multiple top-5 performers including a pair of second place finishes. In addition, two RU school records fell and multiple individuals set new personal bests.
Freshman Kayla Barthels (Fort Worth, Texas) was extremely impressive in her collegiate debut Saturday. Barthels placed second and broke the RU school record in the long jump with a distance of 4.75 meters. Her jump was 0.15 meters farther than the previous school record which was set back in 2010.
Jamie Buechner (Island Lake, Ill.) turned in a pair of top 10 finishes for Rockford. Her best effort came in the 60 meter dash where she finished in second place with a time of 8.58 seconds. Buechner also took ninth in the 200 meter dash crossing the finish line in 29.62 seconds.
Nicole Melson (Harvard, Ill.) and Katrina Kopfhamer (Portage, Wis.) anchored the field events for Rockford as both recorded multiple top 10 performances. Melson placed fifth in the shot put with a distance of 9.13 meters and sixth in the weight throw with a distance of 10.25 meters. Kopfhamer finished eighth in the shot put and seventh in the weight throw with respective distances of 8.09 meters and 8.27 meters.
Tracy Wang (Lianyungang, China) was the final member of the women's team to compete on Saturday. Wang placed tenth in the mile with a time of 6:57.07.
Freshman Nathan Alldritt (Winnebago, Ill.) was the top performer for the men's team breaking a school record and earning two top 10 finishes. Alldritt broke the RU record in the pole vault and placed fifth with a height of 3.52 meters. The freshman also took tenth in the 200 meter dash with a time of 25.02 seconds.
The duo of Nick Noel (Belvidere, Ill.) and Kyle Roewer (Belvidere, Ill.) took eighth and ninth respectively in the 800 meter race. Noel crossed the finish line in 2:26.79 to edge out Roewer who finished the race in 2:37.04.
Senior John Finley (Rockford, Ill.) and Cristan Newton (Shreveport, La.) opened their seasons by competing in the mile event. Finley placed seventh with a time of 5:23.06, while Newton took eighth with a time of 5:23.34.
Noel, Roewer, Finley and Newton then all finished their day by competing in the DMR. They placed third in the event with a time of 12:57.62.
The final participants on the men's side for the Regents came in the shot put and weight throw events. Jonathan Ponce Cuiriz (Kewanee, Ill.), Chase Gray (Alton, Ill.), Alex Evitts (Aurora, Ill.) and Zackary Thompson (Sparta, Ill.) placed eighth through eleventh in the shot put. Ponce Cuiriz tied his personal best with a throw of 9.85 meters, Gray recorded a distance of 9.74 meters, Evitts set a new personal best of 8.43 meters and Thompson began his collegiate career with toss of 7.64 meters. In the weight throw it was Ponce Cuiriz who led the way with a ninth place finish and a personal best throw of 9.72 meters, followed by Evitts who placed 10th and also recorded a new personal best with a distance of 7.65 meters.
The RU indoor track and field teams return to competition next Saturday, January 21 at the Cornell Invite.