Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | SPORTS
Locally grown, nationally known
Three local athletes compete at D3 national indoor track championships
Marty Seeger | Staff writer
LINCOLN, Neb. – When UW-Stout's Zach Anderson, a former Frederic athlete, competes in the multievents, the second day is always his strongest. On Saturday, March 15, Anderson saved the best for last and went on to win the heptathlon title at the 2014 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Nebraska.
Coming into the second day, Anderson was in fifth place and slowly began to make his move. Anderson was third in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.51 seconds, then went 14-feet, 9-inches in the pole vault, good for fourth. Anderson claimed the top prize with a first-place finish in the 1000-meter run, but it was a close race for the top three spots. Anderson clocked a time of 2:39.18. Cameron Clause of Gustavus Adolphus was second at 2:39.42, and Greg Peterson of UW-Eau Claire was third at 2:39.86.
The title is Anderson's first national crown. Last season, he finished second in the heptathlon at the national meet. Anderson this year finished with a school record mark of 5,334 points. Brandon Zarnoth of UW-Eau Claire was second with 5.259 points.
"It feels pretty good," Anderson said. "I have put in quite a bit of work, so it's nice that it finally paid off, especially after I no-heighted in the pole vault last year (in the decathlon at the outdoor national championship). I felt the meet was pretty solid for me overall. On the first day, I had two personal bests and two average events. On the second day, my hurdles were average, I vaulted just under my personal best and my 1,000 was a personal best."
Going into the 1,000-meter run, the final event, Anderson knew what he had to run to win the event.
"Coach (Kyle Steiner) told me I had to beat a guy by three seconds and another by about 12 seconds," Anderson said. "I would say that knowing what I had to run motivated me and pushed me to run harder."
Steen takes third in shot put
Luck's Roger Steen took third place at the Division 3 National NCAA Indoor Track meet in Lincoln, Neb., last weekend. This was Steen's second appearance at nationals, and both years he has taken third place in the shot put. The All-American athlete was hoping to move up a spot on the podium but was pleased to repeat the third-place finish with a throw of 57.04.75 feet. Two weeks before this competition, Steen took the top honors in the shot put at the WIAC Conference Championship that was held in Whitewater. Steen is a junior at Eau Claire and competes in football, indoor and outdoor track for the Blugolds.
Kutz takes fourth in 5,000-meter run
Former Grantsburg state cross-country champion Sean Kutz also competed at the Division 3 nationals in Nebraska last weekend, entering the competition as a No. 10 seed for UW-Oshkosh. With 15 runners in the event, Kutz was able to work his way toward the front of the pack, and in the final 100 meters passed several other runners to finish fourth place with a time of 14:21.13. The junior distance runner also earned All-American honors for his performance.
Wisconsin did well in the team performance as Oshkosh and La Crosse took first and second place respectively in the women’s division, and La Crosse, Eau Claire and Oshkosh took first, second and third respectively in the men’s division. – – from Layne Pitt/ UW-Stout Sports Information, and uwstout.edu, blugolds.com uwoshkoshtitans.com