UW-Oshkosh looks to improve on last year's third-place finish when it participates at this weekend's Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championship (presented by Culver's) in Platteville.
Competition at the 99th chapter of the championship begins at noon on Friday (May 5) and 10 a.m. on Saturday (May 6) at UW-Platteville's Track & Field Complex. The meet will be held in conjunction with the 46th edition of the women's championship.
UW-Oshkosh, a seven-time champion, has finished in the top three during six of the last seven WIAC Outdoor Championships held. The Titans placed third last year, sixth in 2015 and second from 2010-14. UW-Oshkosh claimed league titles in 1925, 1927, 1966-68, 1971 and 1990.
Last year, UW-La Crosse counted 201 points to capture its 27th consecutive WIAC title and 52nd overall. UW-Whitewater finished second to the Eagles with 141.4 points while UW-Oshkosh placed third with 130 and UW-Platteville fourth with 116.
Rounding out last year's team standings were fifth-place UW-Stevens Point with 80 points, sixth-place UW-Eau Claire with 76, seventh-place UW-Stout with 56 and eighth-place UW-River Falls with 17.5.
This year's championship features 16 student-athletes who have combined to win 13 individual and nine relay first-place medals at previous league meets. It will also showcase five teams ranked nationally in the NCAA Division III by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in second-ranked UW-La Crosse, third-ranked UW-Whitewater, sixth-ranked UW-Stevens Point, 15th-ranked UW-Eau Claire and 19th-ranked UW-Platteville.
UW-Oshkosh's Roberto Lara is the defending champion in the 1,500-meter run while Danny Trimner has been a member of the Titans' winning 1,600-meter relay team the last two years. He was joined on last season's first-place relay squad by Garrison Griest and Ryan Powers.
The Titans are also hoping to acquire strong efforts from Griest and Morgan Malm in the 110-meter hurdles; Griest, Malm and Trimner in the 400-meter hurdles; Trevor Damkot and Charlend Howard in the 3,000-meter steeplechase; Devan Gertschen and Mitchell Hasey in the pole vault; Hunter Effa and Bryce Mancheski in the long jump; Dakota Griffith and Carson Weber in the high jump; Jack Flynn in the discus; Christian Lopez in the 100-meter dash; Powers in the 200-meter dash; Bailey Quinn in the hammer throw; Justin Skinkis in the 800-meter run; and Joe Zack in the 1,500-meter run.
UW-La Crosse's Ernest Winters secured Track Performer of the Meet honors a season ago after winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He also contributed to the first-place 400-meter relay team, along with Joe Koenecke, Zach Rothering and Ryan Send.
UW-La Crosse's Ross Denman was victorious in the 400-meter dash in 2014 and 2015 while Zak Wallenfang won the 400-meter hurdles in 2015.
UW-Eau Claire's Jimmy Paske claimed the 400-meter dash at last year's championship while Connor Drexler was a member of the winning 400-meter relay team in 2015.
UW-Platteville's Ian LaMere posted first-place finishes in the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs last season while UW-Stevens Point's Jerry Williams captured the triple jump in 2014 and 2016. Williams could become the first three-time winner of the event in conference history.
UW-Stout's Christian Lucchesi was victorious in the pole vault in 2015 and UW-Whitewater's Theron Baumann emerged with the discus title last year.