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Falcons make statement

UW-River Falls' junior Megan Rasmussen (5) stays with the pack during the first heat of the women's 100 meter intermediate hurdles at the Falcon Invitational Saturday at Ramer Field. Rasmussen failed to make the finals but finished second in the 400 meter low hurdles. Bob Burrows photo

UW-River Falls hosted its first outdoor track and field meet Saturday at Ramer Field since the Falcon women won the NCAA championships last May.

No team scores were kept, but the UW-RF women posted four first place finishes while the men scored three.

Two Falcon women finished the first weekend of the outdoor track and field season with NCAA Division III Championship provisional qualifying scores. Colleen Kopel won the heptathlon with 4295 points and Jenny Aronson won the long jump with a leap of 18-feet, 1/4-inch to secure provisional qualifying to the national meet at Marietta College, Ohio, May 21-23.

Two additional Falcon women turned in first place finishes Saturday. Tasha Arnold won the 400 meter dash with a time of 61.38 seconds and Carly Eggert won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 10 minutes, 44.48 seconds.

There were many other notable finishers for the women's team as the Falcons opened the outdoor season with a strong showing. Jessica Reed placed second in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.32 seconds, Megan Rasmussen finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in 67.17, and Kim Altenhofen finished second in the shot put with a throw of 41-4 1/2. In addition to winning the long jump, Aronson also placed second in the 100-meter dash in 12.81 seconds.

Other second place finishes came from Leah Korf in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 4:59.68, and former Wildcat Caitlin Brendum in the hammer throw with a distance of 142-2. Brendum also took third in the javelin with a throw of 98-6.

Kayla Hillman finished third in the pole vault by clearing 10 feet and Brianna Waldvogel placed third in the 3,000-meter run in 11:56.66.

The Falcon men flexed their muscles in the 400 meter dash by sweeping the top three spots. Former Wildcat Dan Rodewald took first in 50.65 seconds, Indy Lijevall placed second in 50.97 and Lucas Mueller was third in 51.05.

Rodewald also finished fifth in the 200 meter dash in 22.69 seconds.

Two more Falcon men claimed the top spot in their respective events. Clai Catto won the high jump by clearing 6-2 3/4 while John Bratcher finished first in the triple jump with a distance of 41-1 1/2).

Also for the men, Scott Degner finished second in the 800 meter run in 1:58.26 and Chad Ernst placed second in the 5, 000 meter run in 15:34.29. Another former Wildcat, Bryce Robey, placed third in the 400 meter hurdles in 59.44 seconds.

UW-RF will next compete at the Gustavus Adolphus Invitational Friday.