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Titans Have A Pair Of Nation-Leading Performances At Titan Challenge

Ryan Powers ran the final leg of UW-Oshkosh's 1,600-meter relay team that posted a nation-leading time.
Ryan Powers ran the final leg of UW-Oshkosh's 1,600-meter relay team that posted a nation-leading time.

Nation-leading performances by Jonathan Wilburn in the triple jump and Todd Beadle, Steven Potter, Ryan Powers and Justin Skinkis in the 1,600-meter relay helped UW-Oshkosh finish first among 14 teams at the Titan Men's Track & Field Challenge held Saturday (Feb. 16) in Kolf Sports Center.

Wilburn defeated 19 other participants in the triple jump with his winning measurement of 48-8 3/4 while Beadle, Potters, Powers and Skinkis outran eight other squads in the 1,600-meter relay with their first-place time of 3:17.43 (3:14.33 converted). TJ Lui, competing unattached, was the runner-up in the triple jump with a distance of 45-5 while UW-Eau Claire was the second-place finisher in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 3:19.78.

With the addition of Wilburn and the 1,600-meter relay team, UW-Oshkosh owns three of the nation's top qualifying performances for next month's NCAA Division III Championship in Boston, Mass. UW-Oshkosh's other top listing belongs to Powers in the 200-meter dash with a converted time of 21.45 seconds.

The Titans had two other event winners on Saturday in Roman Hill and Robert Ogbuli.

Hill beat 27 other contestants in the long jump with a leap of 22-11 3/4 while Ogbuli outran 39 other participants in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.90 seconds. Ogbuli's time is now the ninth fastest in Division III this season.

UW-Oshkosh took first place in the team standings at the Titan Challenge with 154.5 points. The Titans were followed by second-place UW-Whitewater with 106 points, third-place UW-Eau Claire with 78, fourth-place UW-Stout with 54, fifth-place Carroll University with 47 and sixth-place UW-Stevens Point with 40. 

UW-Oshkosh entered the meet ranked second in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's NCAA Division III Rating Index while UW-Whitewater was sixth, UW-Eau Claire seventh, UW-Stevens Point 21st and UW-Stout 28th.

The Titans scored a good portion of their team points in the 60-meter dash, long jump and triple jump.

The 60-meter dash had Ogbuli finish first, Benjamin Jung second with a time of 6.96 seconds, Denzel Thomas third in 6.99 and Powers sixth in 7.08.

Trailing Hill as the event winner in the long jump were Jung in second place with a measurement of 22-8, Jamyle Brantley in sixth at 21-11 3/4 and John Auer in seventh at 21-10.

In the triple jump, Wilburn was followed in first place by Brantley's third-place distance of 44-3 1/4, Adam Tallman's fourth-place mark of 44-3 1/4, Jared Benson's sixth-place skip of 43-7 3/4 and Jared Ollhoff's seventh-place measurement of 43-7 3/4.

UW-Oshkosh's second-place efforts also included the cast of 57-7 1/2 in the 35-pound weight throw by Bailey Quinn and the times of 22.36 seconds in the 200-meter dash by Ogbuli and 1:53.77 in the 800-meter run by Nick Freitag. Freitag's time in the 800-meter run ranks eighth nationally.

Other third-place finishes belonged to Abel Christiansen in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.39 seconds, Andrew George in the mile run with a time of 4:21.96, Joe Vils in the pole vault with a height of 15-1 1/2 and Jackson Sheckler in the shot put with a throw of 51-6 1/2.

UW-Oshkosh also had Amitai Wheat finish fourth in the 400-meter run with a time of 50.55 seconds, Zachary Emmer fifth in the pole vault with a mark of 13-7 3/4, Kunmi Olatunde seventh in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 9.15 seconds and Justin Rivers eighth in the high jump with a leap of 6-5 1/2.

UW-Oshkosh competes at the WIAC Indoor Track & Field Championship next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 22-23) in Whitewater. The five-time WIAC champion Titans are searching for their first league title since 2001.

Photo by Steve Frommell,