MEQUON, Wis. - The Concordia University Wisconsin men's and women's track & field teams will kick off the 2012 season this Saturday, when they'll travel to Kenosha, Wis. to take part in the State Private College Invite at Carthage College.
The Falcons started the indoor season at this same meet last season, in which the women's team finished fourth and men's team placed fifth.
Head coach Russ DeLap is excited for the season to get started, and says a number of his athletes have a chance to have major success in 2012.
"This season looks very promising," DeLap said. "We have a record number of athletes with seventy-five, and there are many who I believe will be towards the top of our conference in their specific events."
Both the men's and women's squads are coming off successful 2011 campaigns that featured record-setting performances on both sides.
On the men's side, the 4x200m Relay consisting of seniors Alex Pawlak (Colgate, Wis.) and Justin Rogers (Milwaukee, Wis.) and sophomores Jonny Balsman (Rockford, Ill.) and Sean Pawlak (Germantown, Wis.) set the CUW school record with a time of 1:31.56 at the Eastbay/Pointer Invitational last February.
Senior Vincent Greefkes (Jackson, Wis.) also had a big year, setting indoor school records in the 55m Hurdles (7.74 seconds) and the 60m Hurdles (8.38 seconds).
Greefkes also broke the outdoor school record in the 110m Hurdles with a time of 15.03 seconds at the Carroll University Invitational last April.
For the women, sophomore Kristin Sitte (Greenfield, Wis.) set an indoor program record in the 55m Hurdles, finishing in 9.54 seconds at last year's Northern Athletics Conference Championships.
Sitte also set an outdoor school record in the 100m Hurdles (17.02 seconds), and was part of the record-setting 4x400m Relay team (4:10.02) that included sophomores Maxine Blohowiak (Green Bay, Wis.) and Jessica Hennig (Springfield, Ill.), as well as former Falcon Sara Wollner. In order for his teams to achieve more success this season, DeLap knows that staying healthy will be critical.
"We have the opportunity to do some great things this year," DeLap said. "The key will be to progress our training in such a fashion that will keep the injuries at a minimum, and then have the team peak for indoor and outdoor conference."
Last season, the women's team finished second at the Indoor NAC Championships, falling behind only Aurora University.
The Falcon men finished third at indoor conference, and were just one point away from earning a second-place tie with Aurora.
DeLap, in his second year with the program, says the NAC is only getting better, and that the Falcons will need to stay consistent if they hope to be near the top again this season.
"The NAC continues to grow and the other teams will be bigger and better as well," DeLap said. "Nothing is given and we will have to earn everything. But I can feel good things coming our way as long as we continue to grow and work hard; I am really excited about our team and where we are heading."
Friday's meet will begin at 3 p.m. inside the Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center.