MEQUON, Wis. - With only one meet remaining before the NAC Indoor Championships, the Concordia University Wisconsin men's and women's track & field teams are starting to look like squads capable of making noise in the Northern Athletics Conference and beyond.
The Falcons are coming off a weekend away from competition after four consecutive indoor meets, three of which took place in Kenosha, Wis.
Both men's and women's teams have gotten contributions from veteran returners and freshman newcomers alike, something that has excited CUW head coach Russ DeLap.
"We're doing very well," DeLap said. "I look at progress with the number of personal records we're setting, and we've been averaging anywhere between 20 and 35 personal records every meet. We're getting more and more athletes who are ranked in the top 10 in conference in their respective events, so it's getting exciting."
On the men's side, senior Vincent Greefkes (Jackson, Wis.) leads the NAC in the 55m Hurdles with a top time of 8.45 seconds, with fellow senior Alex Pawlak (Colgate, Wis.) right behind him in second with a time of 8.47 seconds.
Senior Justin Rogers (Milwaukee, Wis.) has been a productive multi-event athlete for the Falcons, ranking sixth in the NAC in the long jump, fourth in the triple jump, third in the 55m Dash, and second in the 200m Dash.
CUW also ranks first in the conference in the 4x400m Relay, with a team consisting of Ryan Gardner, Jonny Balsman, Alex Pawlak, and Sean Pawlak.
"We have a lot of young talent that down the road, maybe a year from now, will be very good if they continue to work hard," DeLap said.
For the women, junior Becky Gifford (Madison, Wis.) has performed well in a number of separate events, as she's ranked first in the NAC in the Long Jump (15' 0") and the Triple Jump (33' 5.25"), fifth in the 55m Hurdles (10.25), and third in the Shot Put (36' 4.25").
Sophomore Jessica Hennig (Springfield, Ill.) ranks second in the 400m Dash with a time of 1:03.24, and fourth in the Pole Vault (7' 5.75"), while sophomore Alexandra Garcia (West Allis, Wis.) is fourth in the 55m Dash (8.44) and sixth in the 200m Dash (28.63).
This weekend, CUW will compete in its final meet before NAC Indoor Championships, when they travel to Stevens Point, Wis. to take part in the Eastbay/Pointer Invitational.
DeLap says that the team will look to begin its "taper" this week in practice, by decreasing the intensity level in an effort to gear up for NAC Indoors, which will take place on February 25 in Kenosha, Wis.
"Most athletes will be doing one or two events to really go all out and sharpen up this weekend," DeLap said. "As long as everyone stays healthy, things are looking good. We certainly have the chance to compete for some conference championships."
This weekend's meet is set to begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m., inside UW-Stevens Point Multi Activity Center.