Track teams continue record-breaking season at WashU Invitational

Webster University track and field team
Webster University freshmen track and field athletes Heather Heisse (left) and Julie Greenough participate in the 800-meter run at the Washington University Invitational on April 2.

The Webster University men’s and women’s track and field teams were led by freshman Eroica Stackhouse and junior Gretchen Rieger at the Washington University Invitational on April 1 and 2. Stackhouse broke her third and fourth school records while Rieger finished second in the javelin throw.
Almost 50 teams from NCAA Division l, ll and lll schools participated, and the competition was fierce. Webster’s growing track program participated in a school-record 17 events.
Stackhouse shattered the Webster 1,500-meter run record by more than 10 seconds, running the event in 5:15.61. She also eclipsed Webster’s record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:23.28. In previous weeks, she broke school records in the mile run at the Rhodes Invitational on March 26 and the 5,000-meter run at the Rose-Hulman Early Bird on March 19.
“Coach (Dusty) Lopez sets a pace for me and I follow it,” Stackhouse said. “I ran 84 seconds per 400 meters in the 1,500 and I had plenty left to finish strong.”
Stackhouse trains relentlessly, and shows it in her recorded cell phone voicemail message. When her phone goes to voicemail, the caller hears: “This is Eroica; I am out running right now. Please leave a message.”
Like several of the track athletes, she ran on the cross-country team in the fall.
“Consistent training yields consistent results,” Lopez said. “By now, every member of our distance crew has logged somewhere between 500 to 1,000 miles per person since last August.”
Rieger, who previously won the javelin throw in record-breaking fashion at Rose-Hulman, finished second in a field of 22 throwers with a toss of 37.32 meters at WashU.
“A lot to do with my success is working with (assistant) coach (Brian) McQueary,” Rieger said. “Javelin looks simple, but we work on so many little details.”
Lopez said Rieger set a high standard when she broke the school record and nearly qualified for nationals during the first meet of the season.
Other athletes of note at the WashU Invitational were sophomore Tori Fenemor, who set a school record in the shot put with a toss of 10 meters. Junior Amanda Arcangel set personal records in the 100-meter dash (14:15), 200-meter dash (29:12) and long jump (4.22 meters).
Sophomore Daniel Henkey set a school record in the 1,500-meter run (4:13.09).  Henkey’s time placed him 20th in a field of 74 runners. Sophomore A.J. Wallace had an eighth-place finish in the triple jump at 12.23 meters.
“I was very happy for Amanda with her personal records,” Lopez said. “Three personal bests in four events is a pretty good day. (Freshman) Heather Heisse dropped her season best and personal record in the 1,500 by 24 seconds, and won her heat with a very dramatic late kick.”
Even though the Webster women finished 16 out of 24 teams and the men finished 23rd, Lopez sees improvement.
“The field event performances were solid, but the conditions were great for the runners and they delivered personal records almost across the board,” Lopez said. “Most of our athletes outperformed their seeding. We didn’t score huge points, but this was a tough field full of strong programs.”
Both of the Webster track and field teams are off for two weeks, but they’ll stay busy with community service projects. The teams begin working with the UrbanFUTURE tutoring program this week, and will help set up the St. Louis Go! marathon, which will be run on April 10. The Gorloks’ next meet is the Rose-Hulman Twilight meet on April 15 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

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