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Falcon Roundup: Jurik wins WIAC steeplechase title

UW-River Falls Nikki Jurik stumbles in the water pit on the last lap of the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase at the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday, May 4, at Ramer Field. Jurik regained her footing and held off UW-Eau Claire's Katie George by three seconds at the finish line to win the conference title with a time of 11 minutes, 38.9 seconds. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Jurik wins WIAC steeplechase title

UW-River Falls junior Nikki Jurik survived a fall on the last lap to hold off UW-Eau Claire's Katie George to win the 3,000 meter steeplechase title at the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday, May 4, at Ramer Field.

Jurik claimed UWRF's only individual conference champion with a time of 11 minutes, 38.9 seconds.

UW-La Crosse swept the team titles with the Eagle women winning their seventh straight outdoor championship and the men claiming their 28th straight. The Falcon men and women both placed eighth.

Junior Linsey Tolkkinen contributed a third place time of 18:19.96 in the 5,000 meter run for the UWRF women and junior Emily Klatt was fifth in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 11:48.44 while sophomore Abby Bakken placed tenth in the hammer throw with a toss of 143-feet, 02-inches.

Senior Justin Barnes led the UWRF men with a fifth place throw of 168-02 in the javelin while senior Colton Sorensen cleared 15-7 to take eighth in the pole vault.

The Falcons will be back in action this weekend at UW-La Crosse, with individuals looking to qualify for NCAA national championships.

Softball bounced from WIAC Tourney

The Falcon softball team was eliminated from the WIAC Tournament with a nine-inning, 6-5 opening round loss to UW-Stout that took two days to complete Friday and Saturday, May 4-5.

After falling behind early, 2-0, Kaia Dorn hit a three-run home run in the top of the third inning to give UWRF a 4-2 lead. River Falls led 5-3 thanks to RBI singles by Molly Kaspar and Amber Galloway but the Blue Devils got a run in the fifth and another in the seventh to force extra innings before play was suspended due to darkness.

The game resumed Saturday morning in the top of the eighth inning and the Blue Devils pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the ninth to earn the 6-5 victory.

Stout went on to beat UW-Eau Claire, 4-3, before losing to UW-Oshkosh, 7-1. UW-Whitewater defeated Oshkosh, 6-5, in the title game to claim the conference crown.The Falcons finished the season with a record of 20-15.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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