Spartans Make History at IIAC Championships

Mar 1, 2014 | J.Crane


DECORAH, IOWA - The University of Dubuque Women's Track & Field team made history at the 2014 Iowa Conference Indoor Championships with a third place finish, the best indoor finish in school history. The Spartans also claimed its first event winner with Nickolette McKenzie (Hoffman Estates, Ill./William Fremd) victories in the long jump and triple jump. In total, UD earned ten All-IIAC honors and set six new school records. UD also raised the bar with a school record 90 team points. 

McKenzie highlighted the Spartans historical weekend by earning all-conference honors in three events. On Friday, she won the long jump to become the first UD event winner. The junior came back on Saturday morning and won the triple jump with a leap of 11.28m (37'-0.25") in her final atttempt. In the final event of the meet, the Dubuque women's 4x400m Relay team of McKenzie, Rachael Busjahn (Sobieski, Wis./Pulaski), Brittany Burns (Beloit, Wis./Beloit Memorial), and Amanda Zbilski (Lake in the Hills, Ill./Huntley) finished third overall setting a school record in the process. The 4x4 team finished with a time of 4:06.34 to become the first UD women's team to earn All-IIAC honors indoors. 

All-IIAC Performers

 Nickolette McKenzie Long Jump 1st
 Nickolette McKenzie Triple Jump 1st
 Brenda Breimon Pole Vault 2nd
 Katelyn Herbig Weight Throw 2nd
 Alexis Higgins High Jump 2nd
 Rachael Busjahn 400m Dash 3rd
 Brittany Burns 4x400m Relay   3rd
 Rachael Busjahn 4x400m Relay 3rd
 Nickolette McKenzie    4x400m Relay 3rd
 Amanda Zbilski   4x400m Relay    3rd  

The Spartans brought home three All-IIAC honors in field events with each of them finishing in second place. Brenda Breimon (Oconomowoc, Wis./Slinger) began the weekend with a school record performance in the pole vault. Another school record fell with Katelyn Herbig's (Aurora, Ill./Aurora Central) throw of 15.96m (52'-4.5") in the weight throw. Herbig's record setting toss came on her second to last attempt, breaking her own school record by over 2 inches. Alexis Higgins (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Cedar Falls) took second in the high jump clearing 1.59m (5'-2.5") to earn her first All-IIAC honors. 

Busjahn earned all-conference honors with a school record performance and third place finish in the 400m Dash. Her time of 59.21 seconds beat the previous school record by Bridget Hosley in 2012 by 0.29 seconds. Fabiola Ortiz (Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North) turned in a strong performance in the 800m Run with a fifth place finish of 2:24.38, the second fastest time in UD history. 

The UD 4x800m Relay team of Burns, Brenda Nava (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech), Kiersten Wenthold (Fort Atkinson, Iowa/South Winn), and Melissa Todman (Ramstein, Germany/Ramstein) knocked over 22 seconds off the school record with a time of 10:21.38. 

Taylor Cary (Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf) finished fifth in the 55m Hurdles at 8.85 seconds.

Team Standings
 1)    Wartburg   282  
 2) Loras 97
 3) Dubuque 90
 4) Luther 88
 5) Central 83
 6) Simpson    48
 7) Buena Vista    29
 8) Coe 22


UP NEXT: The Spartans will travel to the UW-Stevens Points Last Chance Meet on Saturday, March 8th. 

Follow all UD Athletics action on Twitter at: @UDubuqueSports


Nickolette McKenzie (Hoffman Estates, Ill./William Fremd) became the first UD women to win an event at the IIAC Indoor Championships with a leap of 5.20m (17' 0.75") in the long jump.  The Spartans Brenda Breimon (Oconomowoc, Wis./Slinger) nearly earned the first UD title earlier in the day with her runner-up finish in the pole vault. Breimon and Elizabeth Brandenburg of Loras each cleared 3.51m (11' 6.25") before missing all three attempts at 3.66m. Brandenburg won the jump off that followed to take the title. Breimon once again upped her school record height with her performance. 

The UD Distance Medley team of Fabiola Ortiz (Elgin, Ill./St. Charles North), Brittany Burns (Beloit, Wis./Beloit Memorial), Rachael Busjahn (Sobieski, Wis./Pulaski), and Brenda Nava (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech) set a school record with a sixth place finish. The Spartans finished with a time of 13:04.32, 23.2 seconds better than previous school record set in 2013. 

Nicole Forson (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Hope Academy) moved into the second spot on the UD all-time performance list in the shot put with a sixth place throw of 11.77m (38' 7.5"). 

Taylor Cary (Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf) qualified for the finals of the 55m Hurdles.