Winters’ MVP Performance Leads Spartans to Third-Place Showing

Feb 28, 2015

Freshman Ernest Winters captured UD's first IIAC Indoor Track and Field MVP award after winning three times, setting school records in each one.


WAVERLY, Iowa – Freshman Ernest Winters won three (60m, 200m, and the 4x200m relay) of UD's seven Iowa Conference titles to earn most valuable performer honors at the Iowa Conference Indoor Championships (hosted by Wartburg) and guide the University of Dubuque men's track and field team to a record setting third-place finish.

The Spartans utilized four other victories and five school records to score 131 team points and trailed Central and Wartburg, who held the top spot with 176 points each.  UD outdistanced the rest of the field by 40 points. The Spartans point total was the highest in school history, 24 more than their 107 points in 2013 when they also finished third.

Winters’ 60m (6.89), 200m (22.00), and 4x200m relay (1:29.19) times set a trio of school records, including a Wartburg facility record in the 4x200m relay. The nation’s fastest freshman has tied or set a new personal record in every 60m and 200m race of the season. The Middleton, Wis. native’s 60m time ranks ninth in the country and his 200m time sits second overall nationally. The winning 4x200m relay consisted of all freshmen: Winters, Hurshel RossDeshond Robinson, and Joseph Miggins.

Winters and the Spartans took first, third (Kyle Williams), and fifth (Robinson) in the 60m finals and placed first, fourth (Robinson), and seventh (Daniel Casanova) in the 200m.

Robinson also won the 400m in UD’s second fastest time in history (49.65).

Senior Tyler Dobratz, who sat fourth in the heptathlon after day one, finished strong in the 60m hurdles, pole vault, and 1000m run to capture his first career indoor heptathlon IIAC title with 4750 points. The Edgerton, Wis. native adds it to his 2014 IIAC Outdoor Decathlon title. He crushed his previous personal best of 4443 points set in 2013. Including the heptathlon, Dobratz competed in 10 total events over the two-day meet.

Sophomore Nicholas Kazmierczak snagged his first IIAC title in the pole vault (14’4.75”) after defeating fellow teammate Dobratz (13’11”). UD has now won two-straight IIAC indoor pole vault championships after Rick Valcin took home the title a year ago.

The reigning IIAC men’s field performer of the week, sophomore DuVaun Goodlow, took home the high jump crown after leaping 6’9.5” to break the school record for the second week in a row. The Joliet, Ill. native now owns the ninth best jump in the country. UD sophomore Jeremy Lawson placed fourth with a jump of 6’5.5”.

In his first competition since January 17, junior Kebba Bojang, didn’t disappoint after dominating the field in the triple jump (46’11.5”). The Madison, Wis. native bested the field by nearly three feet and set an indoor personal record by almost one foot. He hasn’t lost in four triple jump competitions this year. It was the third best triple jump in school history and currently ranks 16th nationally.

Junior Mario-John Otchere led the UD throwers with a fourth-place showing in the weight throw (53’5”). It was the second best throw of his career.

Freshman Alec Bass set the UD record in the mile for the second straight week after placing eighth overall (4:24.14).

A select number of Spartans will travel to the UW-Platteville Last Chance meet (March 6) and/or the UW-Stevens Point Qualifier (March 7) next week in hopes of improving their times and qualifying for the NCAA Division III National Championships in Salem, N.C. on March 13-14.