Atwater Leads Women's Track Into IIAC Indoor Championships

Feb 23, 2016

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Both University of Dubuque track and field teams prep for the Iowa Conference Championships this Friday and Saturday hosted by Buena Vista in Storm Lake, Iowa for the first time since 2010. Both men and women placed third a year ago with school records of 131 points and 98 points, respectively.

IIAC Championships Official Link (Schedule, heat sheets, LIVE results and stream)

USTFCCCA Regional ranking:
6th, Central Region
# of 2016 meets:
Best Finish:
 1st of 7, UD Spartan Invitational (Feb. 19)
2015 IIAC Finish: 3rd, 98 points *School Record
All-IIAC returners: 
Nicole Forson (Weight Throw)
Fabiola Ortiz (Mile and Distance Medley Relay (DMR))
Kiersten Wenthold (DMR)

The Spartans take on a women's field that features four of the eight teams ranked in the newest USTFCCCA Central Region poll. Only Wartburg and Central are ranked ahead of UD as they sit 6th in the Central Region.

One of the most dominant groups in the Iowa Conference are ready to roll behind sophomore Tanasha Atwater, who leads the IIAC in both the shot put (45-4.5) and weight throw (55-1.5). Atwater ranks Top-14 nationally in both events, set both school records, and won 12 of her 14 events, including seven straight heading into IIAC Championships.

Atwater will have some friendly competition as each throwing event bolsters four Spartans in the Top-8 of the IIAC standings. Senior Nicole Forson, the defending IIAC indoor weight throw champion, is third in the weight throw (51-5.75) and is being chased by teammates, freshman Rebecca Burmahl (5th, 47-7) and sophomore Abigail Willis (8th, 45-3.5).

Forson ranks fourth in the shot put (40-11.5), while sophomore Lauren Egnarski (39-8) and freshman Keely Glenn (38-3.25) rank 5th and 7th, respectively.

Pole Vault
Junior Amanda Zbilski is ready to break out after finishing in the Top-5 in both the 2015 indoor and outdoor IIAC Championships. Zbilski’s mark of 11-0.25 sits second in the IIAC and was a big personal record that led to her first career pole vault win at the 2016 Cornell Hilltop Invite.

Standout junior Fabiola Ortiz is fourth in the mile (5:15.49) and fifth in the 3000m (10:43.96) and is fresh off her 3000m IIAC outdoor steeplechase victory last spring. Ortiz, the indoor mile school record holder, is saving her best for last after competing in just six events this winter. 

IIAC Ranks (Contending UD performers)
**Event – IIAC Rank, Name (Yr., Time/Distance)
60m – 9th Candice Enis (Fr. 8.11) 55 conv.
200m – None
400m – None
800m – None
Mile – 4th Fabiola Ortiz (Jr., 5:15.49)
3000m – 5th Fabiola Ortiz (Jr., 10:43.96)
5000m – None
60H – 7th MichelleAnn Sanchez (So., 9.40) 55 conv.
4x200m relay – 3rd 1:49.43
4x400m relay – 5th 4:12.15
4x800m relay – None
DMR – 1st 13:17.02
PV – 2nd Amanda Zbilski (Jr., 11-0.25)
High Jump – 5th Isabella Solis (Fr., 5-1.25)
                     7th Jordyn Gargus (Sr., 5-1)
Long Jump – None
Triple Jump – 7th Aleyha Slatter (Fr., 33-3.75)
Shot Put – 1st Tanasha Atwater (So., 45-4.5)
                  4th Nicole Forson (Sr., 40-11.5)
                  5th Lauren Egnarski (So., 39-8)
                  7th – Keely Glenn (Fr., 38-3.25)
Weight Throw – 1st Tanasha Atwater (So., 55-1.5)
                           3rd Nicole Forson (Sr., 51-5.75)
                           5th Rebecca Burmahl (Fr., 47-7)
                           8th Abigail Willis (So., 45-3.5)
Pentathlon - None