University of Dubuque

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Track and Field

The University of Dubuque women’s track and field team provides opportunities to compete in a variety of meets for the Spartans. The Spartans have enjoyed successes on the track and in field events with both meet and conference champions along with being national qualifiers, All-Americans or Academic All-Americans.

The Spartans have nearly re-written the record book in the past 10 years. A new coaching staff began in 2011-12 and offer a motivated, high energy training regimen to the program. Student-athletes will work hard and look to peak at the IIAC Championships and the NCAA Division III National Championships. 


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Valcin Wins Pole Vault Championship

University of Dubuque student-athlete Rick Valcin won the schools first NCAA Division-III Outdoor Track & Field individual national championship by claiming first place in the pole vault on Thursday afternoon. Valcin cleared 5.15m (16'-10.75") in a jump off to win the title. The final two competitors were a rematch of the 2014 Indoor Track Championships where Michael Bennett of the University of Chicago won the matchup on misses. The Spartans junior upped his own school record by six inches in addition to claiming All-American honors.

Spartans Qualify Four for NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

The University of Dubuque Track and Field program qualified four student-athletes for the 2014 NCAA Division-III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. UD qualifiers are Kebba Bojang, Nickolette McKenzie, Rick Valcin, and Evan Zurbuchen. Valcin (Pole Vault) and Zurbuchen (400m Hurdles - Prelims) will compete on Thursday, May 22nd. Bojang and McKenzie will each compete in the triple jump on Saturday, May 24th.

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Name Position Event Height Weight Year Hometown
Brittany Becker Hurdles Freshman Waterloo, Iowa
Jasmine Bethea Sprints Freshman Schaumberg, Ill.
Brenda Breimon Pole Vault Sophomore Oconomowoc, Wis.
Emily Brinker High Jump Freshman Baraboo, Wis.
Brittany Burns Sprints Freshman Beloit, Wis.
Rachael Busjahn Sprints Junior Sobieski, Wis.
Taylor Cary Hurdles Sophomore Bettendorf, Iowa
Jamyia Catchings Sprints Junior Pavle Forest, Ill.
Chantel Christiansen Sprints Sophomore Anamosa, Iowa
Nicole Forson Throws Sophomore Chicago, Ill.
Jordyn Gargus Jumps Sophomore Silvis, Ill.
Kirsten Henry Throws Freshman Fennimore, Wis.
Katelyn Herbig Throws Junior Aurora, Ill.
Alexis Higgins Jumps Sophomore Cedar Falls, Iowa
Samantha Holen Distance Junior Rockford, Ill.
Alyssa Holt Distance Junior Durand, Ill.
Trellini Lunsford Throws Freshman Osan, South Korea
Allyson Machala Throws Junior Traer, Iowa
Nickolette McKenzie Jumps/Sprints Junior Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Brenda Nava Distance Junior Chicago, Ill.
Fabiola Ortiz Distance Freshman Elgin, Ill.
Julie Petkoff Throws Freshman Walworth, Wis.
Jennifer Pohlman Hurdles/Sprints Sophomore West Branch, Iowa
Sade Pointer Jumps Sophomore Rochelle, Ill.
Caitlin Simbeck Jumps/Sprints Junior Bayfield, Colo
Tieisha Starks Sprints Senior Waukegan, Ill.
Melissa Todman Mid-Distance Freshman Ramstein, Germany
Amy Tranel Jumps Junior Hazel Green, Wis.
Kiersten Wenthold Distance Freshman Fort Atkinson, Iowa
Amanda Zbilski Pole Vault/Sprints Freshman Lake in the Hills, Ill.


Indoor Track & Field




Dec. 05

UD Spartan-Duhawk Dual

Dubuque, Iowa

5:00 p.m.

Jan. 09

at Wartburg Relays

Waverly, Iowa

4:00 p.m.

Jan. 17

Solomon W. Butler Classic

Dubuque, Iowa

11:00 a.m.

Jan. 24

at Monmouth Invitational

Monmouth, Ill.

11:00 a.m.

Jan. 31

at Cornell Hilltop Invite

Mt. Vernon, Iowa

11:00 a.m.

Feb. 07

at Grinnell Invite

Grinnell College

11:00 a.m.

Feb. 14

at UW-P Invitational

Platteville, Wis.

11:00 a.m.

Feb. 20

UD Spartan Invite

Dubuque, Iowa

11:00 a.m.

Feb. 27-28

at IIAC Championships

Waverly, Iowa


Mar. 06

at UW-Platteville Last Chance

Platteville, Wis.


Mar. 07

at Pointer Qualifier

Stevens Point, Wis.


Mar. 13

at NCAA Indoor Championships

Salem, N.C.


Mar. 14

at NCAA Indoor Championships

Salem, N.C.



Season Statistics


University of Dubuque Track and Field Coaches Profile
Chad Gunnelson
Chad Gunnelson
Head Track and Field Coach; Head Cross Country Coach

BS, University of Dubuque; Health, Wellness, & Recreation

Office Phone: (563) 589-3860
Fax: (563) 589-3425
Office Location: 214 Mercer-Birmingham
Biography - Click to close

Chad Gunnelson is entering his third year leading the track & field and cross country programs. The 2013 IIAC Men’s Outdoor Conference Co-Coach of the Year and 2013 University of Dubuque Staff of the Year award winner has made an immediate impact in his short time as head coach.

In track & field, both the men’s and women’s teams competed to their best finishes in school history at the 2013 IIAC Indoor Conference Championships. In just two seasons, Gunnelson has coached 4 national qualifiers earning 2 All-American honors, 10 Conference Champions, 42 All-Conference Performers, and the Spartans have broken 20 school records. Off the track, the women’s team was named All-Academic by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) for the first time in 6 years in 2013, boasting a team GPA of 3.34 and placing 8 women on the Academic All-IIAC team that same year. The men’s team placed 5 on the Academic All-IIAC team in 2013 along with 2 earning Capital One Academic All-District honors and 1 athlete named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team.

In cross country, the UD women had their highest finish in school history at the 2012 IIAC Conference Championships, cutting over 3 minutes off of their 6k time from 2011. The men’s team was much improved as well, cutting almost 5 minutes off their 8K time from 2011 to 2012 with the top 12 runners being freshman. Six women have run Top 20 times on UD’s all-time list and 3 men have put up times in the Top 25. Off the course, the women’s team showcased a 3.39 GPA and their 5th straight USTFCCCA All-Academic honor in 2012. Also in 2012, the men’s team made their mark off the course with their first USTFCCCA All-Academic award ever.

Gunnelson has opened other doors for the track & field and cross country programs hosting high school meets, implementing the UD Track & Field Academy (a multi-day camp series), and the first ever UD Track & Field Coach’s Clinic attended by high school coaches from Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Gunnelson also created the Final Lap Club, an alumni booster club that promotes alumni involvement and provides newsletters and other opportunities to the numerous UD track and cross country alums all over the country.

Prior to his arrival at UD, Gunnelson spent six years as the Head Track & Field Coach at Madison East High School in Madison, Wis. for both the boy’s and girl’s teams. At Madison East, Gunnelson coached 22 school record holders and back-to-back state champions in 2010 (Gabe Heck – 3200m run) and 2011 (Travis Turnquist - 400m dash). Gunnelson resurrected track and field at Madison East by increasing team size from 38 athletes in 2006 to 90 in 2011. In Gunnelson’s final year, the Purgolders earned a 3.24 GPA, had 4 sectional champions, and placed all 4 state qualifiers on the podium at the WIAA state track meet including a state champion.

While coaching at East, Gunnelson was the Owner and CEO of Athletic Republic, a sports performance training facility near Madison, Wis. from 2007 to 2011. He built Athletic Republic into the largest training facility in the Madison area where over 600 youth, high school, college, professional, and Olympic athletes trained and improved their athletic ability each year.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to coach at the University of Dubuque”, says Gunnelson, "It is clear that the University invests so much in the academic and athletic success of each student-athlete, and to be part of that is an honor. I'm looking forward to recruiting quality athletes and quality young people from the tri-state area and having them join the talent and experience we have returning in both Cross Country and Track and Field."

"We are thrilled to have Coach Gunnelson join the Spartans," commented Dan Runkle, Director of Athletics. "Chad has proven himself as an excellent coach. He has a strong commitment to developing excellence both on the field and in the classroom. His recruiting ability will be instrumental toward the success of the program."

A native of Madison, WI, Coach Gunnelson is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USTFCCCA (United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association), and USATF (United States Track and Field Association). He currently holds the USTFCCCA Jumps Specialist Certification, USTFCCCA Technical Certification, USTFCCCA Program Management Certification, USATF - Level 1 Coaching Certification, and is CPR/AED/First Aid certified by the American Red Cross.

Geoff Gundlach
Geoff Gundlach
Assistant Cross Country Coach; Assistant Track and Field Coach

BS, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Office Phone: (563) 589-3714
Fax: (563) 589-3425
Office Location: 215 Mercer-Birmingham
Biography - Click to close

Geoff Gundlach begins his third year as an Assistant Coach for both the cross country and track & field programs in 2013.

UD saw an immediate impact in the endurance events after Coach Gundlach’s arrival. He was instrumental his first year in 2011-12, helping two Spartan women cross country runners to Top 10 performances in school history. During his first track season, he helped the men's track team to its highest finish in seven years at the IIAC Indoor Meet and their highest finish in six years at the IIAC Outdoor Championships. Gundlach was also responsible for coaching the women's outdoor 4x800m team to a new school record that same season.

His guidance during the 2012-2013 season became much more evident as he coached the UD women to their highest conference finish in the school’s history at the IIAC Conference Cross Country Meet. The Men’s team also placed three runners in the school’s Top 25 times in school history and cut almost 5 minutes off their 8k time from 2011 to 2012. Gundlach’s middle distance runners shined in 2013 breaking the men’s and women’s 4x800m relay records both indoor and outdoor, with the men’s outdoor record being over 50 years old. The UD women also broke the indoor school record in the Distance Medley Relay making that 5 total school records broken for 2012-13. Coach Gundlach also helped guide the first pair of UD women’s distance runners in placing at Outdoor Conference in the same event, the 10,000m run.

A native of Madison, WI, Gundlach competed for the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in both cross country and track & field. While a member of the UW-O cross country team from 2004-07, he earned four letters and competed at DIII Nationals in 2006, where UW-O finished 9th overall. As a member of the UW-O track & field team from 2005-2009 Gundlach placed in the mile, 5000m, and distance medley relays at the Indoor and Outdoor WIAC Championships. He was also a member of the 2009 UW-Oshkosh National Championship teams, both Indoor and Outdoor.

Gundlach received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2009 and will finish his Master’s in Communication at the University of Dubuque this fall.

He currently holds a USATF - Level 1 Coaching Certification and is CPR/AED/First Aid certified by the American Red Cross.

Patrick Lockington
Patrick Lockington
Assistant Track and Field Coach

BS, Finance, UW-Whitewater

Office Location: 223 Mercer-Birmingham
Biography - Click to close

Patrick Lockington returns for his second year as assistant coach in charge of pole vault and high jump for the University of Dubuque.

During his first season as vertical jumps coach at UD, Lockington guided the Spartans to exceptional performances, earning the 2014 Indoor USTFCCCA Central Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year award. The vertical jumpers achieved 20 top-10 all-time performances, earned five All-Iowa Conference (IIAC) awards, broke two school records, and won two Iowa Conference titles. UD pole vaulters brought home two All-American trophies and a NCAA Outdoor Individual Championship. Lockington also manages all equipment and apparel for the Spartans track & field and cross country programs.

Before becoming a Spartan, Coach Lockington competed as a decathlete at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he was both a conference champion and national qualifier. He specialized in the pole vault and earned several honors from the track program. He also served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for four years, spending two of those years on the board as their treasurer. Coach Lockington graduated from UW-Whitewater in May of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and is pursuing his Master’s in Business Administration at UD.

Lockington is originally from Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He holds a Jumps Specialist Certification from the USTFCCCA and is CPR/First Aid/AED certified by the American Red Cross.

Jake Malm
Jake Malm
Assistant Track and Field Coach

BS, Kinesiology, University of Minnesoata

Office Location: 223 Mercer-Birmingham
Biography - Click to close

Jake Malm enters his second year as the throws coach for the Spartans after an impressive debut in 2014.

Malm coached the throwers to 37 top-10 all-time performances in UD history while the throwers set five school records, and claimed two All-Iowa Conference honors. Malm has also accepted the role of Recruiting Coordinator in 2014-15 and will lead the charge in continuing to grow a program that has tripled in size over the previous three seasons. His guidance of the throwers in 2014 helped lead the women’s team to their best team finishes in school history at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships.

Prior to coming to UD, Malm was an assistant at Hamline University in 2013.

As a student-athlete, Malm competed as a thrower for the University of Minnesota and was a member of three Big Ten Conference championship teams. Off the track, he was a two-time recipient of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award and a three-time member of the Big Ten Conference All-Academic Team. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Communication at the University of Dubuque.

Along with coaching, Malm also works in the Dubuque community as a sports performance professional, training youth and high school athletes to become better at their respective sports and reduce their risk of injury.

Malm is originally from Grand Forks, North Dakota. He currently holds a Throws Specialist Certification from the USTFCCCA, a USATF Level 1 Coaching Certification and is CPR/AED/First Aid certified by the American Red Cross.


Select a season for historical information and statistics

  • 2013 Track & Field
  • 2012 Track & Field
  • 2011 Track & Field
  • 2010 Track & Field

Record Book