On Friday, March 10, junior Mike Burgstrom traveled to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre-Haute, Ind. for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field championships, where he earned himself a fifth-place finish in the weight throw.
Burgstrom was incredibly happy with his performance and the experience of the entire weekend.
“The best part of the trip was the competition. I’ve been playing sports my entire life but have never experienced something of this magnitude,” Burgstrom said. “I have put in a lot of time and effort this year and to finally have it all pay off was a great feeling. Also, the post-Nationals steak dinner I shared with my coaches wasn’t too bad either.”
His fifth-place position placed him two spots ahead of his original seed of seventh. He also finished the indoor season as the top junior weight thrower in the nation.
“Leaving the meet as the top junior finisher in the competition was a great feeling and will definitely raise the expectations for myself heading into next year,” Burgstrom said.
In the trials, he finished tied for fifth place with his longest throw 17.67 meters. This throw secured him a spot in the finals, where his last throw was certainly not the least, as it was his longest of the day at 17.86.
“Although it was not my personal record, I was very pleased with how well the competition went,” Burgstrom said. “I was very consistent throughout all my throws and managed to finish two places above my seed, so in all it was a very successful meet.”
His throw also earned him All-American honors. The top eight finishers in the national championships are named All-Americans.
“Being an All-American this year in the weight has been a dream,” he said. “It was actually one of my goals for my career, so to accomplish it as a junior has been just that much more exciting.”
Burgstrom is now looking forward to continuing his great accomplishments in the outdoor season.
“I hope to carry my success from indoor over into outdoor,” he said. “Last year I had a rough last championship season in outdoor because of a series of injuries, so as long as I can stay healthy and keep working hard, it should make for a fun and interesting outdoor season.”
Senior Kari Joyce also represented UR in National Championship action, serving as a participant from UR’s swimming and diving teams at the NCAA Division III swimming and diving championships from March 7-10 at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas.
She qualified in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle at the UAA Championships in early February.
She traveled to Houston with swimming head coach Peter Thompson and assistant coach Brittany Achin.
While her 100 free time at nationals left her in 31st for the meet, the 200 free was an entirely different story. In the preliminaries, she placed 14th, which qualified her for the consolation final.
Her time of 1:54.52 also broke the existing UR school record, which she held, by .67 seconds. In the consolation finals, she finished 16th with a time of 1:55.13. The finish earned her All-American Honorable Mention honors.
Thompson stressed the importance of the accomplishment.
“About 250 student-athletes qualify for this meet. Getting there is a very big deal. Scoring there [is] even bigger.”
He also noted that Joyce will likely be an Academic All-American based on her outstanding academic performance in addition to her swimming abilities.
Joyce was pleased at the unique and less stressful environment that the national championships presented.
“When I qualified at UAAs I was really happy because I’ve wanted to go to the meet for all four years I’ve been here,” she said. “The national championships were a lot more relaxing than UAAs. You could focus more on your race.”
Moeller is a member of the class of 2009.Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.