Kotarak, Bilskie Each Win NACC Championships

Kotarak, Bilskie Each Win NACC Championships

KENOSHA, Wisconsin – Junior Jerica Kotarak won both the long and triple jump events and senior Jessica Bilskie was victorious in the 55m hurdles to lead the MSOE women's track & field team to a fourth-place finish at the NACC Indoor Championships Sunday at the Tarble Center.

The Raiders scored 65 points to edge Benedictine by two points for fourth place. They improved their finish at the league indoor meet for the fourth-straight season.

Kotarak was named the Athlete of the Meet and repeated as Indoor Field Athlete of the Meet. She remained perfect in the horizontal jumps in NACC competitions, winning the long jump by 9 1/2 inches over second place and eclipsing her school, league, and meet record by a quarter inch in the process. In the triple jump, she leaped 37-2 1/4 to win by 4 1/4 inches.

She also scored in the 55m, running 7.60 and taking sixth in the finals.

Bilskie won a hurdle event at her second-straight league meet after claiming the 400m hurdles crown at the outdoor meet last season. She was second in the preliminaries before unleashing a time of 8.82 in the finals to win by 0.20 seconds. In addition to the hurdles, she also competed and scored in the pole vault. She posted a final height of 9-6 1/4 and was sixth.

Kotarak and Bilskie were also a part of the record-breaking 4x400m relay. They ran with juniors Patty Bray and Maia Heineck and combined on a time of 4:18.43 to take fourth place and surpass the previous record of 4:20.32 set last season.

The team's distance medley relay also took fourth. Bray teamed with juniors Kayla Thilges, Samantha Brooker, and sophomore Morgan Balog finished with a time of 14:05.32.

Individually, Bray also scored in the 800m. She crossed the line in 2:27.25 and placed sixth.

MSOE boasted three scorers in the high jump, including senior Lea Buchholz, who tied for second. Buchholz cleared a height of 4-11 1/2 to lead the way, as senior Rachel Lynde and freshman Michaela Baraglia also scored. Lynde posted a final height of 4-9 1/2 and Baraglia cleared 4-7 1/2.

Some Raiders will continue the indoor season next Friday at a Last Chance Qualifier at Carthage in the same facility as today's meet. Kotarak is ninth nationally in the long jump and 34th in the triple jump. She is looking to qualify for her fifth-straight NCAA Championships.