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Waldorf’s Gilbertson, Jacobi battle in decathlon at Phil Esten Challenge

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Matt Oliver

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin – Caleb Gilbertson and Justin Jacobi made school history for the Waldorf University men’s track and field team, becoming the program’s first-ever athletes to compete in the decathlon during the Phil Esten Challenge.

Gilbertson and Jacobi closed out the two-day competition on Friday.

“They both did very well,” Waldorf coach Kelsey Riggins said. “I am extremely proud of their toughness and dedication.”

Each of the 10 events utilizes a decathlete’s performance to determine the number of points awarded in each event, and the combined totals account for the overall score.

Gilbertson earned 11th place with 4,905 points as the sophomore from Hayfield, Minnesota finished just 40 points short of a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national-qualifying standard. Jacobi took 12th with 4,749 points.

Gilbertson opened the decathlon, sprinting to fourth in the 100-meter dash in 11.50 seconds to score 753 points. Jacobi ran to 12th (12.25) to record 603 points.

In the long jump, Gilbertson secured fifth at 6.00 meters (19 feet, 8.25 inches) for 587 points. Jacobi came in ninth with a mark of 5.71 meters (18 feet, 9 inches) to tally 525 points.

Going to work in the shot put, Jacobi placed 13th with a 9.73-meter (31-foot-11.25-inch) toss to earn 469 points. Gilbertson finished 14th at 9.27 meters (30 feet, 5 inches) to register 442 points.

Competing in the high jump, Gilbertson locked up sixth as he cleared the bar at 1.76 meters (5 feet, 9.25 inches) for 593 points. Jacobi tied for eighth with a 1.73-meter (5-foot-8-inch) jump for 569 points.

In the 400, Jacobi closed out the event in eighth (55.51) to add 578 points while Gilbertson crossed the finish line in ninth (55.58) to earn 576 points.

Jacobi chased down fifth (16.01) in the 110 hurdles for 732 points, and Gilbertson ended the event in 13th (18.87) for 444 points.

Gilbertson took ninth in the discus, providing a 27.23-meter (89-foot-4-inch) launch to score 410 points and break Demetrius Baker‘s previous school record of 25.73 meters (84 feet, 4.99 inches). Jacobi placed 15th at 17.06 meters (56 feet) for 218 points.

Gilbertson established a school record in the pole vault, coming in 14th at 2.50 meters (8 feet, 2.5 inches) for 242 points.

Jacobi finished 12th in the javelin, notching a distance of 35.18 meters (115 feet, 5 inches) to contribute 373 points to his score. Gilbertson placed 13th with a 34.45-meter (113-foot) throw for 362 points.

Jacobi turned in a strong performance in the 1,500 as the freshman from Belle Plaine charged to third (4:39.79) to rack up 682 points. Gilbertson ended the race in 12th (5:11.35) for 496 points.

The Phil Esten Challenge marked the first decathlon for Gilbertson and Jacobi, who will represent the Warriors in the 10-event competition when Waldorf hosts the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Outdoor Championships on May 11-13.

“They learned a lot,” Riggins said. “We know what we need to work on to improve for the conference meet.”