No. 13 Minnesota Wins Fourth-Straight Dual

Jan. 13, 2018

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MINNEAPOLIS - The No. 13 University of Minnesota women's track & field team defeated No. 11 Wisconsin by a score of 88-69 in the fourth-annual Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Dual on Saturday at the Minnesota Fieldhouse.

The Gophers won six events on the track and added another three titles in the field events on the way to their fourth consecutive Border Battle crown.

"Obviously, it was a great day for us as a team to win again," director of women's track & field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "It's something that the team prides itself on each year, trying to win The Dual. It was a great effort by them, a great team day with great atmosphere, and it was a lot of fun for our team all day. It's always fun to win at home."

Madeline Strandemo (mile) and Emerald Egwim (400m) defended titles from last season, and Rachel Schow (60m hurdles), Titania Markland (600m), Val Larson (800m), and the 4x400m relay team of Brieasha Hobbs, Schow, Egwim, and Markland also won titles on the track.

"We're excited about where we're at as a team right now after one weekend," Bingle said. "We feel like we're at a good spot. The big thing is we're heading to Iowa next weekend for a great national caliber meet, so we'll see where we're at as we move forward and how we have to get better. This was a good first meet for us."

In the field events, Kiley Sabin threw 16.78m (55-00.75) to defend her Border Battle shot put title from a year ago, and long jump champion Ayesha Champagnie and weight throw champion Kaitlyn Long won their respective events and set new Minnesota indoor program records.

Champagnie posted a career-best leap of 6.56m (21-06.25) to win long jump and improve on the old Minnesota record held by Todea-Kay Willis (20-07.75, 6.29m) since 2013 while Long posted the second-best throw in the NCAA this season at 22.74m (74-07.25) to crush the Gophers' previous weight throw record of 21.05m (69-00.75) held by Liz Alabi since 2007.

"We're excited for Kaitlyn, breaking the school record and the all-time Big Ten record," Bingle said. "I believe she's second or third in the country right now. I'm excited about her. It was well-deserved for her. We're also really excited for Ayesha, breaking the school record in the long jump and having a great mark at the NCAA level. We're happy for Maddie, Kiley, Titania, Emerald, and Rachel, those athletes who won their events; it was a great day for them as well."

The Gophers set four new Dual meet records as Markland (1:30.51 in 600m), Strandemo (4:48.04 in mile), Champagnie (6.56m, 21-06.25 in long jump), and Long (22.74m, 74-07.25) set meet records on the way to winning their respective events.

All three Gophers set career-best marks in the 60m hurdles led by Hobbs' runner-up finish in 7.60 seconds. Sophia Anderson (7.91) placed fourth and Lindsey Smits (8.02) was fifth. Hobbs added another PR in the 200m, clocking a time of 24.92 seconds for her second runner-up finish of the meet.

Larson's winning 800m time was a career-best 2:13.80 while Abby Lange also clocked an 800m PR as runner-up in 2:14.24.

Along with three titles in the field events, the Gophers earned three runner-up finishes in high jump, triple jump, and pole vault. Heta Tuuri finished second in high jump, clearing 1.75m (5-08.25) to lead the Gophers, while Lorean Murray jumped 12.03m (39-05.75) for a new career best and a runner-up finish in triple jump.

In pole vault, Lexi Kiefer and Karlie Place both cleared 3.91m (12-10.00) to set new career-best marks and move into a tie for eighth in Minnesota program history. They finished second and third, respectively, at the meet.

Members of the Gopher women's track & field team also competed locally at the UST Opener hosted by the University of St. Thomas on Friday evening where Minnesota won six events. Elyse Prescott (3,000m), Lindsey Greenlund (mile), Kelsey Sather (800m), and Alyssa Faucett (tied for long jump title) won their respective events competing in uniform while unattached rookie Tess Keyzers won both shot put and weight throw.

Next weekend, the Gophers travel to Iowa City, Iowa, for the University of Iowa Larry Wieczorek Invite on Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20. Members of the team not traveling witll compete locally at the St. Thomas Invite on Friday.

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