Gophers' 4x400-Meter Relay Team Breaks Record
Feb. 1, 2014
AMES, Iowa – The Golden Gophers' 4x400-meter relay team of seniors Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderly and Megan Geyen and freshman Titania Markland set a new Minnesota school record in 3:38.10 to seal Minnesota's second-place team finish at the Bill Bergan Invitational Saturday afternoon.
The record-breaking 4x400m relay performance topped Minnesota's previous school record by 2.6 seconds, improving on a 3:40.77 ran by Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas and Mollie Hupp in 2006. The Gophers also broke the Bill Bergan Invitational meet record, set by host Iowa State in 2010, by nearly five seconds (3:42.96).
"The 4x400m was really fun to watch," director of women's cross country and track and field Matt Bingle said. "They have always had the ability to get there, so it was good to see them perform well. We had some good competition, so that always helps."
Minnesota finished second in the team standings with 120 points behind Kansas State (145 points). Host Iowa State (98), Texas (68) and South Dakota (61) rounded out the top five at the 10-team meet.
"Overall, I thought it was a good team weekend," Bingle said. "We had lots of great performances from all groups, which is kind of what we wanted. We wanted to see everybody take another step forward. Everybody did a good job against some better competition. It was fun to watch. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it was fun to see them perform well."
Bollig won the mile run by nearly five seconds in a lifetime-best 4:46.49, defeating second-place Erin Teschuk of North Dakota State (4:51.31). Bollig trimmed over seven seconds off her mile time of 4:54.34 from the Northwest Open earlier this season.
"Maggie basically ran the mile by herself," Bingle said. "Becca Dyson was in the race, too, but she wasn't feeling well, so we decided to just have her run the first 1,000m and kind of pace her. Bollig ran the rest of it by herself and did a great job."
In addition, Mincke won the 1,000-meter run in 2:51.14. Fellow senior Katie Hill came in third in 2:53.16. Mincke clocked the Gophers' fastest 1,000m time since 2008 when Nikki Swenson ran a 2:48.93.
Minnesota claimed runner-up finishes in two more events with Brooks running a season-best 2:06.95 in the 800-meter run for second place and junior Molly Kayfes taking second in the 3,000-meter run (9:31.75).
Behind runner-up Kayfes, the Gophers placed six more runners in the top 11 of the 3,000m. Senior Laura Docherty was in fourth (9:35.41), and all seven Minnesota runners ran season-best times, including three career-best performances by senior Kelli Budd (sixth in 9:39.05), redshirt sophomore Liz Berkholtz (seventh in 9:39.30), and redshirt sophomore Kaila Urick (eighth in 9:39.83). Seniors Rachel Drake (10th in 9:45.47) and Katie Moraczewski (11th in 9:48.23) also ran their best times of the season.
"In the 3K, it was nice to see Kayfes and Docherty do well and get some PRs for some of the younger runners," Bingle said. "It was a good effort by those guys. Everybody walked away confident and feeling good about it."
Several other Gophers also posted season-best or personal-best performances at the Bill Bergan Invitational as well.
Junior Lauren Domski bettered her indoor and outdoor personal best in the 800m, clocking a 2:12.28 for ninth place.
Redshirt freshman Erin Hawkins ran a season-best 24.99 in the 200-meter dash, finishing ninth as the top six runners broke the Bill Bergan meet record (24.54). Hawkins also ran the 60-meter dash in 7.78.
Three Gophers competed in the 400-meter dash, and all three earned top-10 finishes with two season-best times. Geyen was sixth in a season-best 55.18, followed by Markland in seventh in a season-best 55.87. Junior Jessica Waldvogel came in 10th just .02 seconds off her season-best in 57.59.
Three Gopher throwers finished in the top five of the shot put, led by freshman Kailee Kamps in third with a personal best throw of 48-10.75 (14.90m). Sophomores Becci Osterdyk (48-04.50, 14.74m) and Lyndsey Thorpe (46-11.50, 14.31m) were fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Gopher pole vaulters maintained their consistency as sophomore Cami Gilson placed third and junior Katie Murgic placed fifth. Both cleared 12-9.50 (3.90m), marking the third-straight meet they have both gone over 12-9.50.
Redshirt freshman Audra Winter came in seventh in the 60-meter hurdles in 9.09, just .07 off her season-best time of 9.02. She also came in sixth in long jump with a leap of 17-5.50 (5.32m).
"It was nice to see some people have some breakthroughs, knowing that we can train through the next 10 days or so and come back at it," Bingle said.
The Gopher pentathletes turned in a solid showing during day one of the Bill Bergan Invitational on Friday. Jess Herauf placed third in the pentathlon, posting a personal-best 4,008 points to rank seventh in the NCAA this year and second all-time in Gopher program history. Alex Beckman placed fifth at the meet (3,669) and fifth among the Gopher all-time ranks, and Amanda Beckman was eighth at the meet (2,697).
"The pentathlon was good and fun to watch," Bingle said. "They responded well to the competition and had lots of little PRs on things they've been working on improving. There's still a lot of room for improvement there, but it was good. Nice little statement, and now we have to get back to it. We'll give them a little recovery and then get back to work later this week."
The Gophers also placed four in the top 12 of the weight throw on Friday, led by junior Devin Stanford in fourth (57-07.75, 17.57m) and Thorpe in fifth (57-00.25, 17.38m). Kamps (49-05.50, 15.07m) and redshirt freshman Angie Guenther (49-04.50, 15.05m) were 10th and 12th, respectively.
Minnesota will split its squad next Saturday, sending the pole vaulters to Mankato, Minn., for the Ted Nelson Classic hosted by Minnesota State and sending another group of Gophers to River Falls, Wis., for the UW-River Falls Invitational.
Bill Bergan Invitational Team Standings