Strandemo Leads Gophers at Meyo Invite

Feb. 4, 2017

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Madeline Strandemo ran the second-fastest mile in program history to lead the University of Minnesota women's track & field team on day two at Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational on Saturday.

Strandemo clocked a career-best time of 4:38.88 to finish eighth at the meet and move into second in Gophers' history. She improved on her previous PR by three and a half seconds (4:42.24, which ranked sixth in program history), and was just 0.08 seconds off Minnesota's program record held by Heather Dorniden at 4:38.80 since 2009.

"Maddie did a great job, just missing the school record, and it was a big PR," director of women's track & field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "I'm very happy for her. She is just so deserving. She works hard and has the right attitude. Coming into it today, she had a great attitude and knew she was going to be successful. She is confident in herself, and she approached it that way. It was just an awesome day for her and Coach Hopkins."

Over the two-day meet, the Gophers saw consistency and subtle improvements with 10 top-10 finishes and 13 career-best marks.

"We had a few lifetime bests and a number of season-bests with improvements in terms of development," Bingle said. "We had a lot of little good things happen with consistency by a lot of people and little breakthroughs for other people.

"Rachel Schow ran a PR in the 200m, Emma and Kim are consistently running faster than they were at this time last year, Brieasha ran a PR in the 400m, Paige Peschel ran two PRs, and the 5K was very good," Bingle continued. "We can't get too greedy, but we're getting to the point of the season where it's time to step up, rise up to the next level, and keep fighting."

After running a PR in the 600-meter run (1:34.99) on Friday evening, Paige Peschel followed up with her second career-best of the weekend with a time of 2:13.39 in the 800-meter run. Peschel's time marks the second-fastest by a Gopher so far this season and landed her in 30th place overall.

In the 60-meter hurdles, Kimberly Golding and Emma Spagnola finished fourth and fifth, respectively, maintaining consistency. Golding ran her third-best time of the season at 8.27 with Spagnola on her heels in 8.30, her second-best time of the year.

Tayler Whittler clocked her fastest time of the season in the 60-meter dash preliminary heats, running 7.53 to improve on her mark as the seventh-fastest Gopher in program history. Whittler finished fifth overall, running 7.56 in the final in a field that began with 65 runners. Erin Hawkins finished 22nd in 7.79 seconds after clocking a season-best time of 7.59 seconds in prelims.

In the 400-meter dash, Emerald Egwim led the Gophers, clocking a season-best time of 54.39 seconds for seventh place overall. Brieasha Hobbs (55.76) and Bolade Jinadu (56.85) each ran career-best times while Kat Keller also clocked a season-best at 56.76. The quartet ran four of the fastest six times by the Gophers this season.

Hobbs, Spagnola, Jinadu, and Egwim teamed up on the 4x400-meter relay, running Minnesota's second fastest time of the season at 3:44.41 to place 14th overall.

In the field events at the Meyo Invite, Shanique Wright posted a mark of 12.34m (40-06.00) to place sixth of 34 athletes in the triple jump, and Cami Gilson tied for ninth in the pole vault at 3.90m (12-09.500.

Friday at the Meyo Invite saw the Gophers go six-for-six in career-best times in the 5,000-meter run led by Patty O'Brien (16:46.09) and Bailey Ness (16:47.68) with top-10 finishes. Tamara Gorman (17:05.66), Emily Betz (17:22.28), Molly Eastman (17:30.27), and Abby Kargol (17:34.22) also posted PRs.

Day one action also included Peschel's career-best 1:34.99 in the 600m and Hawkins leading the Gophers in the 200-meter dash with a season-best time of 24.42 seconds. Whittler (season-best 24.74) finished 14th, and Rachel Schow (career-best 24.78) took 16th. Bolade Jinadu also ran a career-best time in 25.06 while Kat Keller ran a season-best 25.56.

"We're coming up on another big weekend here with groups competing at two good meets at Vanderbilt and Iowa State," Bingle said. "We have plenty of work to do, but plenty of time to do it if we focus on taking the next step and execute."

The Gophers will split the squad at three meets next weekend with Maroon & Gold representatives headed to the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa, and the Music City Challenge hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., next Friday and Saturday along with a group competing locally at the UST Showcase at the University of St. Thomas on Friday.





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