Feb. 8, 2014
RIVER FALLS, Wis. - The Minnesota women's track and field team claimed eight individual event titles, competing at the UW-River Falls Invitational and the Ted Nelson Classic hosted by Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon.
"It was a good day for the pole vault and a good day for our throwers with a lot of season-bests," director of women's track and field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "It was a good overall team day. They had fun and did a good job, so it was good for them to be in that environment. We saw some areas of improvement. This weekend, we have to be ready to go and take the next step at Iowa State."
The Gophers took seven event titles at the UW-River Falls Invitational, including two in the field events among five season-best performances.
All three Gophers recorded season-bests in the weight throw, led by junior Devin Stanford's first-place throw of 58-07.50 (17.87m). Freshmen Angie Guenther (50-11.50, 15.53m) and Autumn Miller (46-11.00, 14.30m) placed second and fifth, respectively.
Junior Nicole Murphey and sophomore Kelly Flynn claimed the top two places in the long jump. Murphey posted a season-best leap of 18-05.00 (5.61m), also setting a new UW-River Falls Knowles Center record. Meanwhile, Flynn also recorded a season-best jump at 17-09.00 (5.41m).
The Gophers also found success on the track with five event titles in the running events at the UW-River Falls Invitational.
Minnesota claimed the top 10 places in the mile, led by senior Cassy Opitz in a season-best 4:59.14. Seven of the 10 Gophers posted season-best times as Haley Johnson, Taylor Mikkalson, Anne Ferguson, Ashlie Decker, Stacey Swatek, Andie Zeman, Jamie Vandenberg, Jillian Johnson and Chelsea Pettit made up the top 10 milers.
Four Gophers ran the 3,000-meter run, led by redshirt freshman Melissa Cabak (10:20.34) and sophomore Hannah Trasser (10:20.58) clocking season-bests for first and second, respectively. Senior Stephanie Solfelt took fifth, and sophomore Megan Bailey came in seventh.
Junior Akuoma Omeoga won the 55-meter dash in 7.33, and sophomore Frances Conlin was second in 1:00.29 in her first open 400-meter dash of the season. In addition, the Gophers ran two 4x400-meter relay teams, claiming first and second.
The Gopher pole vaulters competed at the Ted Nelson Classic hosted by Minnesota State where sophomore Cami Gilson and junior Katie Murgic placed first and second, respectively, clearing 3.97 meters. Freshmen Stephanie Olseon (sixth, 3.67m) and Sara Tseng (10th, 3.42m) also placed in the top 10 of the 18-athlete field.
Next weekend, Minnesota is set to compete at the St. Thomas Showcase and the Iowa State Classic. The St. Thomas Showcase begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and the two-day Iowa State Classic is all day Feb.14-15.
Gopher Event Titles: UW-River Falls Invitational
Weight Throw: Devin Stanford, 58-07.50 (17.87m)
Long Jump: Nicole Murphey, 18-05.00 (5.61m)
55-Meter Dash: Akuoma Omeoga, 7.33
600-Meter Run: Kate Shelerud, 1:39.40
Mile: Cassy Opitz, 4:59.14
3,000-Meter Run: Melissa Cabak, 10:20.34
4x400-Meter Relay: Minnesota, 4:06.55
Gopher Event Titles: Ted Nelson Classic
Pole Vault: Cami Gilson, 3.97m
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