Geyen, Brooks Lead Gophers with Career Bests
Feb. 15, 2014
AMES, Iowa - The 400-meter and mid-distance runners led the Golden Gopher women's track and field team at day two of the Iowa State Classic with fifth place showings in the 400-meter dash, 800-meter run and 4x400-meter relay, a win by Maggie Bollig in the 1,000-meter run and four sub-5:00 miles.
"It was a good team weekend, just another overall strong team performance," director of women's cross country and track and field Matt Bingle said. "Everybody took another step forward, not necessarily with their performance but emotionally or technically, things are coming together.
"The big thing is that emotionally and mentally, we handled the competition well and just did our thing this weekend. I feel pretty good about where we're at for this time of the year."
Senior Megan Geyen took fifth in the 400-meter run in a career-best 54.41 to climb to second on the Gopher all-time performance list, only trailing Rikita Butler's 54.35 set in 2010. Junior Jessica Waldvogel was ninth in a season-best 56.23, and the unseeded 400-meter dash saw freshman Titania Markland take second in a career-best 55.77, which would have placed ninth in the seeded race.
Fellow senior Alena Brooks led the Gophers with a career-best 2:04.90 for fifth place in the 800-meter run, the fifth-best time in the NCAA this season and a national indoor 800m record for her native Trinidad. Brooks was just 0.60 shy of Minnesota's program record of 2:04.30, held by Heather Dorniden (2006). Junior Lauren Domski (16th, 2:12.36), senior Te'Shon Adderley (2:12.52, 17th) and senior Katie Hill (2:13.10, 20th) also raced in the seeded section of the 800m. Meanwhile, junior Madison Smith was fourth in the unseeded 800-meter run in 2:17.55.
Minnesota picked up another fifth-place finish in the 4x400m relay as Markland, Geyen, Waldvogel and Adderley and finished in 3:43.60.
Senior Maggie Bollig won the 1,000-meter run 2:50.33 for Minnesota's fastest 1,000m time of the season.
Four Gophers recorded sub-5:00 mile times, and all six runners recorded season-best times led by sophomore Becca Dyson's 4:50.93 for 14th place. Senior Cassy Opitz (17th in 4:53.02), senior Kaitlin Mincke (20th in 4:53.51) sophomore Anne Ferguson (24th in 4:57.84) all broke 5:00. Sophomores Stacey Swatek (5:02.24) and Andie Zeman (5:03.38) also ran.
The Gophers saw several other strong, consistent performances.
Senior Katie Moraczewski took 19th in the 3,000-meter run in a season-best 9:47.80, and senior Ashlie Decker was 23rd in her first 3,000m race of the season. Meanwhile, redshirt freshmen Haley Johnson (9:53.34) and Taylor Mikkalson (9:58.63) were fourth and seventh, respectively, in the unseeded section with season-best times.
Most of the field events took place on Friday, but the Gophers delivered strong performances in the pole vault and shot put on Saturday.
Junior Katie Murgic led the Gopher pole vaulters in third place with a career-best mark of 13-02.25 (4.02m). Sophomore Cami Gilson cleared 12-08.25 (3.87m) for sixth and Stephanie Oleson was eighth (11-07.00, 3.53m).
Two Gophers finished in the top seven in the shot put. Redshirt freshman Kailee Kamps took fifth with a throw of 48-07.50 (14.82m) to lead Minnesota, and sophomore Becci Osterdyk was seventh at 48-01.25 (14.66m). Fellow sophomore Lyndsey Thorpe posted a toss of 44-10.75 (13.68m) for 13th overall.
In day one action of the Iowa State Classic, junior Devin Stanford recorded a lifetime-best mark in the weight throw at 62-01.00 (18.92m) for fourth place, and junior Molly Kayfes clocked a season-best 16:19.12 for ninth place in the 5,000-meter run. Minnesota also recorded the fifth-best distance medley relay time in program history as Katie Hill, Megan Geyen, Alena Brooks and Maggie Bollig took second in 11:12.85.
Next weekend, Minnesota hosts its annual Parents Day Invite at the U of M Fieldhouse on Saturday, Feb. 22. The meet gets underway at 10 a.m.