Willis' School Record Highlights Gophers' First Day at Big Ten Championships
Feb. 22, 2013
A school record and runner-up finish by Todea-Kay Willis highlighted the Golden Gophers' first day of the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Minnesota stands in fifth place with 24 points. Nebraska (50) leads the way.
Willis smashed the school long jump record on her way to the second runner-up finish of her Big Ten indoor career. Willis leaped 20 feet, 7 3/4 inches (6.29m) to finish second behind Nebraska's Mara Griva (20-9). She passed Christin Kingsley's Minnesota record of 20-5, set in 2009. Willis also finished second in 2011, and missed the 2012 indoor season with an injury.
Laura Docherty and Molly Kayfes ran Minnesota top-10 personal-record times to score in the 3,000 meters. Docherty finished third in 9:23.60, No. 3 in school history, while Kayfes finished sixth in 9:30.39, ninth all-time.
Katie Murgic pole vaulted to seventh place to score for the Gophers. She tied her best mark of the season, clearing 12-7 1/2 (3.85m).
Christina DeLakis just missed scoring in the shot put. She finished ninth with her best toss of the season, 50-2 1/2 (15.30m).
Several Gophers turned in impressive times in qualifying for tomorrow's running event finals. Before finishing second in the long jump, Willis posted a new PR in the 60-meter dash. She was the second-fastest qualifier in 7.42 seconds, and now ranks third in school history. Kylie Peterson also advanced to the 60-meter final (7.49).
The Gophers advanced a handful of mid-distance runners to finals. Adderley's 800m time of 2:07.43, sixth in school history, gives her the fifth seed for tomorrow's final. Brooks won her heat of the 600m with the fourth-best time of the field, 1:30.61. In the mile, Becca Dyson qualified with a PR of 4:47.84.
"We had a really good day," director of track and field/cross country Matt Bingle said. "People competed well in the pressure situation that is the Big Ten Championships. We had a lot of PRs, even with people who didn't make finals. We're where we're supposed to be right now. We just need to come back tomorrow and take care of business."
The women's competition will resume tomorrow morning with the high jump at 11 a.m. CT. Twelve events remain to be decided.