Feb. 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota women's track and field team earned six event titles at its annual Parents Day Invite at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Gophers picked up three titles on the track in the 600-meter run, 800-meter run and 1,000-meter run, as well as earning wins in the shot put, weight throw and long jump.
"It was a good day for everybody with lots of season bests and some personal bests," director of women's track and field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "Over the last few weeks, we've managed to have some good team performances. The young people have continued to improve and the veterans have had success, too.
"We had a great week of training last week. I think they're getting more confident, and I feel like that will just keep building as we head into the outdoor season, too. We're taking a strong group to the Big Ten championships, and I'm excited to get going with it."
Freshman Titania Markland led the Maroon and Gold in the 600m run as the Gophers claimed five of the top eight places. Markland clocked a career-best 1:33.18 to win the event. Senior Te'Shon Adderly was second in 1:33.37, followed by Frances Conlin (fourth in 1:37.10), Madison Smith (sixth in 1:38.02), Kate Shelerud (eighth in 1:38.70), and Thana Hussein (18th in 1:42.02).
Senior Cassy Opitz won the 800m in a season-best 2:13.18, leading four Gophers in the race. Sophomores Anne Ferguson (fourth in 2:16.423), Andie Zeman (sixth in 2:16.60) and Lisa Bailey (16th in 2:28.49) also raced.
Sophomores Becci Osterdyk and Lyndsey Thorpe won the shot put and the weight throw, respectively, as the Gophers dominated the throwing events. Osterdyk posted a throw of 48-07.50 (14.82m) to tie Minnesota's season-best throw and win the shot put, followed by Thorpe in second (45-03.75, 13.81m) and Kailee Kamps in third (45-03.50, 13.80m).
Following Thorpe's season-best winning throw of 57-01.00 (17.40m) in the weight throw were freshmen Angie Guenther in second (54-05.25, 16.59m), Kamps in fifth (51-05.75, 15.69m) and Autumn Miller in seventh (49-04.50, 15.05m).
Minnesota also picked up runner-up finishes in the mile (Haley Johnson, 4:55.70), high jump (Katie Loberg, 5-03.75, 1.62m), pole vault (Katie Murgic and Cami Gilson tied at 12-11.75, 3.96m) and the distance medley relay (Ferguson, Jamie Vandenberg, Jillian Johnson and Zeman in 12:06.05).
The Gophers had top-three finishes in three other events as well. Senior Akuoma Omeoga took third in the 60-meter dash in 7.73, and senior Rachel Drake took third in the 3,000-meter run in 10:03.84. Minnesota's second distance medley relay team of Swatek, Bailey, Shelerud and Pettit was third as well.
Minnesota honored its 21 seniors at Saturday's meet, recognizing Te'Shon Adderley, Abby Anderson, Maggie Bollig, Alena Brooks, Kelli Budd, Ashlie Decker, Laura Docherty, Rachel Drake, Megan Geyen, Katie Hill, Jillian Johnson, Leighton Lerum, Katie Loberg, Kait Mincke, Katie Moraczewksi, Akouma Omeoga, Cassy Opitz, Morgan Sickels, Madison Smith, Stephanie Solfelt and Jamie Vandenberg for their contributions to Golden Gopher track and field.
"The seniors had a good day with lots of emotions out there with their parents," Bingle said. "I think they enjoyed the day. They always enjoy being with their families, and it turns out to be really nice celebration."
The Big Ten Indoor Championships are set for next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-March 1, at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Action gets underway at 9 a.m. CT both days. The championships will air on the Big Ten Network on tape delay on Saturday, March 8 at 9:30 a.m. CT.
UCLA Up Next for Gophers
Minnesota travels to Los Angeles, Calif., for the UCLA Legends Invitational this Friday and Saturday.
Warm-Up Lap: Q&A with Taylor Wiebke
Catch up with Gophers sophomore high jumper Taylor Wiebke after she earned Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week honors.
Gophers Earn Two Third-Place Finishes
Minnesota wrapped up competition at the Raleigh Relays with a pair of third-place finishes in the 800m and 4x800m relay on Saturday.