April 26, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Career-best performances across the country highlighted the final day of a busy week of competition for the Minnesota women's track and field team. The Gophers competed at the Drake Relays, UC San Diego Triton Invitational and the Macalester Janis Rider Invitational Saturday.
Three Gopher set career bests in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Drake Relays, and Minnesota won four event titles in San Diego.
"Some people took the next step this weekend, but as a group we still have work to do," director of women's track and field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "Everyone is in the right spot, but we need to be able to continue to improve over the next few weeks."
The Gophers delivered strong performances on the final day of the Drake Relays, led by their seniors.
Three Gophers recorded career-best times in the 3,000m steeplechase, led by senior Kelli Budd in third overall (10:14.53). Fellow senior Katie Moraczewski took fifth (10:28.72), followed by sophomore Kaila Urick in a career-best 10:32.70 for eighth place. Urick moved into sixth on the Gophers' all-time list.
Sophomore Kate Bucknam (10:56.95) and redshirt freshman Taylor Mikkalson (10:58.27) finished 16th and 17th, respectively. Mikkalson cut over nine seconds off her previous lifetime best time (11:07.76).
The Gophers' distance medley relay team of senior Kaitlin Mincke, junior Lauren Domski, senior Te'Shon Adderley and senior Maggie Bollig came in fourth in 11:28.78 for the eighth-best time in Minnesota program history.
UC San Diego Triton Invitational
Senior Megan Geyen led the Gophers to three event titles at the Triton Invitational Saturday, racing on Minnesota's first-place 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay teams and picking up the individual title in the open 400-meter dash.
Geyen teamed with Akuoma Omeoga, Jessica Waldvogel and Erin Hawkins to win the 4x100m relay in 45.58. She joined Titania Markland, Waldvogel and Hawkins on the winning 4x400m relay team, which clocked a 3:39.43. Both relay teams recorded the eighth-best times in Gopher history.
Geyen won the open 400m in a season-best 54.18, followed by Waldvogel (career-best 55.15) and Markland (55.17) in second and third, respectively. Hawkins took fifth in the 200m in 24.41, and Omeoga finished seventh in the 100m (12.22).
Sophomore Cami Gilson secured Minnesota's fourth title of the meet with a win in the pole vault. Gilson tied her career-best mark at 12-11.50 (3.95m). Juniors Katie Murgic and Sara Tseng also had career-best performances as Murgic tied her career-best (12-07.50, 3.85m) for third place and Tseng cleared a new personal best of 12-01.50 (3.70m).
Redshirt freshman Kailee Kamps recorded a career-best throw in the shot put, finishing sixth with a throw of 49-01.50 (14.97m), and freshman Nicolle Murphy led the Gophers in the javelin with a fourth-place throw of 153-05 (46.76m).
Senior Katie Loberg and redshirt freshman Audra Winter led the Gophers in fifth and sixth, respectively, in high jump (5-04.25, 1.63m), and sophomore Kelly Flynn finished third in long jump in a career-best leap of 18-09.75 (5.73m).
Macalester Janis Rider Invitational
Minnesota earned five top-10 finishes at the Janis Rider Invitational, led by sophomore Megan Bailey's second-place showing in the 3,000-meter run in 10:35.05.
Redshirt freshmen Kate Shelerud and Thana Hussein also picked up top-five finishes. Shelerud finished fourth in the 800-meter run in 2:18.54, and Hussein made her outdoor debut with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash (1:00.31). Junior Chelsea Pettit joined Shelerud in the 800m, finishing seventh in a career-best 2:21.21.
Redshirt freshman Autumn Miller was the Gophers' lone field event competitor at Macalester. Miller finished ninth in the hammer throw (135-02, 41.21m).
The Gophers are slated to compete in three meets next week, beginning with the Tommie Twilight at St. Thomas on Wednesday afternoon. Minnesota is then split between the Hamline Meet of the Un-Saintly and the Musco Twilight next Friday and Saturday, May 2-3.
Esser Earns B1G Weekly Honors
The B1G leader in the discus, Agnes Esser is this week's Big Ten Conference Field Athlete of the Week.
Bingle Meets with Media
Director of women's track & field and cross country Matt Bingle reflects on the Kansas Relays and looks ahead to this week's competition.
Gophers to Split Squad at Four Meets
Minnesota will compete at Simpson College, Drake, Texas, and Macalester this week.