April 29, 2012
While the final day of the adidas/Steve Scott Invitational (Irvine, Calif.) did not go as well as the Golden Gophers would have liked, they did earn a big win in the 4x100-meter relay.
Todea-Kay Willis, Nyoka Giles, Chimerem Okoroji, and Kylie Peterson crossed the finish line in 44.95 seconds to claim their third title in the event this spring with their fastest time yet. This group of Golden Gophers already ranked fourth in Minnesota history, but shaved 27 hundredths of a second off the previous No. 4 time.
This was Willis's second victory of the meet, as she also claimed the title in the long jump yesterday with a mark of 19-09 1/2 (6.03m). The Gophers did not win any other events in Irvine, but they did see personal records from competitors like Madison Smith (1:02.13 in the 400m hurdles) today and Katie Murgic (pole vault), Amy Kubat (hammer), and Devin Stanford (hammer) yesterday.
Minnesota also had runners at Macalester's Janis Rider Invitational today in St. Paul. Chelsea Pettit (10:59.43) and Kayla Dahl (11:34.47) took first and second in the 3,000m. Christina DeLakis and Shanna Campbell did the same in the shot put, with throws of 50-11 (15.52m) and 41-07 1/4 (12.68m), respectively. DeLakis bettered her previous PR by nine inches.
Today's competition concluded five consecutive days of meets for the Minnesota track & field squad. The Gophers' time at the Drake Relays (Thursday-Saturday) was highlighted by a second-place finish in the 4x1,600 relay. Minnesota also notched six wins at the Hamline Twilight on Wednesday.
"We're a little banged up right now, but we've been training well," director of track & field/cross country Matt Bingle said. "We're doing a lot better than we were in the indoor season. I told the team that it's up to them now--they've got to manage their academics and training at the same time and get it together."
The Gophers will now gear up for the Big Ten Championships, which take place May 11-13 in Madison, Wis. Their final meet remaining before then is the Tommie Twilight on May 2 in St. Paul.
Strandemo Honored with B1G Accolades
Madeline Strandemo is this week's Big Ten Conference Track Athlete of the Week after her performance at the Raleigh Relays.
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.