May 10, 2014
LA CROSSE, Wis. – Junior Devin Stanford led the way with titles in the discus and the hammer throw and redshirt freshman Taylor Mikkalson posted the team's all-time 10th-best time to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Golden Gophers competed at the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open Friday evening.
In total, the Gophers came away with five individual event titles in their final test before next week's Big Ten championships.
Stanford won the discus with a throw of 165-03 (50.38m), her second title in the discus this season. She was just four inches off her career best in the hammer throw, winning the event at 196-03 (59.82m), as well.
Mikkalson clocked a career-best 10:39.41 to win the 3,000m steeplechase and move into 10th in Gopher history. Mikkalson is the third Gopher to record a top-10 time in the steeplechase this season, joining senior Kelli Budd (fourth, 10:14.53) and redshirt sophomore Kaila Urick (sixth, 10:32.70) among the Gophers' all-time ranks.
Sophomore Anne Ferguson clocked her second-fastest 800-meter time of the season, winning the event in 2:13.02. Ferguson led three Gophers in the top five as sophomore Andie Zeman (2:13.53) and senior Jillian Johnson (2:14.26) both ran career-best times to finish third and fifth, respectively.
Of the nine Gophers in the 800m, six ran their career-best marks. Along with Zeman and Johnson, redshirt freshman Kate Shelerud (2:17.87), junior Madison Smith (2:20.92), senior Leighton Lerum (2:22.11) and sophomore Lisa Bailey (2:30.68) ran personal-record times.
Minnesota picked up a number of runner-up finishes as well. Sophomore Kate Bucknam came in second in the 3,000m steeplechase (10:57.35), and sophomore Becci Osterdyk was second in the shot put with a throw of 47-02.50 (14.39m), her second-best mark of the outdoor season.
Senior Cassy Opitz led seven Gophers in the 1,500-meter run, finishing second in 4:31.92. Redshirt freshman Haley Johnson took third in a career-best 4:33.51, and sophomore Jamie Piepenburg was fifth (4:38.57).
Junior Lauren Domski raced her first collegiate 400-meter dash, finishing fifth in 57.47, and sophomore Kelly Flynn finished fifth in long jump with a leap of 18-02.25 (5.54m), her second-best long jump of the season.
Minnesota heads to the 2014 B1G Championships next weekend, beginning Friday, May 16 and concluding Sunday, May 18. Purdue is set to host the 2014 championships at the Boilermakers' Rankin Track and Field.
Eight Gophers Advance to NCAA Championship
Minnesota's eight NCAA Championship qualifiers matches the most in program history.
Seniors Lead Gophers' NCAA Qualifiers
Liz Berkholtz, Nicolle Murphy, Lyndsey Thorpe, Heta Tuuri, and Kaila Urick join Jess Lehman in advancing to the NCAA Championship.
Day One NCAA West Prelim Action Postponed
Due to inclement weather, Thursday's competition at the NCAA West Prelim is postponed until Friday.