The Golden Gopher women's track and field team will travel to Geneva, Ohio, for the Big Ten Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday. The SPIRE Institute will host the combined men's and women's conference meet. The facility has an eight-lane, 300-meter track. Minnesota will look to improve upon last year's finish and turn in some good performances from veterans and newcomers alike. See the meet notes for information on the roster, current rankings, team and event titles and Big Ten awards.
Coach Says... "We're better than last year," director of track and field/cross country Matt Bingle said. "Most of our Big Ten competitors from last year are healthy this year. I think we'll score a lot more points than last year. We're heading in the right direction. The Big Ten is a really deep conference, but the team has worked hard and is heading into the meet with the right attitude. This weekend will help us move into the outdoor season."
Seniors Look to End Indoor Big Ten Careers in Style Todea-Kay Willis, Kylie Peterson and Alena Brooks highlight a senior class that will compete in its final indoor conference championships this weekend. Willis set new personal records of 20-3 3/4 (6.19m) in the long jump (second at the ISU Classic) and 7.50 in the 60-meter dash (first at the Jack Johnson) this season. Peterson won the 60 meters at ISU in 7.46, .01 away from her PR.
Brooks Named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week Alena Brooks garnered her first-ever Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honors after her performance in the 800 meters and distance medley relay at the Meyo Invitational (Feb. 2). She finished second behind Olympian Geena Gall with a personal record time of 2:06.24. Brooks now ranks No. 2 on Minnesota’s all-time performers list, behind only Heather Dorniden.
Newcomers Shine for Minnesota Cami Gilson made Minnesota’s all-time top-10 list the first time she polevaulted as a Gopher, posting a mark of 12-8 1/4. She moved up to a tie for sixth all-time when she cleared 12-10 (3.91m) at Minnesota’s Parents Day Open. Te’Shon Adderley, a junior transfer, has made an impact in the mid-distance events. She set a school record (1:21.65) in winning the 600 yards at the Iowa State Classic, and ranks fourth in school history in the 800 meters (2:08.60).
Kayfes, Docherty Provide 1-2 Punch in Distance Events Molly Kayfes (16:31.47, fourth all-time) and Laura Docherty (16:32.35, sixth all-time) both ran Minnesota top-10 times in the 5,000 meters at the ISU Classic. At the Meyo Invitational, Docherty finished second in the 3,000m with a time of 9:28.45, No. 6 in Minnesota history. Molly Kayfes finished third, just missing the top 10 in 9:32.02. The pair has topped this season’s Gopher distance performance list since cross country in the fall.
Awards for Wilson As he completes his final season as a coach with the Gophers, Gary Wilson is being honored for his career coaching track and field and cross country. Most recently, he received the President's Award for Exemplary Service from the Minnesota Track Coaches Association. Wilson has also received the USTFCCCA’s Jimmy Carnes Distinguished Service Award, the Minnesota Distance Running Association's Lanin Award for Distinguished Service and a letter jacket and pin from the M Club.
Recapping the Jack Johnson Classic Todea-Kay Willis and Alena Brooks were double event winners for the Gophers at their biggest home meet. Willis won the long jump (19-6 1/4) Friday before setting a personal record of 7.50 seconds (fifth-best in school history) in the 60-meter dash. Brooks won the 600m (1:31.49) and was part of the Gophers' winning 4x400m relay team. Christina DeLakis won the shot put (49-9 3/4), and Devin Stanford and Jeri Johnson-Chambers both posted top-10 weight throws. Laura Docherty (mile) and Bria Halama (triple jump) also won their events.