MINNEAPOLIS – The Big Ten champion Golden Gopher women's track & field team will have six representatives compete for the Maroon & Gold at next week's NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship.
All six of Minnesota representatives will compete in the field events led by three Gophers in the weight throw in Kaitlyn Long, Agnes Esser, and Nayoka Clunis. Kiley Sabin (shot put), Karlie Place (pole vault), and Ayesha Champagnie (long jump) will also represent the Gophers at the NCAA Indoor Championship, which will be held Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10 in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M.
Sabin returns to the NCAA Indoor Championship after earning Second Team All-America honors with a 15th-place finish in the shot put last season. Sabin's season-best mark of 16.96m (55-07.75) ranks 15th in the country this year.
Esser will make her NCAA indoor debut after placing 15th in the discus to earn Second Team All-America honors at the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championship. Esser's career-best throw of 21.67m (71-01.25) from the Parents Day Invite ranks ninth among the NCAA field.
Long, Clunis, Champagnie, and Place are making their NCAA Division I Indoor Championship debuts in their first season with the Gophers.
Long enters the weight throw ranked No. 2 in the NCAA this season with a career-best throw of 24.37m (79-11.50) at the Big Ten Championship. She is already a two-time NCAA Division II national champion in the weight throw while beginning her college career at Winona State.
Clunis joins Esser and Long in the weight throw field, ranked No. 11 at 21.48m (70-05.75), which she set at the B1G Championship. During her first two collegiate seasons, Clunis was an 11-time national place winner at the NJCAA Indoor and Outdoor National Championships, including winning the 2017 NJCAA discus national title, while competing for Cloud County Community College.
Champagnie is also no stranger to competing at the national level, entering her first NCAA Indoor Championship as a six-time National Junior College Athletic Association national champion. She won two titles each in pentathlon, heptathlon, and javelin while competing for Barton Community College. Champagnie enters the NCAA long jump with the third-best mark of the season at 6.56m (21-06.25), set at the Minnesota-Wisconsin Dual.
After beginning her college career at UW-Milwaukee, Place had a breakout season in her first year with the Gophers and will make her NCAA Championship debut ranked 16th in pole vault at 4.28m (14-00.50), which she cleared at the Jack Johnson Classic.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live starting at 5:30 p.m. CT on March 9 and starting at 4 p.m. CT on March 10. A re-air of the championship will take place starting at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, March 11 on ESPN2.
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Gophers Total 13 All-America Honors
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