Gophers Set for NCAA Indoor Meet
March 7, 2018

NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship
Date Friday-Saturday, March 9-10, 2018
Location Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium | College Station, Texas
Meet Info NCAA Championship Info | Meet Info | Friday Start List | Saturday Start List
Time 5:15 p.m. CT Friday | 12 p.m. CT Saturday
Coverage Friday Video | Saturday Video | Schedule | Live Results | @GopherWCCTF | #Gophers

MINNEAPOLIS - Six individuals are set to represent the No. 11 Golden Gopher women's track & field team at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship this Friday and Saturday in College Station, Texas.

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 Maroon & Gold at the national meet.

About the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championship

The 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship will be held at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium hosted by Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, this Friday and Saturday. ESPN3 will stream the meet live starting at 5:30 p.m. CT Friday and 4 p.m. CT Saturday. A re-air of the championship will take place at 6 p.m. CT Sunday on ESPN2.

Gophers at the NCAA Championship

Kiley 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.

Agnes 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.

Kaitlyn Long, Nayoka Clunis, Ayesha Champagnie, and Karlie 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.

Last Time Out: Big Ten Championship

The Gophers won the program's fourth indoor and sixth overall Big Ten Conference Track & Field Championship this season. Led by Kaitlyn Long's weight throw title and runner-up showings by Titania Markland in the 600m, Madeline Strandemo in the mile, and Karlie Place in pole vault, the Gophers scored 91.50 points in the team race for a convincing team victory to defeat runner-up Purdue by 11.50 points. The Boilermakers recorded 80 points for second place, followed by Ohio State and Indiana tied for third with 75 points apiece while Iowa (74 points) rounded out the top five B1G women's teams.

2017 NCAA Indoor Championship Rewind

Four Gophers earned Second Team All-American honors as Emma Spagnola, Kimberly Golding, Kiley Sabin, and Emerald Egwim represented Minnesota at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championship. Spagnola led the Gophers with an 11th-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 8.16 seconds for her second-best mark of the year, while Golding came in 14th overall in 8.25 seconds. Sabin posted a 15th-place finish in the shot put in her NCAA Championship debut with a mark of 15.81m (51-10.50). Egwim recorded a 16th-place finish in the 400-meter dash in 53.80 seconds.

Gophers Enter NCAA Championship Ranked No. 11

Minnesota enters the NCAA Championship ranked No. 11 in the nation according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Week Seven National Team Computer Rankings. The Gophers made two appearances in the top 10 this season, marking the program's first top-10 rankings since the second week of the 2009 season. Minnesota remains the top-ranked Big Ten Conference team this week, joined by No. 15 Purdue in the top 25.

Program Records Fall in 2018

The Gophers have set new indoor program records in three events already this season: 3,000m (Bethany Hasz, 9:13.95), long jump (Ayesha Champagnie, 6.56m, 21-06.25), and weight throw (Kaitlyn Long, 24.37m, 79-11.50).

'U' Breaks Ground on T&F Facility

The University of Minnesota officially broke ground on a new outdoor track & field venue on Friday, Oct. 20. The new stadium will feature a nine-lane track with three chutes, full field event hosting capabilities, and a design to allow sprints and certain field events to be held in multiple directions to take advantage of wind conditions on competition days. These features, along with permanent and event-based seating, provide the flexibility and the amenities to host a wide variety of meets.

Gophers Welcome 19 Newcomers

The Gophers' 2018 roster includes 19 newcomers. Freshmen Sam Baer, Erin Dunning, Allison Gerads, Tess Keyzers, Bit Klecker, Anastasia Korzenowski, Lorean Murray, Hailey Poole, Molly Roach, Sophie Schmitz, Tate Sweeney, and Jaycie Thomsen have joined the Gophers this season along with seven transfers in sophomore Olivia Hummel, sophomore Maria Eastman, junior Ayesha Champagnie, junior Nayoka Clunis, senior Karlie Place, senior Delaney FitzPatrick, and senior Kaitlyn Long.

Meanwhile, Hannah Arason, Meleah Biermaier, Jenna Conzemius, Ryan Crotty, Carissa Dock, Alyssa Faucett, Maddie Gourley, Lindsey Greenlund, Bethany Hasz, Megan Hasz, Abby Kohut-Jackson, Val Larson, Zetta Mason, Elyse Prescott, Ashley Ramacher, Kelli Schmidt, Rebekah Walter, and Sarah Werking will make their official collegiate debuts this year after redshirting the 2017 season.

Gophers Name Captains

Four Gophers will lead the Maroon & Gold in search of the program's sixth Big Ten track & field title this season in Titania Markland, Temi Ogunrinde, Emma Spagnola, and Madeline Strandemo. Markland and Strandemo return as captains while Ogunrinde and Spagnola are first-year captains for Minnesota.

2017-18 Track & Field Schedule

Under the direction of Matt Bingle for the seventh season, the Gophers' 2017-18 schedule includes nine weeks of indoor meets and nine weeks of outdoor meets with competitions in 12 different states. The outdoor season includes nine weeks of competition, and the Gophers will compete in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Minnesota, California, Iowa, Kentucky, Indiana, and Oregon.

2017 Cross Country Season Rewind

The Gophers wrapped up the 2017 season with three NCAA All-Midwest Region honorees, three All-Big Ten Conference awards, B1G team and individual runner-up showings, and a top-20 NCAA Championship finish.

Madeline Strandemo finished as B1G runner-up to lead Minnesota to a runner-up team showing while Megan Hasz and Bethany Hasz joined Strandemo as All-Big Ten and All-Midwest Region honorees. The Gophers closed out the season with a 19th-place team finish at the NCAA Championship.

Up Next: Cougar Spring Break Invitational

The Gophers kick off the outdoor season at the University of Houston's Cougar Spring Break Invitational during a week of training in Houston, Texas, next Thursday, March 15.

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