Liz Roehrig Smashes School Record, Posts Olympic B Standard in Heptathlon

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!
Minnesota junior Liz Roehrig smashed her own school record, automatically qualified for the NCAAA Championships and surpassed an Olympic B standard qualifying mark in winning the heptathlon at the Bobby Lane Arlington Invitational in Arlington, Texas on Friday. Roehrig scored 5,621 points in the seven events that make up the heptathlon competition. Her former school record was 5,498 points set at the Georgia Limited Meet a year ago.

Roehrig kicked for her first heptathlon of the 2007 outdoor season by clocking a career-best time of 14.13 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, a time that ranks seventh in school history. Roehrig added an NCAA Midwest Region Championships qualifying performance in the high jump, clearing a height of 5 feet, 10 inches. She continued with a throw of 41-9 1/4 in the shot put, before posting a career-best time of 24.60 in the 200 meters. Her best long jump was marked at 19-7 3/4. Roehrig then marked a career-best throw of 110-11 in the javelin and finished the seventh and final event, the 800 meters, with a time of 2:31.04.

“What a great way for Liz to start the outdoor season,” said Golden Gopher head coach Matt Bingle of his All-American’s first heptathlon of 2007. “She’s healthy again after the knee injury that affected her during the indoor NCAA meet. What is exciting it that this is just a starting point. She has plenty of room to improve.”

Senior Jacenta Spandl finished second in the heptathlon with a score of 4,530 points.

Only one field event, the hammer throw, was contested at the Arlington Invitational on Friday. Liz Alabi won the rain-hindered event with a throw of 176-6.

The strength and depth of the middle-distance crew of the Minnesota women’s track & field team was obvious today as four Golden Gophers clocked NCAA Midwest Region Championships qualifying times in the 800-meter run at the Stanford Invitational on Friday. Sophomore Jamie Cheever paced the Gophers with a fifth-place time of 2 minutes, 7.46 seconds, a personal best and the third-fastest time in school history.

Joining Cheever with qualifying times below the regional standard of 2:09.80 were Julie Schwengler at 2:08.27, Heather Dorniden at 2:08.56 and Gabriele Anderson at 2:09.57. Dorniden and Schwengler both advanced to the NCAA Championships in the event last season.

A total of 256 NCAA Division I athletes collected automatic or regional qualifying marks at the 2006 Stanford Invitational. In this year’s women’s 800 meters alone, 20 athletes posted regional marks.

Ayla Mitchell also competed in the 800 meters and finished with a time of 2:10.50.

Elizabeth Yetzer competed in her first outdoor meet as a Golden Gopher. Yetzer just missed qualifying for the Midwest Region Championships in the 5,000-meter run. She ran a time of 16:52.60, six-tenths of a second off the regional qualifying standard.

The Gophers continue competition at both the Arlington Invitational and the Stanford Invitational on Saturday.