July 28, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Incoming Gopher freshmen Emma Spagnola competed at the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics over the weekend at Turner Stadium in Humble, Texas, taking second in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. The 48th USATF National Junior Olympic Championships featured over 10,000 athletes ranging from ages 7 to 18.
Spagnola raced in both hurdle finals Sunday as part of the women's 17-18 year old division. She clocked a runner-up time of 59.48 in the 400m hurdles. Spagnola then raced in the 100m hurdles later in the day, posting a second-place time of 13.93 behind winner Anna Cockrell in 13.56.
Spagnola, who also competed in the 100-meter dash preliminary race on Friday but did not advance, will join the Gophers this fall from Aurora, Ill. An 11-time Illinois Class 3A state meet participant, Spagnola capped her high school track & field career with a pair of state titles in the 100m hurdles and the 300m hurdles competing for West Aurora High School this spring.
"Emma just fits with who we are here," director of women's cross country and track & field Matt Bingle said. "She's a blue-collar kid who loves to work hard. She and I had a good connection, and she had a good connection with our team. I'm very excited to coach her and have her be a Gopher."
Both of Spagnola’s hurdle times over the weekend would rank as team-bests among the Gophers' 2014 outdoor track & field times.
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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.