MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota women's track & field team has selected its 2017-18 team 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 (Annotto Bay, Jamaica), Temi Ogunrinde (Cottage Grove, Minn.), Emma Spagnola (Aurora, Ill.), and Madeline Strandemo (Fargo, N.D.).
Markland and Strandemo return to the Gophers' leadership group after serving as captains last season; Strandemo is currently in her second season serving as a co-captain for Minnesota's cross country team as well. Meanwhile, Ogunrinde and Spagnola enter their first seasons as captains.
"This year, our captains were nominated and elected by the team," director of women's track & field and cross country Matt Bingle said. "The team sees this group as people they trust; they are who they want to lead them. The team believes in them, so that's a good thing."
As fifth-year seniors, Markland and Strandemo are familiar with leading the Gophers. Markland red-shirted the 2017 season but begins her final season at Minnesota as a three-time All-Big Ten honoree, including winning the 2016 B1G indoor 600m title. Likewise, Strandemo also is a three-time All-Big Ten performer who won two Big Ten titles last season in the mile and the 3,000m steeplechase.
"We put it in the team's hands this year," Bingle continued. "All four women all have good hearts, and they're very good people. They're team-centered. Individually, they're all different in their ways and how they lead, but they are all role models on and off the track. They cover all of the event groups, which is always a good thing, too."
Spagnola is a fourth-year senior for the Gophers after earning Second Team All-America honors both indoors (60m hurdles) and outdoors (100m hurdles) last season. Meanwhile, Ogunrinde begins her redshirt junior season as the defending B1G hammer throw champion.
All four individuals currently hold Minnesota program records as well. Spagnola is tied for the 60m hurdles title indoors while Markland was part of both the indoor and outdoor 4x400m relay teams. Strandemo holds the 3,000m steeplechase record, and the Gophers' hammer throw record belongs to Ogunrinde.
"Overall, our team this year is a great group," Bingle said. "I really love them to death. They're just good people. I'm excited to get moving with them at our first practice on Monday, get engaged, and see where we're at heading into the season."
The Gophers have their first official practice of the season on Monday, Sept. 18.
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