SDSU Holiday Open Kicks off Season Friday
Nov. 28, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS – Members of the Golden Gopher women's track & field team are slated to get an early start to the 2018 season by competing at the SDSU Holiday Open & Multi this Friday in Brookings, S.D.

About the SDSU Holiday Open & Multi

The SDSU Holiday Open & Multi will be hosted by South Dakota State University at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings, S.D., this Friday. Competition begins with the men's heptathlon (1 p.m. CT) and the women's pentathlon (1:15 p.m. CT). Field events and running events get underway Friday evening at 5 p.m. CT. The heptathlon carries over into Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. CT, but all women's events wrap up Friday.

Nineteen Gophers to Kick Off 2018

Gophers Sophia Anderson, Hannah Arason, Meleah Biermaier, Ayesha Champagnie, Nayoka Clunis (unattached), Erin Dunning (unattached), Brieasha Hobbs, Erin Huls, Tess Keyzers (unattached), Lexi Kiefer, Val Larson, Kaitlyn Long (unattached), Titania Markland, Lorean Murray, Kayla Nelson, Karlie Place (unattached), Ashley Ramacher, Rachel Schow, and Lindsey Smits are scheduled to compete on Friday.

Gophers Welcome 20 Newcomers

The Gophers' 2018 roster includes 20 newcomers. Freshmen Sam Baer, Erin Dunning, Allison Gerads, Lexi Hurst, 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 FitzPaatrick, 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. Highlighting the indoor slate are three home meets, beginning with the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Dual which returns to the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 13, the Jack Johnson Classic (Jan. 26-27) and the Parents Day Invite (Feb. 17). 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.

Program Records Fall

The Gophers broke three Minnesota indoor program records last season, including Kiley Sabin's record-breaking performance in the shot put (17.17m, 56-04.00). Emerald Egwim improved on her own program record in the 400m dash (52.73), and Kimberly Golding and Emma Spagnola tied for the top 60m hurdles time in program history at 8.13 seconds.

Outdoors, six Gophers set new program records last spring in Emerald Egwim (400m, 51.99), Kimberly Golding (100m hurdles, 12.98) Madeline Strandemo (3,000m steeplechase, 9:51.83), Kiley Sabin (shot put, 16.65m, 54-07.50), Temi Ogunrinde (hammer throw, 64.01m, 210-00), and Taylor Wiebke (high jump, 1.85m, 6-00.75). Sixteen Gophers and two relay teams made improvements to the program's top-10 list in 12 different events.

Up Next: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Dual and UST Opener

The Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Dual is set for Saturday, Jan. 13 at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse. Members of the team will also compete at the UST Opener hosted by St. Thomas on Friday, Jan. 12.

Follow the Gophers Online

GopherSports.com is your home for all Minnesota Women's Track & Field news. Be sure to follow Gopher Women's Track & Field and Cross Country on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for behind the scenes info and the latest updates on the program.

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