LA CROSSE, Wis. – Ruth Steinke (Fy./Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) trimmed eight seconds off her personal best and won the steeplechase, and Colette Celichowski (So./Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) broke the school record in the 1500-meter run at the UW-La Crosse Qualifier, a “last chance” meet held at the site of this year’s NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Haley Johnson (Sr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) also competed in the 800-meter run as the trio sought to improve their chances at qualifying for the national meet next week.
Steinke once again led wire-to-wire and moved from 39th to 26th on the national performance list as she crossed the line at 11:10.36. Celichowski sliced six seconds off her previous-best time in the 1500-meter run and finished third with a time of 4:36.21, which ranks 37th in the country. She bettered the mark of Allison Smyth ’12 (4:36.90) established last May. Johnson was unable to improve upon her season-best mark, posting a time of 2:16.52 on Thursday.
Friday is the last day to hold a last chance meet, and on Sunday the NCAA will announce the selections to the national championships to be held on May 23-25. The top 22 declared women’s performers in each individual event qualify. Both Steinke and Amelia Campbell (Fy./Sturgeon Bay, Wis./Sturgeon Bay), who currently ranks 25th in the heptathlon, are on the bubble and will need a handful of other student-athletes elect not to participate in the steeplechase and heptathlon, respectively, for the Knights to get an opportunity to compete.