Haley Johnson (left) won the 1,000-meter run, while Simone Childs-Walker made it 4-for-4 at the 3,000-meter distance.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s indoor track and field teams picked up two more event titles on the final day of competition at the MIAC Championships. Those points helped the Knights hold onto second in the team competition, their best finish at the conference meet since finishing second in 1996.
"It was a tremendous accomplishment to have this team finish second,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “We are one of the smallest teams in the MIAC and to have everyone perform at this caliber on a specific weekend speaks volume about their commitment and focus. Every race on the track was filled with excitement, and our athletes demonstrated that we may not be the biggest team, but we competed with a lot of heart and we competed for each other.”
One day after completing a four-peat in the 5,000-meter run, Simone Childs-Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) matched that accomplishment in the 3,000-meter race on Saturday. Haley Johnson (Jr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) took top honors in the 1,000-meter run.
Carleton had four other racers finish in the top 10 of the 1,000-meter race with three of them earning team points. Johnson’s winning time of 2:58.88 established a new facility record. Sarah Trautman (So./Lexington, Mass./BBN) was fifth overall with a time of 3:00.98. Kaitlin Randolph (Sr./Drummond, Wis./Drummond), Colette Celichowski (Fy./Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka), and Megan Erlandson (Sr./Minneapolis, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) finished 7-8-9.
Ellie Wilson (Fy./Roseville, Minn./Roseville), who won the 400-meter dash on Friday, earned All-MIAC honorable mention on Saturday with her sixth-place showing in the 200-meter dash as she crossed the line at 26.50.
The trio of Childs-Walker, Alison Smyth (Sr./Billings, Mont./Billings West), and Taylor Ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy) posted a 1-2-4 finish in the 3,000-meter run, matching their spots from Friday’s 5K. Childs-Walker’s winning time of 10:07.14 trimmed 20 seconds off the facility record. Smyth was right behind her, crossig the line at 10:09.10. Ffitch did not have the benefit of running alongside her teammates, yet she still ran a personal-best time of 10:26.79.
The University of St. Thomas won the team title with 164 points. Carleton accumulated 114 points and was followed by St. Olaf College (97), Bethel University (85) and College of Saint Benedict.
“Congrats to the seniors for an outstanding meet. They were instrumental in our success,” Ricks said. “I am going to savor the outdoor season as this talented group will greatly be missed. They have been outstanding leaders and competitors; they are certainly leaving their mark on this program.
“The first-year athletes stepped out onto the track and demonstrated that they have what it takes to compete in this conference. I was impressed with the maturity that they showed on the track.
“This team certainly has generated a lot of excitement and demonstrated their passion for the track these past two days. I am very proud of all of them.”
Unlike in previous seasons, the NCAA eliminated the use of automatic and provisional qualifying standards in track and field this year. Therefore Carleton will now wait until the field is announced for next weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Grinnell College to see if any of the Knights qualified. Childs-Walker has earned All-America honors the last three years by finishing in third place each time.
1. Simone Childs Walker (Sr., Carleton) - 12:26.06
2. Alison Smyth (Sr., Carleton) – 12:31.24
2. Megan Erlandson (Sr., Carleton) – 3.27m (10-8 ¾)
1. Ellie Wilson (Fy., Carleton) – 59.126
3. Kaitlin Randolph (Sr., Carleton) – 2:18.83
1. Haley Johnson (Jr., Carleton) – 2:58.88
1. Simone Childs-Walker (Sr., Carleton) – 10:07.14
2. Alison Smyth (Sr., Carleton) – 10:09.10
All-MIAC Honorable Mention performances
4. Taylor ffitch (Sr., Carleton) – 18:03.65
4. Sarah Trautman (So., Carleton) – 5:12.41
6. Claire Franco (Sr., Carleton) – 59.68
4. Haley Johnson (Jr., Carleton) – 2:18.88
Distance Medley Relay
2. Carleton (Alison Smyth, Anna Persmark, Megan Erlandson, Simone Childs-Walker) – 12:24.34
5. Sarah Trautman (So., Carleton) – 3:00.98
6. Ellie Wilson (Fy., Carleton) – 26.50
4. Taylor Ffitch (Sr., Carleton) – 10:26.79