NORTHFIELD, Minn. – The Carleton College women’s track and field team opened the 2012 schedule at the St. Olaf Triangular. The Knights started the campaign with several strong performances, including Haley Johnson (Jr./Golden Valley, Minn.) catching a St. Olaf runner down the homestretch to win the 600-meter dash for a half-second victory at 1:41.06.
“I was extremely pleased with all of the long sprinters and the distance runners,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “Great things happened at our first meet, and we are very excited about the season.”
Seniors Simone Childs-Walker (Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) and Alison Smyth (Billings, Mont./West) had an entertaining race in the mile. Childs-Walker led the entire way, but down the final stretch they were neck and neck, with Smyth edging out her teammate at the line with a personal-best time of 5:12.26. Taylor ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore./St. Mary’s Academy) finished third in the event.
Childs-Walker did not leave empty handed as she doubled back and claimed a 26-second victory in the 3,000-meter run.
Ellie Wilson (Fy./Roseville, Minn.) made her collegiate debut and prevailed in the tightest race of the day, out-leaning a racer from Hamline by 0.02 second to win the 200-meter dash. She also led off the 4x400 meter relay with a split of 59.6 seconds, one of the Knights strongest opening legs in the last few years.
Clare Franco (Sr./Brunswick, Maine) is healthy once again and showed it by willing the 800-meter run in style with a time of 2:24.24. First-year Collette Celichowski (Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) turned in a solid performance, placing second.
Megan Erlandson (Sr./Minneapolis, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) opened up the pole vault with a second-place result. She cleared 3.14 meters (10 feet, 3 inches), her highest opening vault of her career.
The Knights will participate in the MSU Open next Saturday, Jan. 28 in Mankato, Minn.