NORTHFIELD, Minn. – Maybe they are just too young to know better, but a quartet of rookies combined to break the Carleton College women’s track and field record in the 4x200-meter relay during the Ole Open Qualifier, the final tune up to next week’s MIAC Indoor Championships. Kayla McKinsey (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames), Anna Cich (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins), Reilly Simon (Grapevine, Texas/Grapevine), and Amelia Campbell (Sturgeon Bay, Wis./Sturgeon Bay) posted a winning time of 1:47.11. While the Knights did not break any other team records, several other student-athletes turned in impressive performances.
The 4x200 record had stood since Feb. 26, 2000 when Kelly Tan, Tamra Thayer, Kim Davis, and Sandy Helquist combined on a time of 1:47.46.
The Carleton rookie class has been turning heads all season. McKinsey exemplified the first-years’ endurance and key roles in several races, as she earned sixth in the 60-meter dash (8.47) and placed eighth in the 200-meter dash (27.59). Simon added season bests in the 200- and 400-meter dashes, placing third at the latter distance. Campbell also came away from several events with great performances, taking second in the 60-meter hurdles (9.43), fourth in the high jump (1.51 meters) and competing in the long jump and shot put.
Another rookie, Ruth Steinke (Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima), dashed to a second-place finish in the 800-meter run, reaching the tape at 2:19.74, a season best. Classmate Emma Russ (Fy./Inver Grove, Minn./Simley) took sixth in the 200-meter dash (27.45) and seventh in the 400-meter race (1:03.05).
First-years were not the only ones with solid showings. Colette Celichowski (So./Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) and senior Sarah Trautman (Lexington, Mass./Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols) teamed up to clinch the 1000-meter run, grabbing the top two spots. Celichowski won in 3:02.84 with Trautman crossing the line only 0.03 second later.
Highlighting the field events was Katie Richards (So./Needham, Mass./Buckingham, Browne and Nichols), who took second in the pole vault, tying the winning St. Thomas pole vaulter’s height in the finals, 2.92 meters.
The Knights will not have to travel far for the conference championships, which will be held Feb. 28-March 2 across town at St. Olaf College. Thursday’s action includes the women’s pentathlon and day one of the men’s heptathlon. Friday’s action for the ladies begins with field events at 2:30 p.m. with the first track races starting at 4:15. The championship concludes Saturday with field events starting at 11:00 a.m. with competition on the track resuming at 1:00 p.m.