MANKATO, Minn. – When you break your own school record in the 60-meter hurdles in the first meet of the season, what do you do for an encore?
Posed with that dilemma, Carleton College’s Amelia Campbell (So./Sturgeon Bay, Wis./Sturgeon Bay) competed in the MSU-Mankato Pentathlon and accumulated 3,671 points… the third-highest total in NCAA Division III history!
“All week long, we all knew something big was going to happen," said Carleton women's head coach Donna Ricks.
Campbell’s total broke the Carleton school record by more than 300 points. Her performance on Friday gives her the top score in Division III this season by more than 200 points. It also broke the MIAC overall record previously held by Gustavus’ Janey Helland (3526 points at the 2011 NCAA Championships) by nearly 150 points.
NCAA Division III Pentathlon All-Time Records
3725 — Ashley Huston (Hardin-Simmons) at the 2009 NCAA Championships
3674 — Emma Dewart (Ithaca) at the 2012 NCAA Championships
3671 — Amelia Campbell (Carleton) at the MSU-Mankato Pentathlon
3659 — Janet Williams (Springfield) in 1986
3555 — Kristen Bates (Messiah) at the 2010 NCAA Championships
Campbell opened the competition by posting a time of 9.10 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, only 0.01 second off her school-record time established last week.
“That was a good way to start the meet,” said Campbell. “I was feeling good—loose and relaxed.”
She followed that up by tying the Carleton women’s indoor record for the high jump with a height of 1.66 meters (5 feet, 5.25 inches). That jump matched the mark set by Lisa Kelly ’88. “I’m still having trouble believing that I PR’d by four inches,” Campbell said.
Next up for Campbell was the shot put, an event in which she has worked with Carleton men's head coach Dave Ricks on a technique change. “It’s getting better,” Campbell said, “but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.” Still, she measured a toss of 10.93 meters (35 feet, 10.5 inches), an improvement of nearly 5.5 feet from this competition a year ago.
The long jump proved to be Campbell’s biggest challenge on this evening. She struggled to find a consistent approach as she first registered a foul, then adjusted her starting point and came up very short on her second try. Showing the work that she has put in with assistant coach Steve Dalhed on the event, on her final attempt Campbell posted a distance of 5.29 meters (17 feet, 4.25 inches), the second-best indoor long jump of her career.
Campbell used a huge finishing kick to post a time of 2:25.95 in the 800-meter run, etching her name once more into not only Carleton annals but also the conference record book.
“I wasn't sure what to expect going into 800,” admitted Campbell. “I knew that it was going to be tough, but I had to keep my head engaged, to know who was in front of me.”
Campbell trailed the race leader by 15-20 meters after the first lap and was still behind heading into the final 200 meters. The directive of her coach stayed in her head throughout. “Donna told me ‘If she’s close, you go get her on the last lap.’”
Campbell’s finishing kick allowed her to catch and pass a Division II competitor to claim the race win and boost her point total.
Her 3671-point figure eclipsed the previous Carleton standard of 3357 held by Jennifer Streefland ’91 since 1990. On the national scene, Campbell’s total moves her ahead of the MIT’s Jaclyn Konopka (3453 points) on this year’s Division III performance list and behind only Hardon-Simmons’ Ashley Huston (3725 points at the 2009 NCAA Championships) and Ithaca’s Emma Dewart (3674 at the 2012 NCAA Championships) on the all-time chart.
“When Donna told me I was sitting third all time I couldn’t believe it,” Campbell said. “It hasn't sunk in yet. When you consider all the athletes who have competed in this event over time, I’m just amazed.”
“Amelia was outstanding,” said Donna Ricks. “It was just the way she competed and kept her composure. It’s one of those coaching moments that you always remember.”
Campbell’s record-breaking performance overshadowed a victory for Ruth Steinke (So./Lima, N.Y./Honeoye Falls-Lima) in the 3000-meter run. Racing against mostly Division II athletes, Steinke was first to the line at 10:20.93.
“We knew at some point Ruth would have to take over the race,” Donna Ricks said. “With about four laps to go, she worked around everybody, and then Ruth did a great job fighting off a challenge down the backstretch of the last lap.”
Nicole Nipper (Fy./Minnetonka, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) also competed in the 3K, recording a time of 11:09.25.
The rest of the Knights’ roster will participate when the MSU-Mankato Open continues on Saturday, Feb. 1.