GRINNELL, Iowa – Competing at the site of the upcoming NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Carleton College women’s track and field team established a pair of track records at the Darren Young Classic. Clare Franco (Sr./Brunswick, Maine/Brunswick) won the 400-meter dash in a record time of 58.96, and the Knights distance medley relay prevailed with a winning time of 12:28.18.
Overall the Knights finished fourth out of 10 teams at the competition. The field included four nationally-ranked squads: No. 1 Wartburg College, No. 9 Middlebury College, No. 19 Nebraska Wesleyan, and No. 20 Coe College.
During the 400-meter race, Franco—who battled an injury last season—eclipsed 59 seconds for the first time since the 2010 MIAC Championships.
In the distance medley, a race that is challenging because each team has different strengths, the Knights focused on running at their pace. Sarah Trautman (So./Lexington, Mass./BBN) ran the leadoff 1,200 meters. During the middle two segments, Ellie Wilson (Fy./Roseville, Minn./Roseville) and Haley Johnson (Jr./Golden Valley, Minn./Robbinsdale Cooper) provided the speed, running the 400- and 800-meter segments. Colette Celichowski (Fy./Shorewood, Minn./Minnetonka) took the baton to run the anchor 1600 meters.
“Collette is terrific at pacing, and at that point in the relay you really need to run someone that has the confidence and ability to pace themselves,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “She did a great job. Everyone on that relay did a terrific job executing their leg.”
Following in the footsteps of Simone Childs-Walker (Sr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside) and Alison Smyth (Sr./Billings, Mont./Billings West), who turned in impressive performances Friday night at the Iowa State Classic, Carleton got more strong races at the 5,000-meter distance on Saturday. Taylor ffitch (Sr./Portland, Ore./St. Mary's Academy) finished third with a personal-record time of 18:06.43. Shannon Mueller (Sr./Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North) trimmed 30 seconds off her personal best to finish at 19:21. 56.
Wilson was second in the 200-meter dash, posting a new personal-record time of 26.48.
Despite her 800-meter run competitors going out very quickly, Kaitlin Randolph (Sr./Drummond, Wis./Drummond) stuck to her race structure. She went out at her pace, ran solid in the middle portion, and going into the third lap she began to pick it up. She moved from last all the way to second place with a season-best time of 2:22.84. This was the second event of the day for Trautman, who finished fourth at 2:23.62.
Aurora Janes (Fy./Ambler, Pa./Upper Dublin) won her heat in the mile run, dropping eight seconds off her season-best to finish ninth overall at 5:39.32.
Megan Erlandson (Sr./Minneapolis, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) finished second in the pole vault as she cleared 10 feet.
Carleton next competes on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Parents Day Open hosted by the University of Minnesota. That meet begins at 10 a.m.
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