After the first day of competition at the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Carleton College women were second in the team standings, a result aided by a strong showing in the field events by All-Americans Kao Sutton ‘14 and Amelia Campbell ‘16 as well as a school-record performance that won the 4x800-meter relay.
Sutton won the discus throw with a distance of 43.72 meters (143 feet, 5 inches). She recorded the top two tosses of the competition, with the winning measurement coming on her final attempt of the preliminary round.
Campbell, who broke the school and conference records in winning the MIAC Heptathlon a week ago, was busy re-writing the record book once again on Friday. She eclipsed her own program standard with a time of 14.34 in the prelims of the 100-meter hurdles. That time makes her the second seed in Saturday’s event finals.
Day 1 of the championships also saw Campbell set the school record twice during the long jump competition. Her first attempt measured at 5.64 meters, bettering the previous team record—set by Busola Akinwale in 1997—by a single centimeter. On her next attempt, Campbell improved upon her record-breaking performance by measuring 5.70 meters (18 feet, 8.5 inches), which also equaled the top performance in the MIAC over the last three seasons. Confident that her long jump mark would hold up, Campbell passed on her final three attempts so she could re-direct her efforts to other events. She went on to finish second in the high jump, clearing 1.63 meters (5 feet, 4.25 inches) on her third attempt to equal her personal best, which is tied for second all-time at Carleton.
Carleton also received some great day one performances on the track, none more spectacular that the team-record winning time of 9:10.61 recorded as the Knights won the 4x800 relay to close day one. Winona Rachel ‘17, Ellie Wilson ‘15, Ruth Steinke ‘16, and Colette Celichowski ‘15 bettered the previous program standard by nearly three seconds as this marked the third consecutive MIAC Outdoor Championships at which the Knights set a new team record in the event. Carleton posted a 14-second margin of victory and was only two seconds off the MIAC Championships record. The Knights also sliced almost 20 seconds off the Manitou Field record set by MSU-Mankato (D-II) in 1995.
Earlier in the day Wilson won her heat and Emma Grisanzio ‘17 also qualified for the finals in the 400-meter dash. Wilson posted a time of 59.48, while her teammate crossed the line at 61.33.
Caroline Campbell ‘16 qualified for Saturday’s event final after clocking a preliminary round time of 2:20.32 in the 800-meter run.
Celichowski set herself up to be the top seed in the 1500-meter run after clocking the top time in the prelims at 4:49.36. Rachel and fellow rookie Nicole Nipper also qualified for the finals.
After the end of Day 2 action and with all the running, throwing, and jumping accounted for, the women’s track and field team captured second place, which is the Knights’ best finish at the conference outdoor meet since being the runner-up at the 2003 MIAC Championships.
St. Thomas won this year’s meet for the 10th consecutive season, tallying 187.0 points. Carleton was next at 114.0 followed by Concordia-Moorhead (105.3) and Saint Benedict (92.3) in the 12-team field.
“What an impressive meet,” said Carleton head coach Donna Ricks. “As a coach, I couldn’t be prouder or happier. They all made one another better.
“When the MIAC Championships come up you hope that everyone on your team will step up and meet the challenge and step forward and do everything they can for their team. And that’s something that they certainly did.”
The Knights, as mentioned, saw four All-MIAC performances on Friday with three new school records. And it was more of the same on day two.
Day 2 began with the field events and Trish Hare ‘17 finished second in the javelin, measuring a personal-best 38.63 meters (126 feet 9 inches) to rank third all-time at Carleton.
After falling one centimeter shy of the school record in the triple jump during Friday’s prelims, Zoe Peterson ‘17 improved upon that mark and put her name into the record books after she placed third and secured all-conference recognition with an effort measuring 10.97 meters (36 feet). That eclipsed the nearly two-decade old standard of 10.93 meters set by Busola Akinwale at the 1995 MIAC Championships.
Kao Sutton continued her fine senior season with a second-place result in the shot put. She registered a toss of 13.44 meters (44 feet, 1.25 inches).
Action on the track began with the 3000-meter steeplechase, and Ruth Steinke successfully defended her MIAC crown with a stadium record time of 10:58.87. That is a new personal-best mark and ranks her third all-time at Carleton and among the top 20 in Division III this season.
Colette Celichowski was the next Knight to lockdown All-MIAC distinction as she placed third in the 1500-meter run. She ran just a bit slower than her school record time of a week ago, crossing the line at 4:38.23.
The next event saw Amelia Campbell place second in the 100-meter hurdles as she posted a time of 14.41, only 0.07 second off her school-record mark established during Friday’s preliminary round.
Next came the 400-meter dash, the Knights continued to add to their point total. Ellie Wilson earned All-MIAC status after placing third overall. She trimmed nearly a second off her personal-best and now sits second all-time at Carleton after turning in a time of 57.29. Emma Grisanzio ‘17 was All-MIAC Honorable Mention as she placed fifth with a new PR time of 58.86.
Carleton capped the weekend with its sixth school record of the MIAC Championships. The Knights placed third in the final event, the 4x400-meter relay, with a time of 3:56.82. Reilly Simon ‘16, Grisanzio, Campbell, and Wilson set the team record earlier this season, but this time Simon, Steinke, Grisanzio, and Campbell bettered that mark by more than two seconds.
“Here we are at such a strong academic institution, and often people ask me ‘How do you put it together at the end of the season?’ It’s just the type of students we have and the expectations they have for themselves,” Ricks said. “They just always know how to put it together and how to keep it in perspective so they can perform well. I’m extremely proud of this team.”
A handful of Knights may participate in “last-chance” meets next week with hopes of improving their chances for invitations to the NCAA Championships on May 22-24 in Deleware, Ohio.