Well, it’s spring term and we all know what that means: outdoor track!
Before we can get there though, the women’s track team had to finish its indoor season. The Knights finished sixth at the indoor conference championships, led by super star Simone Childs-Walker ’12. She started off the meet winning the 5k, then came back an hour later to win the mile in a tight battle with Olaf’s Maren Westby. The next day she managed to win the 3k, becoming the first woman in conference history to win all three races at the MIAC Indoor Championships.
The Knight’s other all-conference performer was Alison Smyth ’12, taking third in the 5k and fifth in the 3k. Megan Erlandson ’12 took fifth in the pole vault, while Haley Johnson ’13 and Clare Franco ’12 took seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 1000m run. Kyla Walter ’11 and Sami Kemper ’14 also placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the pentathlon.
One week later, Childs-Walker headed off to Ohio as the Knight’s lone representative at the NCAA Indoor National Championships. She tested out the mile run, as well as maintaining her third place finish in the 5k. Those of us at home were ecstatic that there would be a live feed of the race, but disappointed in the footage of a pole-vaulter putting a ribbon in her hair during the 5k.
Once the team made it through finals, a small contingent headed off to San Diego to get on an outdoor track that wasn’t recently flooded. The trio of Kemper, Walter, and Maggie Sullivan ’14 jumped into action immediately, competing in a heptathlon and doing quite well. Kemper took fourth and Walter took sixth in the competition.
The next day, Taylor Ffitch ’12 opened her outdoor season well, with a 5:01 in the 1500. Kao Sutton ’14 rejoiced in throwing the discus and Kelly Lovett ’11 tried out the new javelins, throwing an impressive 140 feet on opening day. Later, Alex Dunn ’11 ran a strong 800 and improved her best time in the 400m dash.
The competing didn’t end once the team returned to Carleton, however. Last Saturday a number of Knights went up to Hamline to compete. Rachael Klehm ’13 ran in her first 1500 ever, doing a fantastic job. Carrie Harshbarger ’13 improved her best in the 1500, as did Shannon Mueller ’12. Laura Newcombe ’13 also raced in the 1500, doing quite well for her first time out. Erlandson worked on clearing 11 feet outdoors and Dunn led Milana Socha ’14 and Megan Meads ’14 in the 800m run.
A complete team will be competing for the Knights this weekend, with most going to River Falls, Wis. The ones who like to throw things will be following the men’s team down to Luther College. They’re just too strong for the women’s meet.
Alison Smyth is a member of the women’s track and field team.