Track meets don’t get much more exciting than last week’s Tommie Twilight. The team had at least 19 personal records, which is a large percentage considering the size of the team.
It was a beautiful day out and the throwers immediately took advantage of it. Avery Johnson ’15 improved her javelin distance by three meters and Kao Sutton ’14 threw a few centimeters farther in the hammer. Jessa Youso ’13 also improved her season’s best in the javelin and discus and will be competing in this week’s conference championships.
The runners also took advantage of the weather. Once again, the Knights had many athletes in the 1500m and 800m. The 1500 got started with a bang with Haley Johnson ’13, Colette Celichowski ’15, and Sarah Trautman ’13. Johnson took ten seconds off her previous best to place first in her heat, with Celichowski and Trautman just a second behind. Megan Erlandson ’12 dominated in her first time running the race, hitting a blazing 4:51 while Shannon Mueller ’12 continued to show her competitive side, getting under the 5:08 mark (right about a 5:30 mile). Tori Ostenso ’14 took more time off her best, running 15 seconds faster than she did at the start of the season. In a remarkable show of patience, Laura Newcombe ’13 kicked a number of athletes down, proving that her training with the mid-distance group is really paying off.
In the 800m, Kaitlin Randolph ’12 proved again why she loves that event, running a 2:16 to finish ninth. She was the third DIII runner to cross the line. Becca Herd ’15 is continuing to round into form, beating everyone in her heat in 2:20—the second-fastest time on the team this outdoor season. Claire Karbon ’13 and Lindsay Turchan ’15 also had strong performances to put them in a position to qualify for conference.
There was more excitement to come though, as Simone Childs-Walker ’12 took second in the 5000m run, going into this week’s conference meet as the top seed in both long races. The University of Minnesota decided they wanted to try to run some fast 1500s and thought it would be easier to do that under the lights. In that heat, Alison Smyth ’12 broke the school record by half a second, running 4:36.90. As Smyth was recovering, the A team of Anna Persmarck ’15, Clare Franco ’12, Kaitlin Randolph ’12, and Ellie Wilson ’15 executed the 4 x 400 relay, running 4:01 despite a dropped baton. They will look to break the four-minute mark tomorrow.
The Knights will use these fantastic performances as a springboard into this weekend’s conference championships, which will be held at Concordia College in Moorhead. The team will look to improve on last year’s ninth place finish, relying on middle and long distance depth and strong individual performances in the throws.