Both the Gustavus Women’s and Men’s Track and Field Teams seem to be hitting their midseason strides with strong performances at the Carleton Relays last weekend. In a meet that was highlighted by numerous individual personal records, the women took home first place while the men finished in second behind the University of Minnesota-Duluth (Division II).
On the women’s side, seven different Gusties took home first place in their events. They showed strength in the longer distance running events and dominated the field events, winning the discuss, hammer, and javelin.
Senior Abbie Schnabel led the way with a winning time of 2:18.39 in the 800 meter dash, and Sophomore Kourtney Kulseth won the 5,000 meter race by a margin of almost 26 seconds.
In the 1500 meter dash, Senior Tierney Winter and Sophomore Sara Moen took first and second place, respectively, with times of 4:45.99 and 4:47.84.
“Tierney dominated the field from the start of the gun. Abbie Schnabel did the same thing in the 800. That’s huge for them to do that without a lot of pressure behind them,” Head Coach Dale Bahr said.
Away from the track, First-year Halley Brocker took first place in the high jump with a mark of 1.47 meters.
The Gusties then took first place in three of the four throwing events. In the discuss, it was Sophomore Isabella Klabough with a distance of 36.99 meters.
Gusties finished first and second in the javelin throw as seniors Bailey Van Den Heuvel and Calli Sizer produced throws of 31.99 and 31.61 meters, respectively.
Finally, Junior Katie Keelin won the hammer throw with a personal best mark of 50.71 meters. Keelin’s throw is the farthest in the MIAC so far this season.
“Having that many first place finishes shows we’re not one dimensional. It also shows we have a lot of depth and are a well-rounded team. I’m expecting us to perform well at this time of year with only two events left before the conference meet,” Bahr said.
The Gustie women totaled 213.5 points, almost 90 more points than the second place Carleton Knights.
As for the men’s team from Gustavus, the meet was headlined by a pair of record-breaking performances from Senior Michael Hensch and Sophomore Taylor Rooney.
In the 110 meter hurdles, Rooney broke a record that had stood for ten years by 0.2 seconds with a time of 14.29. Rooney also took second place in the open 100 meter dash.
“We’ve talked with Taylor about not trying to force [the record], but to just have to happen. Breaking the record by two-tenths of a second is a sizable margin with that short of a race. We’re really excited about that, and he also showed his maturity by doing more for the team. He ran the open 100-meter and had the fastest time for our team in a few years,” Bahr said.
Hensch secured victories in the discus and javelin and second place in the shot put, but his record-breaking performance came in the hammer throw. The previous record of 194-8 feet was held for 20 years by Gustavus Hall of Famer Aaron Smith, but Hensch shattered that mark with a throw of 200-4 feet.
“Mike’s first event of the day was his record-breaker. He’s PR’d in all five of his events in the last two meets. He’s popping big throws consistently and those type of performances help motivate the rest of the team,” Bahr said.
The Gusties earned three other first place finishes. Sophomore Andrew Stumbo won the 10,000 meter race by over 30 seconds with a time of 32:45.52.
In the triple jump, First-year Xander DuMoulin took first with a distance of 13.19 meters.
Finally, in the 4×100 meter relay, the team of Junior Matthew Montplaisir, First-year Wyatt Quiring, DuMoulin, and Rooney took first place with a time of 42.62.
“They are performing very well. It’s looking like we should be able to go into the conference meet with confidence to make some noise,” Bahr said.
The Gusties will compete at the Outdoor MIAC Meet on May 10-11 at the University of St. Thomas.