The Gustavus Women’s Track and Field team competed in the final meet of the season this past weekend, the MIAC Championships.
The event took place in St. Paul at the University of St. Thomas and spanned two days.
Going into the meet, the women had six notable women who were first in the MIAC in their respective events.
First-year Annalee Olson-Sola and Junior Katie Keelin ranked first in the javelin and hammer throw, respectively, leading into the meet.
The 4×800 relay team comprised of Sophomores Sara Moen and Josie Blake, Junior Tierney Winter, and Senior Abbie Schnabel also held the top time in the MIAC this season.
The action began on Friday, as the women ended the day in fifth place amongst the eleven teams that make up the MIAC.
Their score of 29 points was achieved by a series of first-place performances in both the field and on the track.
The 4×800 relay team of Moen, Winter, Schnabel, and Blake took first by finishing with a time of 9:21.40, a new Gustavus school record.
Head Coach Dale Bahr didn’t fail to recognize the young relay teams importance in motivating the rest of the team.
“It’s a young group with one senior so they are stepping up and showing composure,” Bahr said. “They are competing when it matters. It was a good way to finish the day and it motivates the team going into tomorrow.”
Along with the relay team, Olson-Sola continued her hot streak by taking first in the shot put with a throw of 42-8.
“For a first year to step up and compete with the top ladies in the conference, it really shows the type of competitor she is,” Bahr said.
The other notable finishes of the day included top finishes in the 400, 800, and 1500m races, all of which had finals the following day.
In the 400m, Moen took sixth place with a time of 58.93 and was set to compete on Saturday.
There were two Gusties who qualified to compete in the 800m finals as well. Junior Haley Anderson and Schnabel posted times of 2:19.32 and 2:16.81, good enough for third and fourth place finishes, respectively.
The last first place finish of the day came from Winter in the 1500m race, as she claimed the top spot with a time of 4:47.06, advancing her to the finals on Saturday.
Following their strong performance on Friday, the women finished out the MIAC Outdoor Championships with 77 points, achieving fourth place in the meet.
The Gusties had four athletes earn All-Conference recognition, one of which was a champion in her respective event.
Junior Katie Keelin, the champion of the hammer throw, won the event with a throw of 167-00 meters.
Senior Bailey Van Den Heuvel took second in the event, with a throw of 165-02 meters.
The throwers led the Gustie charge on the day, as Olson Sola continued her momentum from the previous day with a heave of 128-11 in the discus throw, good enough for second place.
Bahr was very happy with how the throwers performed on the final day of the MIAC Championships.
“Our throws really carried us this week,” Bahr said. “We always talk about taking points away from other teams and making sure we get the points we need and to see Bailey step up, and watch Annalee take a second, and Katie holding her position to win; those are instrumental in us taking fourth place.”
The final All-Conference honor went to Sophomore Kourtney Kulseth, who despite falling off a steeple, took home a third place finish in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 11:26.55.
“We have some young ladies that are stepping up,” Bahr said. “Our seniors paved the way and I can’t say enough about our senior ladies. They have given our younger team members guidance.”
The women’s fourth place finish was the not an easy task, and can be attributed to the efforts put forth by all of the members on the team.
“I could not be more proud to break into the top five and move up from there,” Bahr said. “You don’t move up in the top five very easily. The ladies have done exactly what we’ve asked of them all year and it’s paid off.”