After competing with a split squad at SDSU and Carleton the weekend of February 15, the Gustavus Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams competed in Mankato this past weekend in their last meet before the MIAC Indoor Championships.
While one group stayed closer to home and competed at Carleton, a number of Gusties traveled to Brookings, SD to compete at the South Dakota State University Indoor Classic.
In a large field of Division I teams, the men finished 15th of 26 teams while the women took 9th out of 22 teams.
On the first day of competition, the Gusties had a number of individuals who placed in the top ten in their events.
Junior Deana Giles placed eighth in the triple jump while Sophomore Xander DuMoulin placed ninth in the same event on the men’s side.
In the weight throw, Senior Katie Keelin placed eighth with a throw of 15.85 meters.
Junior Sara Moen and Senior Tierney Winter also had impressive performances on Friday. Moen set a new school record with her time of 1:37.52 in the 600 meter race and finished fifth overall. Winter finished second in the 1000 meter race with a time of 2:59.95. The two runners also combined with Senior Haley Anderson and First Year Birgen Nelson to finish seventh in the 4×400 meter relay.
“We had a good start to the weekend. We saw a few PR’s and had a few spots solidified for conference which was good to see.” Assistant Coach Brenden Huber said.
On Saturday, the Gustie Women were led by the Distance Medley Relay group of Moen and Winter along with Senior Lily Anderson and Sophomore Elizabeth Donnelly to take second place with a time of 12:28.08.
Junior Kourtney Kulseth also had a strong race, finishing ninth in the 5000 meter event with a time of 18:16.20.
On the men’s side, the trio of Junior Andrew Stumbo and Sophomores Garet Grant and Ben Wicklund finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 5000 meter run.
Lastly, Sophomores Nick Olfert and Noah Johnson teamed up with Junior Brennan Gustafson and Senior Bridger Pavelka to take fourth place in the men’s Distance Medley Relay.
“We had kids win some heats and had some kids place in finals which is awesome, overall we just had a fantastic weekend,” Huber said.
Simultaneously, the Gusties had a number of competitors at the Meet of Hearts at Carleton.
The highlights of this event for the Gusties came from the field athletes.
Sophomore Steven Orzolek took first place in the shot put and third place in the weight throw.
On the women’s side, First-year Annika Poe took first in the shot put with a personal best throw and Sophomore Annalee Olson-Sola took third.
After a number of strong results on the track as well, the Gustie men finished sixth out of eight teams while the women finished sixth out of ten teams.
While the rest of the Gusties were competing at SDSU and Carleton, Junior Taylor Rooney was competing in the 60M hurdle event at the USATF Championships in Albuquerque, NM. Rooney holds the fastest time in DIII this season and earned the privilege of competing against the nations top runners at this prestigious event. Rooney finished in 17th place, just one spot away from qualifying for the final rounds.
This past weekend, the Gusties competed closer to home in their final time out before the Conference Indoor Meet.
“I think our athletes and coaches did a great job this week at practice emphasizing the urgency of competing well today and it definitely showed up in the results. We had a majority of our athletes set a lifetime best or season best tonight and as a team we are peaking at the right time,” Head Coach Aaron Lund said.
On the men’s side, the Gusties put up strong results across the board. In the 600 meter dash, First Year Jack Marble took second place with a time of 1:26.24.
In the mile, First Year Tucker Wallin came in third place and was followed by Wicklund in fourth and Sophomore Nick Kerbeshian in seventh.
The Gusties also took a pair of third place finishes in the 1000 meter and 3000 meter races from Sophomores Jack Degonda and Lucas Schnirring, respectively.
Rooney continued to dominate, running an NCAA-best 8.00 in the prelims of the 60 meter hurdles and also took fourth place in the high jump.
The women also produced a number of noteworthy performances. Kulseth led the way with a time of 3:01.36 in the 1000 meter event that was good for first place.
Nelson set a new school record and MIAC best time of 8.98 in the 60 meter hurdles that was good for third place.
“We have incredible momentum right now and I know our athletes are extremely excited for the opportunity to perform their best next weekend at the indoor conference championships,” Lund said.