Minnesota rests most of lineup, still brings home seven titles

The Gophers also won a title at the Ted Nelson Classic at Minnesota State.

by Jack Satzinger

Minnesota finished last at the UW-River Falls Invitational over the weekend, but a bulk of the team wasn’t competing.

Those who did compete made it a learning experience.

“We used it as a practice situation,” senior Cassy Opitz said.

Opitz won the 1-mile run with a season-best time of 4:59.14.

Minnesota mobbed the mile, finishing in the top 10 slots.

Devin Stanford won the weight throw at 17.87 meters, and Nicole Murphey took home the team’s other field title in the long jump with a distance of 5.61 meters.

Akuoma Omeoga won the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.33, and Kate Shelerud took home the 600-meter run title in 1:39.40.

Melissa Cabak won the 3,000-meter run in 10:20.34, barely edging out teammate Hannah Trasser, who finished in 10:20.58.

Minnesota’s final title at the UW-River Falls Invitational came in the 4×400-meter relay.

A quartet of Shelerud, Frances Conlin, Andie Zeman and Lisa Bailey finished in 4:06.55.

While the team finished last at the UW-River Falls Invitational, the pole vaulters who competed in the Ted Nelson Classic at Minnesota State-Mankato didn’t disappoint.

Cami Gilson and Katie Murgic both cleared 3.97 meters to take first and second place, respectively.

A majority of the team’s top athletes rested this weekend in preparation for the Big Ten indoor championships at the end of the month.

Gophers head coach Matt Bingle has consistently stressed the need for his team to peak in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got to be ready for the Big Ten, and all their training should be geared toward that right now,” he said.

That training will continue next weekend as some athletes will compete at the Iowa State Classic while others will stay in Minnesota for the St. Thomas Showcase.

“A lot of the girls came into this one hoping to get a qualifying time for Iowa State next week,” Opitz said. “We used this situation to prepare us for a bigger meet.”