Schmitt earns All-America status at NCAA

by Jeff Colaizy

This weekend’s NCAA women’s indoor track and field championships in Indianapolis were a success once again for junior thrower Aubrey Schmitt.
Schmitt claimed her third-straight NCAA All-America award in the shot put. She placed seventh in a field of talented national competitors. A throw 53-feet, 3/4-inches was a season-best for her. Schmitt was last year’s runner-up at the indoor championships in the shot put with a throw of 54-4.
Schmitt also participated in the weight throw. She threw well but failed to qualify for final. She ended up in 12th.
Coach Gary Wilson was very pleased with Schmitt’s effort and believes it will provide her with momentum as she prepares for the upcoming outdoor season.
“Aubrey did a great job in the shot, she almost hit one (in the weight throw), but she was a little off. Another foot or two and she would have been in the finals and been an All-American,” Wilson said.
Also competing for the Gophers were Beth Howard and Corrine Nimtz. Howard placed 14th in the weight throw. Nimtz ran her second-fastest time ever in the 5,000 meter-run. Wilson said the race was exteremely fast and she ran at one of her best paces ever. Nimtz finished 16th.
Overall, Wilson was satisfied with the individaul efforts of his athletes in the NCAA meet.
“They did a good job, its a nice springboard to outdoors, were excited for that,” Wilson said.

Men’s track
The Gophers men’s track and field team sent one competitor to the NCAA indoor championships in Arkansas last weekend.
Distance runner, Andrew McKessock finished 10th in the mile after running a 4:07 time in the final. On Friday, McKessock’s time of 4:03:49 was fast enough to place him into Saturday’s final.
Distance coach Steve Plasencia said that McKesscock ran a good race Friday, but came back a little fatigued Saturday. McKesscock ran a fast time in the prelimary race, but did not have enough left in him to catch the last few runners in the final in order to achieve All-America status.
“He did a good job, he is only a sophomore, and what he has done this winter really points to bright future, we were happy he made the final,” Plasencia said.