Mission accomplished as women’s track finishes 7th

David La

The Gophers women’s track and field team accomplished its humble mission of improvement over the weekend, finishing seventh at the Big Ten indoor championships at Ohio State.
Minnesota posted a team score of 66.33, which is fifteen points higher than any previous effort at the indoor Big Tens.
But coach Gary Wilson’s satisfaction with his team’s results were slightly overshadowed by the desire to begin the outdoor season.
“It’s just a springboard now into the outdoor season,” Wilson said. “We’re chomping at the bit to get outside.”
Still, several Gophers athletes turned in strong performances this weekend, led by junior Christina Gulbrandsen, who turned in three top-five finishes. Her winning distance of 42-10 1/4 in the triple jump provisionally qualified her for NCAA competition and eclipsed her own school record by more than a foot. Gulbrandsen also took fourth place in both the long jump and the pole vault events.
Aubrey Schmitt won a tight shot put competition on her final throw. Her mark of 59-9 3/4 was an NCAA provisional qualifier. Schmitt’s third-place finish in the weight throw earned her another provisional mark.
Senior Yvette White and freshman Neketa Sears took the third and fifth place spots, respectively, in the 400-meter dash. Sears said she enjoyed her first trip to the Big Ten championships.
“The competition was really stiff,” Sears said. “We had our work cut out for us.”
But in keeping with her coaches and other teammates, Sears said she’s also optimistic about the outdoor season.
“Once our full squad is there, I think we can win the outdoor championships,” Sears said.
¹ Michigan defended its Big Ten indoor title from last season. The Wolverines’ come-from-behind victory with 116 points came at the expense of Purdue’s best team in 11 years, which finished with 109.

Big Ten women’s indoor
track and field championships
Team order of finish:
1. Michigan 116
2. Purdue 109
3. Indiana 93.5
4. Wisconsin 93
5. Ohio State 78
6. Illinois 70
7. Minnesota 66.33
8. Penn State 59.17
9. Iowa 14