Split squads produce strong results

The men’s and women’s track teams competed in both Texas and California.

Krista Theis

Traveling to warmer climates yielded strong performances from the men’s and women’s track and field teams this past weekend.

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Hamline invitational
when: Saturday
where: St. Paul

Each team split up their athletes according to events, sending a group of men and women to both the Bobby Lane Arlington Invitational in Texas and the Stanford Invitational in California.

One of the main goals for runners on both teams this weekend was to achieve their NCAA Midwest Region Qualifying standards – and numerous Minnesota athletes came through.

The women’s team finished the two meets with 14 regional qualifying marks, and many other personal best performances.

Junior Liz Roehrig broke her own school record and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships when she won the heptathlon event in her first appearance of the outdoor season.

She scored 5,621 points throughout the seven events of the heptathlon, including career-bests of 14.13 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, 24.60 seconds in the 200-meters and a throw of 110-11 in the javelin event.

Roehrig’s high jump of five feet, 10 inches as a part of the heptathlon was enough to reach the qualifying height needed.

Coach Matt Bingle said Roegrig’s performance was one of the highlights of the weekend, but he said, just like the rest of the team, he knows with more training the women can do better.

Other Gophers to qualify at the Arlington meet were freshman Alicia Rue, who won the title in the pole vault, junior Christin Kingsley, who won the long jump, and junior Anna Arciszewska, who took second in the triple jump.

Senior Liz Alabi and junior Liz Podominick also qualified after top-notch shot put performances.

At Stanford, the fierce competition pushed many Minnesota distance runners to reach regional marks as well.

All-American senior Emily Brown qualified during her first steeplechase of the season when she came in at 10 minutes, 3.77 seconds, getting fourth place overall.

Sophomore Gabriele Anderson won the section B title of the 1,500-meter run in 4:24.85.

Anderson met another qualifying standard in the 800-meter with a time of 2:09.57.

Joining her as 800-meter qualifiers were sophomores Jamie Cheever (2:07.46), Heather Dorniden (2:08.56) and senior Julie Schwengler (2:08.56).

Although the women’s team attained many regional qualifying marks this weekend, Bingle explained that the importance lies in the Big Ten meet at the end of the season.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” he said. “The qualifying stuff just happens along the way, we’re trying to get ready for the Big Ten meet.”

Men also strong

The men’s track team showed a strong representation of talent at both meets this past weekend as well.

At the distance meet at Stanford, sophomore Ben Puhl impressed his teammates as he cut more than 10 seconds off his personal-best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event.

He posted a NCAA Regional Championships qualifying time of 9:06.51.

Senior Derek Gearman said his performance was a pleasant and deserving surprise.

“We knew he had it in him,” he said. “It’s just a testament to how hard he’s been working and just a pleasant surprise.”

Gearman also performed well down in Texas, taking first and a regional qualifier in the triple jump at 49-3 1/2.

He said there was good competition, and he was glad to qualify early in the season.

“It was nice to get it out of the way,” he said. “Now I can relax and focus on the other events.”

Freshman Aaron Studt won his second regional qualifying mark of the season this weekend when he threw a distance of 58-0 1/4 for first place in the shot put.

Gearman expressed how impressive Studt has been during his first year.

“Aaron Studt once again showed he’s a force to be reckoned with in the shot put,” he said. “Even as a freshman.”

Senior Adam Schnaible also earned regional marks in two events this weekend. He threw for a fifth-place finish in the shot put at 55-9, and managed to launch the hammer 195-6, despite torrential downpours and horizontal winds.

Schnaible said he would like to throw farther later on, but was happy considering the circumstances.

“It was the worst conditions I’ve had to throw in yet,” he said.