Emma Spagnola and Agnes Esser shine over weekend

Spagnola and Esser both broke program records.

Redshirt senior Titania Markland competes during the Border Battle at the Field House on Saturday.

Maddy Fox

Redshirt senior Titania Markland competes during the Border Battle at the Field House on Saturday.

by Kaleb Medhanie

Emma Spagnola and Agnes Esser had historic performances for Minnesota over the weekend.

On Friday, Spagnola won the 400-meter hurdles at a time that broke a 13-year old record. Esser had a career-best in the hammer throw, which earned her first all time in the program’s history.

The Gophers competed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in at the Mt. Sac Relays, Bryan Clay Invitational and the Beach Invitational in California. 

On Thursday in the Mt. Sac Relays in Torrance, California Temi Ogunrinde won the hammer throw with a mark of 221 feet, 2 inches.  Esser threw for 207 feet, 10 inches in the event. Nayoka Clunis threw a personal record of 206 feet, 2 inches in the open section of the hammer throw moving her to fourth in program history.

On Friday at the same meet, Paige Peschel ran the 800 meters at a time of 2:10.41 which is a personal record for her and allowed her to finish 11th. Madeline Strandemo ran for third at 9:56.28 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

Bethany Hasz and Megan Hasz both finished in the top two for Minnesota history in the 500 meters at the Mt. Sac Relays. Bethany Hasz ran at 15:59.46 which is a career best and Megan Hasz ran a 16:00.22 to finish fourth and fifth in the event, respectively.

Beach Invitational

On Saturday in Long Beach, California, the trio of hammer throwers led the field again. Ogunrinde won the event with a throw of 220 feet, 2 inches. Clunis finished fourth at 210 feet, 10 inches which moves her into second in Minnesota history. Esser threw 208 feet, 9 inches for third in program history.

Nicolle Murphy went for third in the javelin at a mark of 175 feet, 11 inches. Ryan Crotty finished in 29th for 136 feet, 4 inches.

Esser also broke a Minnesota record in the discus throw at 190 feet and 3 inches to finish in fourth. Kiley Sabin had a personal record of 175 feet, 9 inches to come in at 11th. 

Spagnola finished her historic race with a time of 57.35 seconds. 

“That’s been one of my goals since I got here was to break the school record in the 400 hurdles,” Spagnola said. “I was super excited when I was able to do that.”

Rachel Schow finished second at 58.08 seconds to become fourth in Minnesota history. They also competed in the 100 meter hurdle, Spagnola finished fifth at 13.52 seconds and Schow came in at eighth at 13.90.

“[Spagnola and I] do all the same events, I think I spend way too much time with her in the best possible way,” Schow said. “During that race, her and I were running back and forth and we just have so much fun competing together and that’s what makes this year a lot more fun.”

Bryan Clay Invitational 

On Thursday, Minnesota had four players competing in the Bryan Clay heptathlon in Azusa, California. Ayesha Champagnie led the group with a career-best 5,521 points, including personal records in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meters and 800-meters to finish fourth in Group 4. She is now third in program history. 

Ashley Ramacher finished 10th in Group 3 and cracked in the top five of Gophers’ history. She had a career-best of 5,231 points made personal records in the 100-meter hurdles, 800 meters, high jump, shot put, long jump.

Sofie Albrechtsen finished 13th in Group 3 to finish eighth in Minnesota history and posted a career-best of 5,143 points. 

Titania Markland won the 800 meter with a personal record of 2:06.38.

“A lot of people did well all across the board, a lot of that had to with having good weather” head coach Matt Bingle said. “We’ve basically had one meet where we’ve had great weather.”