Women enjoy sun, third place at Alabama Invite

The men recorded eight wins in the rain at the Hamline Invite.

Megan Ryan

The Gophers men’s and women’s track and field teams had a successful weekend in different weather conditions.

While the men competed in the rain at the Hamline Invite, the women’s team enjoyed 70 degrees and sun at the Alabama Invite.

The women placed third with 102.5 points behind Penn State (115.50 points) and Nebraska (108.5).

“Obviously it’s always great to come down and beat some SEC [Southeastern Conference] schools,” head coach Matt Bingle said, “but I thought we had a shot to win.”

The Gophers tallied two event wins — senior Todea-Kay Willis in the long jump with 6.16 meters and senior Paige Orcutt in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:43.82.

But it was some lower-place finishes that helped make the difference.

Senior Alena Brooks placed second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:05.82. She set a new personal record and now ranks second in Gophers history.

Both Willis and junior Megan Geyen competed in three events in Alabama and scored points for the team in all of them. Both ran in the 4×100-meter relay with sophomore Akuoma Omeoga and senior Kylie Peterson to place second at 46.30 seconds. Willis placed third in the 200-meter dash, and Geyen placed third in the 400-meter dash.

Geyen was also a part of the fourth-place 4×400-meter relay. She said running multiple events doesn’t faze her.

“When I go out there, I’m not thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I need to score these points for my team,’” Geyen said. “I’m more so thinking, ‘I need to have fun, and I need to run well.’”

Junior Ashlie Decker placed second in the steeplechase at 10:47.82. Junior Maggie Bollig placed third in the 1,500-meter run.

Senior Jeri Johnson-Chambers was also second in the hammer throw at 56.25 meters, and sophomore Devin Stanford finished third in the discus. Redshirt freshman Bria Halama finished third in the triple jump.

The men’s team competed at the Hamline Invite this weekend despite the rain. While some events like the high jump and pole vault were moved inside because of the weather, the Gophers still recorded eight event wins.

“For the most part, I think we got out of it what there was to get out of it,” head coach Steve Plasencia said.

Senior John Holton won the 200-meter dash, an off-event for him, in 22.68 seconds. He then tied senior teammate Kevin Bradley for first in the 400-meter dash at 48.30 seconds.

Redshirt freshman Christian Skaret won the 800-meter run in 1:53.08, and junior Derek Storkel won the 1,500-meter run in 3:54.93.

Junior Ryan Todhunter won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.94 seconds, and redshirt freshman Goaner Deng won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.48 seconds.

Junior Zach Siegmeier led a top-four sweep of the pole vault at 5.20 meters, and sophomore Justin Barber led a top-four sweep in the discus throw at 53.69 meters.

Freshman basketball guard Wally Ellenson made his debut on the track team by competing unattached in the high jump. He won with a height of 2.17 meters.