Men and women successful in Iowa City

Krista Theis

Good weather at Saturday’s Musco Twilight Invitational produced several season highlights for many on the Minnesota men’s and women’s track and field teams.

A large group from both teams traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete against individuals from such teams as Wisconsin, Marquette and Illinois-Chicago.

Coaches gave many of Minnesota’s top athletes the weekend off to rest for this week’s Drake Relays but wanted to see others progress their development Saturday.

The women’s team had many personal best performances and NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying marks.

Junior Andrea Smith led the way in the pole vault, winning the event and qualifying for the region meet with a height of 12-11 1/2.

She was happy to get the regional mark out of the way and said the women were all reaching for high standards.

“We were just saying ‘bigger poles, bigger poles,’ ” Smith said.

Junior Ruby Radocaj also won a title in the javelin event. Her throw of 152-8 was an outdoor season best.

Christin Kingsley had the best meet of her junior year, winning the long jump and regionally qualifying with 20-3 3/4.

Coach Matt Bingle said that he was happy to see some people take advantage of the good competition and weather but thinks others need to step up.

“Some of them need to be determined to do this. They need to take it on as a challenge,” Bingle said. “They’ve got to want it and they’ve got to work at it for the next few weeks if they want to be in a spot to help this team win the title.”

Bingle said there were a lot of personal records and that was great to see, but thinks the women can do better in the coming weeks.

“I have complete confidence that we’ll get there,” Bingle said. “We have work to do, but we will get it done.”

Men still need improvement

The men’s track and field team worked at honing its skills this weekend too.

Coach Phil Lundin said he wanted those who were having a slow start to the season to really step it up this weekend.

He said he believes his team has the right attitude to make some moves in the next few weeks.

“You can see people are starting to compete a little more robust and that’s good even though their performances aren’t that good,” Lundin said. “The competitive edge is coming so I think that’s promising.”

One of the Gophers who did step it up a little this weekend was senior thrower Adam Schnaible.

He placed second with regional qualifying distances in both the hammer throw and shot put.

In the hammer he had a season best of 197-7 and pulled through with a career best in the shot put at 58-7 1/4.

Schnaible said he was happy with his performances and liked throwing outside in nice weather once again.

Lundin said it was good to see the progress of some men but wishes it was coming along faster for others with little time before the championship season.

“Overall we’re making the necessary steps toward the Big Ten’s; we just need more oomph.”