The Gustavus women’s track and field team opened its outdoor season with a strong fourth place finish at the Central College Invitational in Pella, Iowa on Saturday. Junior Lisa Brown led the Gusties with a first place finish in the javelin and a second place finish in the shot put. Division I Drake University won the 17-team meet with 111 points, followed by Minnesota-Duluth with 103.83, Augustana (S.D.) with 97.5, and Gustavus with 85.3.
Brown started the outdoor season with a bang as she won the javelin and automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with a mark of 151 feet, 2 inches. She also finished second in the shot put with a NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 42 feet, 6 3/4 inches and 17th in the discus with a mark of 115 feet 11 inches.
Pole vaulter Shanna Dawson, who had a terrific indoor season, got her outdoor season off to a quick start with a first place finish at a NCAA Provisional qualifying height of 11 feet, 5 3/4 inches. Teammates Meredith Halling and Kelly Nelson tied for fifth place at a height of 10 feet.
Sophomore Kaelene Lundstrum also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships and placed second in the high jump at a height of 5 feet, 5 inches.
Other top performances in the field events included Janey Helland placing fourth in long jump (17 feet, 1 1/4 inches), and Sari Lindeman finishing sixth (35 feet, 1 3/4 inches) and Laura Lynch seventh (35 feet, 1 1/4 inches) in the triple jump.
In the running events, Gustavus was led by Chelsea Craven who placed second in the 400 meters with a time of 60.80. Elizabeth Pringle finished right behind Craven in fourth place at 61.08. Jill Fagerstrom led the way in the distance events as she placed third in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 41:20.3. Laura Edlund finished fourth in the 5000 meters (18:38.47) and Laura Secor placed fifth in the 3000 meter steeplechase (12:35.45).
In the relays, the 4×100 meter relay placed 7th (52.53) and the 4×400 meter relay finished fourth (4:03.01).