The Gustavus women’s track and field team, which was in fifth place after the first day of competition, came on strong on the final day and posted an impressive second place finish at the MIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The meet was held at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.
The Gusties picked up three event titles during the weekend as senior Nichole Peterson (Arco, Minn.) won the 10, 000 meters in a school record time of 36:48.52, sophomore Janna Castellano (Blaine, Minn.) won the pole vault with a school record effort of 11-8, and junior Kourtney Joyce (Wadena, M inn.) won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in a school record time of 11:09.05.
While the first place finishes were impressive it was depth that allowed Coach Tom Thorkelson’s squad to secure the second place finish. Gustavus posted 10 second, third or fourth place finishes. Second place finishes were recorded by Kristi Schneider (Sr., Hastings, Minn.) in the pole vault, Val Berquam (So., Kenyon, Minn.) in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, Hailey Harren (So., Cold Spring, Minn.) in the 10,000 meters, and the 4×100 meter relay team of Ashley Cronen (Jr., Kandiyohi, Minn.), Janna Castellano, Sari Lindeman (Fy., Cannon Falls, Minn.), and Blythe Bittman (Jr., Fairmont, Minn.). Third place finishers included Hailey Harren in the 5,000 meters, and the 4×400 meter relay team of Bittman, Krista Cruse (Hastings, Minn.), Ali Cordie (Sr., Sartell, Minn.), and Ashley Cronen, and the fourth place finishers were Alicia Blomquist (Fy., Owatonna, Minn.) in the pole vault, Nichole Petersen in the 5,000 meters, Carlie Hanson (So., Buffalo, Minn.) in the 400 meter hurdles, and Josie Thulien (Sr., St. James, Minn.) in the discus.
Several athletes reached NCAA Provisional qualifying marks at the meet and will now wait to see if they will be invited to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, May 26-28. Those reaching NCAA Provisional marks were Nichole Petersen and Hailey Harren in the 10,000 meter run, Janna Castellano, Kristi Schneider, and Alicia Blomquist in the pole vault, and Kourtney Joyce in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Final team scores for the MIAC Championships were 1. St. Thomas 148, 2. Gustavus 107, 3. St. Benedict 99, 4. Macalester 84.5, 5. Saint Mary’s 50, 6. Augsburg 47, 7. St. Olaf 42, 8. Bethel 41.5, 9. Carleton 41, 10. Hamline 32, 11. St. Catherine 6