The Gustavus women’s track and field team will take participate in the MIAC Outdoor Championships this Friday and Saturday at Hamline University. The Gusties finished second at the outdoor meet a year ago and placed second at the indoor championships in March. Coach Tom Thorkelson’s squad will attempt to use its talent and depth to sneak past St. Thomas into the top spot this year. The meet begins at 3:00 pm on Friday and then on Saturday, events begin at 4:00 pm.
The Gustavus women’s track and field team will bring a deep and talented squad to the 2008 MIAC Outdoor Championships. The big question mark is whether the team has enough depth to challenge perennial champion St. Thomas. The Gusties were in first place after the first day last year, but finished a distant second and finished second to the Tommies at this year’s indoor conference meet.
In the field events, Gustavus will be led by junior javelin thrower Lisa Brown, who recently finished seventh at the Drake Relays with an effort of 156-5, which is the best throw in Division III this year. Brown will also contribute in the shot put. Seniors Shanna Dawson and Sari Lindeman also have high expectations as Dawson won the pole vault indoors and enters the meet with the best effort in the league this spring at 12-2 1/2, while Lindeman, the defending champion in the long jump is currently ranked second in the league with a mark of 17-3 1/2. Sophomore Kaelene Lundstrum, who finished second in the pentathlon, has recorded the best effort in the high jump at 5-6, and will also contribute in the 400 meters and on the relays.
In the running events, the Gusties have good depth in the sprints, middle distances, and in the long distances. Junior Aryn Bell currently ranks second in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.35, while a trio of runners are rated highly in the 400 meters including Abby Karl (sixth at 59.83), Liz Pringle (seventh at 59.95), and Chelsea Craven (eighth at 60.00). In the 800, sophomore Megan Lundgren ranks eighth at 2:18.11. In the long distances, senior Laura Edlund ranks first in the 5,000 meters with a time of 18:06.29, and Jill Fagerstrom ranks ninth in the 10,000 meters at 40:09.90.
Gustavus will also enter several quality relay teams as the 4×100 is currently ranked second with a time of 50.31, while the 4×400 (4:02.35) and 4×800 (10:11.31) are both ranked third.