The St. Olaf women’s track and field team officially opened its outdoor season on April 9 at the Ashton May Invitational in La Crosse, Wis. The Oles finished with a team score of 37, putting them in ninth place overall.
The Oles came out strong in the middle distance events, with Abby Stets ’18 running a 58.87 in the 400-meter dash, granting her a sixth place spot. A host of runners compete in the 800-meter dash, with Abbey Schnaith ’16 coming in third with a time of 2:24.90. Anna Holten ’17, Choyang Yangkyi ’18 and Jerlie Jensen ’17 also competed in the 800-meter dash, finishing with times of 2:33.33, 2:43.27 and 2:48.11.
Morghen Philippi ’16 led the Oles in the distance events, running a 17:59.89 in the 5000-meter race and finishing runner up in the final standings. Madison Van Wylen ’16 also finished in the runner-up spot, finishing the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.84. Van Wylen’s performance granted her MIAC Athlete of the Week honors and the fastest time in the MIAC 400-meter hurdles this season.
Kelsey Weed ’19 and Jane Vezina ’18 rounded out the meet in the javelin throw with distances of 31.17 meters and 17.16 meters.
Despite a ninth-place finish, the meet was the season opener and was a prime opportunity for the Oles to figure out where they are as a team. It was also an opportunity to see if runners are at full strength and to test out relay combinations that may prove to be an important part of the team as the outdoor season gets into full swing. Athletes can now begin to settle into the outdoor season after a long season of indoor competition, and with many Oles still resting and recovering from the indoor season, the women’s team will look to reach the podium when championship season rolls around in May.
The Oles’ next competition will take place at the Concordia Holst Invite in St. Paul, Minn. on April 16.