Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview

Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship Preview
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The 2011 MIAC Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championship will take place this Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5 at the brand new Anderson Fieldhouse on the University of St. Thomas campus in St. Paul, Minn.

The meet’s host, St. Thomas, returns as the 11-time defending champion, but last year’s runner up Gustavus has its sights set on taking the top spot from the Tommies. UST won the 2010 indoor title with a score of 158.0, with the Gusties in second at 130.0. Saint Benedict (88.0), Carleton (74.0) and Bethel (66.0) rounded out the top five last year, with the rest of the teams finishing in this order: St. Catherine (59.0), Hamline (53.0), Concordia (42.0), St. Olaf (38.0), Augsburg (37.0), Macalester (21.0), Saint Mary’s (13.0).
 
Gustavus enters the 2011 Championships as the MIAC’s top-ranked team. The Gusties are currently ranked No. 20 in Division III and fifth in the Central Region. St. Thomas is two spots back in the Region rankings at No. 7 and Saint Benedict is the other MIAC team to appear in the top 10 at No. 8. Those three should make it an interesting battle for the 2011 conference championship, and it could be one of the closest races at the top in years.

Headlining the individual entries in this year’s meet is Carleton distance runner Simone Childs-Walker, who is the two-time defending champion in both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs. This season, Childs-Walker is atop the MIAC performance list in those two events and the mile, and she has met the NCAA’s provisional standard in the mile and the 5,000.
 
Gustavus field athlete Janey Helland will also be one to watch this weekend. She is the two-time defending MIAC champion in the long jump, and she has already met the NCAA’s automatic qualifying standard in that event and the pentathalon in 2011. Saint Benedict’s Julia Renner is another two-time defending champion. She is looking for her third title in the triple jump, where she currently sits fourth on the performance list.
 
Other defending champions in this year’s meet are Gustavus’ Sam Broderius, who won last year’s shot put title and has met this provisional distance this season. Shanek Telphia from Augsburg also returns as the defending champion in the 200-meter dash. She ranks atop the MIAC’s performance list in that event again this season, and she enters the meet with the second-best time in the 400-meter dash as well.

There are several other athletes to watch at this year’s MIAC meet who have met the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in their respective events. St. Thomas freshman Emily Van Heel is atop the performance list in the 55- and 400-meter dashes, and she sits second in two other events. Hamline teammates Brenna Coyle and Robyn Wernberg have both met the provisional qualifying distance in the weight throw. Concordia’s Alyssa Deutschmann enters atop the high jump performance list with a provisional qualifying height, and Saint Benedict’s Danielle Busch comes in ranked No. 1 in the MIAC with a provisional mark in the pole vault.
 
The 2011 Championships open with the men's and women's pentathlon events taking place on Thursday, March 3. Competition is set to begin at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Action continues Friday with field events beginning at 4 p.m. and track events starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday’s final session opens with field events at 11:30 a.m. Saturday’s running events begin at 2 p.m., and a short awards presentation will follow the final event of the meet, which begins at 5:15 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students, and can be purchased at the door.

 

2011 MIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships Website



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Augsburg

Coach: Dennis Barker (17th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 10th (37 points)
Augsburg Championship Preview
Led by a talented group of sprinters, including a 2010 NCAA indoor national championships qualifier, the Augsburg College women's track and field team will look to improve upon last year's 10th-place finish at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, to be held this weekend at the University of St. Thomas.

Shanek Telphia (SO, Chicago, Ill./Gage Park HS) will enter this year's MIAC championships looking to defend her 200-meter dash indoor title. Telphia, who currently owns the fastest 200-meter time in the conference this season, will also look to make her mark in the 55-meter and 400-meter dashes this weekend. Telphia's time of 59.62 seconds in the 400 ranks as the second-fastest time recorded in the MIAC this season, and is .02 seconds away from an NCAA championships provisional qualifying time. Telphia qualified for the 2010 NCAA national championships in the 400 last season. 

Joining Telphia will be a group of sprinters, including Ashley Carney (SO, Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South HS), Katie Vrieze (SR, Richfield, Minn.) and Dawn Flowers (FY, St. Paul, Minn./Arlington HS). Carney, who currently owns the sixth-fastest time among MIAC competitiors in the 55-meter dash, will also compete in the 200-meter dash.

Vrieze, who will be competing in her fourth indoor conference championship meet, will look to make an impact for the Auggies in the 55, 200, and 400-meter races.

Telphia, Carney, Flowers and Vrieze will also look to contribute in the relays, where the quartet recently broke the school record in the 800-meter relay. The relay team's time of 1:43.83 currently ranks as the top time recorded in the MIAC this season.

Kacie Bahr (JR, Brainerd, Minn.) will look to suppliment the Auggies' point total in the 400-meter dash. 

Hurdler Caroline Senungi (SR, Shoreview, Minn./Mounds View HS) will compete in the 55-meter hurdles for the Auggies. Senungi, a former MIAC Athlete of the Week, currently owns the fourth-fastest 55-meter hurdle time in the conference this season.

In the field events, school record-holder Brittany Tuberg (SO, Apple Valley, Minn.) will lead Augsburg in the pole vault competition. Turberg finished fourth in the pole vault last season, and currently owns the sixth best height in the conference this season. 

Bethel

Coach: Jim Timp (6th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 5th (66 points)
Bethel Championship Preview
Coming off of a 5th place finish a year ago the Royals look to a young group of incoming athletes to contribute right of the bat and continue to improve their standing in the MIAC.
 
The Royals lose National Champion Marie Borner to graduation but have a great class of young athletes qualified for the conference meet that will look to take the programs success and create a greater deal of depth.
 
In the field the Royals have seen great things from long and triple jumper Nicole Berscheid who sits 4th and 3rd in those events respectively. Newcomer Rachael Kalk is also in good position entering the meet with the 5th best triple jump. In the high jump the Royals are represented well by Stephanie Skoog, Kari Whitney and Lauren West.
 
On the track freshman Ashely Magelssen lead the sprinting corps, while veteran distance runners Kayla Jelen, Alex Potter, and Kristin Mork bring depth in the middle and long distances.

Carleton
Coach: Donna Ricks (18th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 4th (74 points)

Carleton Championship Preview

The Carleton College women’s track and field team will have its work cut out for it this weekend as it attempts to match last year’s fourth-place finish at the MIAC Indoor Championships. With no sprinters near the top of the conference leader board, the Knights will rely on strong performances in the middle- and long-distance races as well as several field events at this year’s meet, held Thursday through Saturday at the University of St. Thomas’ Anderson Athletic & Recreation Center.

Leading the Knights for the third straight year will be All-American Simone Childs-Walker (Jr./Seattle, Wash./Lakeside). The junior sensation enters the weekend with the MIAC’s top times at he mile, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters distances, boasting NCAA provisional qualifying times in both the mile and 5k (note: the 3k is not an NCAA event). At last year’s event, Childs-Walker won both the 3000 and 5000 before finishing third in the 5K at the national championship meet.

Joining Childs-Walker in the distance events and key to the Knights’ success will be juniors Taylor Ffitch (Portland, Ore./St. Mary’s Academy) and Alison Smyth (Billings, Mont./Billings West), who will both run the 3K and 5K. Smyth holds top-10 times in those events and was a large part of the Knights’ success a year ago, placing fourth in the 3,000-meter run and sixth in the mile. Meanwhile, Ffitch ranks in the top 10 in the 5K, having knocked 10 seconds off her previous best in the mile at last Friday’s St. Olaf Qualifier

Haley Johnson (So./Golden Valley, Minn.) and Kaitlin Randolph (Jr./Drummond, Wis.) will lead the Knights in the middle distances, as both enter the meet with top-10 times in the their respective events. Johnson boasts the MIAC’s sixth-best time in the 800 and eighth-best in the 1000, while Randolph holds the 10th-best mark in the 600-meter run.

In the field events, meanwhile, pole-vaulter Megan Erlandson (Jr./Minneapolis, Minn./Minnehaha Academy) will be a crucial scorer for the Knights. Having broken her own school record several times during the season, she enters the weekend with the MIAC’s third-best mark at 3.34 meters, set at the Ole Qualifier last Friday.

Other important field contributors for the Knights will be Kyla Walter (Sr./Aspen, Colo.) in the high jump and pentathlon, and outdoor All-American Kelly Lovett (Sr./Portland, Ore./Lincoln) in the shot put.


Concordia

Coach: Marv Roeske (16th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 8th (42 points)

Concordia Championship Preview

Concordia enters the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship Meet with one NCAA national provisional qualifying mark and will be hoping to add another as well as post several top 5 conference marks at the meet.

The top Cobbers entering the MIAC Meet cover the spectrum of classes. Senior Alyssa Deutschmann (Hastings, Minn.) has already provisionally qualified for the national meet in the high jump while junior Tatijana MuellerDahlberg (Fargo, N.D./Oak Grove HS) owns the top mark in the conference in the triple jump and freshman Gina Weiss (Monticello, Minn.) has excelled in the middle distance in her first collegiate indoor season.

Deutschmann, the reigning MIAC Field Athlete of the Week, has the best mark in the high jump this season. She cleared 5-05.25 at the St. Olaf Ole Open last weekend to reach the NCAA provisional qualifying height right on the mark. Deutschmann is also ranked in the top 10 in the conference in the triple jump. She recorded a distance of 35-01.25 at the Ole Open which is the seventh best in the league this year. 

MuellerDahlberg posted a conference-best distance of 36-09.00 in the triple jump at the St. Ben’s/St. John’s Quadrangualr Meet. That mark is just two inches shy of the NCAA provisional qualifying distance of 36-11. MuellerDahlberg also has the fifth fastest time in the MIAC in the 60-meter dash this year.

Weiss has top 10 conference times in both the 400 and 600 meters this year and could score team points in both events. She clocked a 60.48 in the 400 meters at the St. Ben’s/St. John’s Quadrangualr Meet which is the ninth best in the conference this year. It is also the seventh fastest time in school history. Weiss has a season-best time of 1:41.13 in the 600 meters this year. That mark is also ninth best in the MIAC. Weiss will also be a big factor on the Cobber 4x200-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay teams.

Four Cobber seniors have also posted top 10 conference marks this year. Alexa Kleingartner (West Fargo, N.D.) owns the eighth fastest time in the 55-meter hurdles with a mark of 8.91. Macey Bentley (Detroit Lakes, Minn.) is second in the pentathlon and will hope to continue CC’s tradition of success in that event while Larissa Hansmeier (Bristol, S.D./Webster HS) and Kierstin Nygaard (Forest Lake, Minn.) both have top marks in the throwing events. Hansmeier is ranked seventh in the weight throw and Nygaard is ninth in the same event.


Gustavus

Coach: Dale Bahr (2snd season)
2010 Championship Finish: 2nd (130 points)

Gustavus Championship Preview

After three consecutive seasons of finishing runner-up to the St. Thomas, the Gustavus women’s indoor track and field team is set for a return to the top of the conference at the 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships held in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex on the campus of the University of St. Thomas March 3-5.

 
The Gusties currently have 12 competitors ranking in the top-10 on the MIAC performance lists heading into the meet. Top competitors returning to the track for the Gusties include Janey Helland, Abby Karl, and Sam Broderius. Helland will look to score points in both the track and field events. She enters the meet as the top competitor in the pentathlon and long jump, automatically qualifying for the NCAA Championships in both with a score of 3503 and a leap of 18’ 9.25”. Helland is also ranked second in the high jump with a mark of 5’ 3.25”.
 
Sam Broderius is Gustavus’ top thrower, ranking first in the shot put with an NCAA provisional mark of 42’ 2.75”, and sixth in the weight throw 48’ 8”. 
 
Abby Karl is the top runner entering the conference meet, ranking first in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:37.60, and fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:20.32. 
 
Megan Lundgren has recorded a top-10 time in three running events, including the 1000-meter run (3rd, 3:03.62), 800-meter run (5th, 2:20.34), and 600-meter dash (8th, 1:46.11). Beth Hauer is the top distance runner, ranking third in the 3000-meter run (10:27.29) and fourth in the 5000-meter run (17:50.14). Brooke Beskau rounds out the group, sitting in ninth in the 5000-meter run (18:40.82). 
 
Lauren Rothschiller, Madeline Schmitz, and Anna McDevitt will look to place in the jumps.   Rothschiller ranks sixth in the triple jump (35’ 4”), Schmitz ranks seventh in the high jump (5’ 2.25”), and McDevitt ranks eighth in the triple jump (34’ 7.75”). 
 
Others looking to score points in the field events include Megan Endresen, Emily Ford, and Ally Voss. Endresen has the sixth best toss in the weight throw (49’ 0.25”), and Ford is sixth in the shot put (39’ 2.25”). Voss ranks sixth in the pole vault with a mark of 10’ 6.25”. 
 
The 2011 MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships will begin at 2:00 and 2:15 pm Thursday, March 3 with the women’s and men’s pentathlon. The meet will continue at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.  

Hamline

Coach: Shawn Johnson-Hipp (5th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 7th (53 points)

Hamline Championship Preview

Shawn Johnson-Hipp will look to continue the improvement that the Hamline University women’s track and field program has made in the MIAC championships as the Pipers look to improve upon their seventh-place finish of a year ago.
 

Hamline enters the 2011 meet with several strong performances in recent weeks, as the Pipers set four new school records and have had numerous NCAA provisional qualifying throws in the final weekends of preparation for the conference meet.
Brenna Coyle (Jr., Lindstrom, Minn.), Robyn Wernberg (Sr., Brainerd, Minn.), and Becky Culp (So., Lino Lakes, Minn.) have led the Piper throwers this winter and look to score numerous points this weekend. Coyle and Wernberg are the lone MIAC throwers to have NCAA provisional tosses in the weight throw this season while Culp and Wernberg have marks just outside of the provisional range.
In other field events, Piper vaulter Arlene Behling (Sr. Plymouth, Minn.) broke the school record in the pole vault last weekend and will be looking to score in the championships this weekend. She will be joined in the event by Carly Braun (So., St. Cloud, Minn.).
Braun will be pulling double-duty as she joins a set of strong Piper sprinters on the track, led by Christian Walker (So., Katy, Texas), who has already etched her name in the Hamline record books numerous times in her short career. Most recently, she set two new individual school records in the 55-meter and 200-meter dashes.
Walker also anchored the Piper 1600-meter relay team of Hope Hertz (Fy. Elk River, Minn.), Keelie Sorenson (Fy. Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Kameron Argiannis (Sr. Eden Prairie, Minn.) that bested the school record this winter.
Johnson-Hipp will also be looking for a strong performance out of Argiannis in the hurdles, an event in which she holds an MIAC championship at the 400-meter distance outdoors. Additionally, Argiannis will represent the Pipers on Thursday in the pentathlon, grabbing points that the Pipers lacked last season.
Another trademark of the Pipers is always in the distance events, and this year should be no exception. Seniors Jessica Kociscak (Anoka, Minn.), Sara Holland (Dousman, Wis.), and Lauren Howe (Siren, Wis.) will lead a deep group of runners that includes first-year Maria Theisen (Minneapolis, Minn.) and junior Carolyn Bocovich (Andover, Minn.).
With increased veteran leadership on the team, and the hopeful addition of points from the multi-event day of competition, Johnson-Hipp should see her Pipers rise up the MIAC standings this year.

Macalester

Coach: Martin Peper (12th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 11th (21 points)

Macalester Championship Preview

The Scots head into the conference championships coming off some strong performances at last weekend’s Macalester Pre-MIAC Meeting. School records were set or tied in that meet by Robin Major (Sr., Putney, Vt. / Bellow Falls Union ) in the 600-meter dash (1:37.99), Ana Armitage (Fy., Rickton, Ill. / Hononegah Community) in the 200 dash (26.10), and Jasmine Eddy (Fy., Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) in the shot put (12.38m. / 40-7 1/2).

 
Also at the Pre-MIAC Meeting, Tara McCoy (Sr., Menomonie, Wis.) ran the second-fastest 1000-meter time in program history (2:58.95). McCoy’s time tops the MIAC honor roll and she also boasts the fastest 800-meter clocking coming into the meet. Major is ranked No. 2 in the 600 meters and third in the 800, and Armitage is third in the 200 dash. Eddy ranks fourth in the shot put.
 
Armitage and sprinter teammates Alexa Simpson (So., St. Elizabeth, Jamaica / Hampton School), Mari Mejia (Sr., Golden Valley, Minn. / St. Louis Park) and Shasta Webb (So., Los Gatos, Calif.) give the Scots hope for high individual and relay finishes. Simpson ranks in the top 10 in the conference in the 55 dash and 200 dash. Triple jumper Kate Rochat (So., Portland, Ore. / Cleveland) is capable of making the finals, as is Libby Tollefson (Sr., Billings, Mont.) in the mile.

Saint Benedict

Coach: Robin Balder-Lanoue (12th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 3rd (88 points)
Saint Benedict Championship Preview

After finishing third the last two years, the College of Saint Benedict track indoor track and field team will try to crack the top two at the 2011 MIAC Indoor Championships.
The Blazers have several standout performers that have helped the Blazers enjoy a solid indoor season. Sophomore Danielle Busch met an NCAA Provision height in the pole vault (3.66 meters) at the Carleton Dual. Junior Julia Renner is a threat in the triple, long and high jumps, while senior Abbey Neigebauer has been exceptional in the 55 meter dash. All three athletes have competed at the NCAA Championships and look to return this year.
Other key contributors include senior Jillian Daleiden in the 400 and 600 meter dashes and sophomore Anna Williams in the 800 and 1000 meter runs. Three first-years have also made an impact for the Blazers, including Clare Foley in the 200 meter dash, Mo Flynn in the 55 meter hurdles, and Amanda Witschen in the long jump.
With experienced and new talent alike, the Blazers should be a tough contender at the MIAC Championships.

St. Catherine

Coach: Michael Henderson (5th season)
2010 Championship Finish: 6th (59 points)

St. Catherine Championship Preview

A year after securing their highest point total ever at the MIAC indoor track championships, the 2011 St. Kate's track team will be looking for some new faces to fill the void left after the graduation of a talented senior class.  

Fortunately for the 2011 Wildcats, one similarity they have to last year's team is excellent senior leadership. Senior team captains Jennifer Ampe (pole vault), Kim Engel (sprints), and Kayla Engel (mid-distance) have not only set numerous St. Kate's school records, but, as their collection of all-conference awards demonstrate, they have excellent championship meet experience which they can use to help their younger teammates get acclimated to the always competitive MIAC.
Some of the underclassman the Wildcats will be looking to this year include: junior Brianna Ludtke (sprints), sophomores Erin Coughlin (sprints) and Kelsey Eder (mid-distance), and first-years Sarah Howe (mid-distance), Stephanie Mueller (mid-distance), Kristina Poss (distance), Maddie Skaalrud (sprints), and Hayley Tsuji (pole vault). 

Having set two school records in the final weeks of the indoor season, (Jennifer Ampe-Pole Vault and Brianna Ludtke-55 meter dash), the Wildcats hope to carry that momentum through to another exciting indoor championship meet.


Saint Mary's

Coach: Shawn McMahon (4th season)
2011 Championship Finish: 12th (13 points)

Saint Mary's Championship Preview

Brittany Kuehn (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) is just hitting her stride — and the timing could not be better for the Saint Mary’s University senior.
 
Kuehn has won events in each of her last two meets — winning the 800 at the UW-Stevens Point Eastbay Invitational two weeks ago, then adding a first-place finish in the 400 at last week’s St. Olaf Ole Qualifier — and coach Shawn McMahon is expecting big things from his senior at this weekend’s MIAC Indoor Championships.
 
“Brittany has had a great senior indoor season,” McMahon said. “And, hopefully, she can write a great final chapter this weekend.”
 
Kuehn leads a solid team into the two-day conference championships. The throwers — led by Sarah Harstad (Chatfield, Minn.) and Coco Booker (St. Paul, Minn.) — have been on top of their game while senior Emily Dee (Racine, Minn.) leads the charge for the Cardinal distance runners.
 
“I tell my athletes that our goal is to improve every day,” said McMahon. “We're going to continue to compete and work towards our goals. If we can do that, the MIAC Championships should be an exciting couple of days.”


St. Olaf

Coach: Andrea Gelle (1st season)
2010 Championship Finish: 9th (38 points)

St. Olaf Championship Preview

St. Olaf's institutional track and field preview will be available online soon.

St. Thomas

Coach: Joe Sweeney (31st season)
2010 Championship Finish: 1st (158 points)

St. Thomas Championship Preview

The St. Thomas women will attempt to win the program's 12th consecutive team crown at this week's MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at UST's Anderson Fieldhouse.

 

A wide open race is expected in the chase for the team crown led by Gustavus, UST, St. Ben's and Hamline.

 

Last year, the Toms held off the runner-up Gusties by a 28-point margin indoors and by a 35.5-point margin outdoors.

 

The Toms have captured 49 of the last 55 MIAC team championships contested indoors and outdoors since 1983. St. Thomas men and women have won 104 all-time MIAC team titles in indoor and outdoor track and field.

 

St. Thomas graduated All-American middle-distance runners Kelly Russ and Erin Sprangers and All-American sprinter Nikki Arola. Coach Joe Sweeney will lean on a few dynamic competitors in UST's 2011 title bid.

 

--Freshman Emily Van Heel is seeded first in the 55 and 400 dashes, second in the 200 and triple jump, and third in the long jump.

--Senior Allie Metzler is seeded in the top four in three distance races.

--Senior Melissa Kuebler is seeded first in the MIAC in the 55 hurdles.

--Junior Amy Maas is seeded third in the weight throw and fifth in the shot put.

--UST is also ranked first in the 4x400 relay.

 

The Toms have two NCAA provisional qualifiers. In the conference season-best lists, UST has four performances ranked first, four ranked second, and three seeded third.