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Kayla Byl-Sioux Center-Dordt
©Jim Kirby

Dordt’s Women of Iowa Lead the Defenders

Kayla Byl-Sioux Center-Dordt ©Jim Kirby

Kayla Byl-Sioux Center-Dordt
©Jim Kirby

Dordt College hosted a seven team track and field invite on Thursday, April 2 in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Highlights for the Dordt Defenders included a 1-2-3 finish in the women’s 1500 meters with Justine Van Zee, Lillie Koerner and Kelsey Lewis takign the first three spots and all three broke 5:00 with Van Zee clocking a 4:52.37. Kayla Byl and Abby De Vries were 1-2 in the 3000 meter steeplechase with Byl clocking an 11:29.09. Mycah Hulst also took first in the high jump with a performance of 5-6.

Dordt’s next track and field action will be on April 10 and 11 at the Northwestern Invite in Orange City.

Women 5000 Meter Run

3 Lauren Opp SR Dordt 18:57.60

Women 100 Meter Hurdles
2 Robyn Blount JR Dordt 15.25

Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase
1 Kayla Byl JR Dordt 11:29.09
2 Abby De Vries SR Dordt 11:56.75
6 Kaylie Ogle JR Dordt 12:55.19

Erik Sowinski-Iowa
©Jim Kirby 2012

Former Hawk Breaks World Record

Erik Sowinski-Iowa ©Jim Kirby

Erik Sowinski-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

Utilizing a tremendous opening leg by Olympian Matt Centrowitz, Team USA shattered the previous men’s distance medley relay world record at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory on Saturday. The first stop of the USATF Championship Series, the Armory Track Invitational kicked off the 2015 professional indoor track & field season.

Centrowitz, along with Oregon standout Mike Berry, USATF Indoor Champion Erik Sowinski, and American 4x1500m record holder Pat Casey, knocked over six seconds off the previous record, set by the University of Texas in 2008 (9:25.97). The quartet crossed the finish in 9:19.93. Watch Team USA’s world record on USATF.tv here.

Centrowitz ran a phenomenal opening 1,200m, splitting 2:49.47. Handing off the baton to World Championships relay gold medalist Berry, the 400 meter leg only aided the quartet’s cause, as Berry passed the stick to Sowinski in a 46.40 400m split. Sowinski is no stranger to breaking world records in Team USA relays, having anchored the Team USA All-Stars to the 4×800-meter relay world record just over a year ago.

Sowinski ran a 1:47.60 800m split before Casey, who ran the opening leg of the American record 4x1500m at the IAAF World Relays last May, took over the final 1,600m. Casey finished his leg in 3:56.48 and carried the U.S. to a 9:19.93 finish

Another big winner Saturday was Jordan Hasay, who took home the women’s 2-mile invitational in 9:38.28. Hasay bided her time behind Buze Diriba, waiting to make her move until the final two laps. Hasay comfortably took the lead just before the bell lap and powered through the final 200 meters to take home the win in front of a packed crowd at the Armory. Watch Jordan outkick Buze Diriba on USATF.tv here.

Ajee’ Wilson looked to be in great form early in the season, taking the women’s 800m in 2:01.63. The race didn’t seem to go to the pace as planned, but Wilson powered through to take the win. Treniere Moser surged in the final 150 meters to earn the runner-up finish in 2:01.79. Watch Ajee’ take the women’s 800m on USATF.tv here.

Next weekend holds something for everyone, as the USATF Cross Country Championships kick off USATF.tv viewing on Saturday, Feb. 7. Fans can then catch the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Saturday as the USATF Championship Series rolls on to Boston with broadcast coverage on both USATF.tv. and NBCSN.

Jenny Simpson-Webster City-Colorado
©Jim Kirby

Webster City’s Jenny Simpson Breaks American Record

Jenny Simpson-Webster City-Colorado ©Jim Kirby

Jenny Simpson-Webster City-Colorado
©Jim Kirby

Records were broken in bunches at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday night, with two world and one national mark falling on an exciting evening of track and field. The Team New Balance USA quartet of Sarah Brown, Mahogany Jones, Megan Krumpoch, and Brenda Martinez combined to time 10:42.57 for the distance medley relay, shattering the previous world record of 10:50.98. The team’s performance kicked off what would be a night of fast performances on the newly resurfaced Reggie Lewis Center track, as American Jenny Simpson broke the national record for two miles and Bernard Lagat set a world masters best for 3000m.

Courtesy Competitor.com 

A week ago in New York City, the men’s indoor world record for the distance medley relay was broken by a Nike-sponsored American team. Tonight, it was the women’s turn, with all eyes focusing on Team New Balance USA. With Brown and Martinez serving as bookends to the relay, many predicted the University of Tennessee’s 2009 world mark of 10:50.98 would fall.

Leading off the 1200 meter leg, Brown found herself slightly adrift of the front, passing the baton off in second behind the New York All Stars. Attempting to set a world record held extra meaning for Brown, who was part of the University of Tennessee team that set the existing mark six years ago.

“When I knew that they [the team] was going after it, I said I really want a chance to be a part of it,” said Brown, “There’s something just extra special about being on a relay.”

Running the 400m leg for Team New Balance USA was Jones, formerly of Penn State University. Jones quickly caught up to the New York All Star team, clocking a 53.59-second split for two laps. From there, it was Krumpoch’s turn, battling with New York’s Latavia Thomas.

Nearly neck-and-neck, Thomas passed her baton first to Nicole Tully, while Krumpoch exchanged the Team New Balance baton to Martinez less than a quarter second later.

Martinez, the 2013 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist at 800m, regained the lead early on, though never quite shook the tenacious Tully. With fewer than 400 meters remaining, Tully surged trying to distance herself from Martinez. While she did gain the lead, the 28-year-old had a feeling that Martinez would come on strong in the final meters.

“I know Brenda’s got incredible 800 meter speed and a great kick so I figured, I was feeling pretty good with 400m to go so I needed to make a move early,” said Tully. “I could tell by the crowd in the last lap that Brenda was making a comeback.”

Looking at the big screen with 100 meters to go and then glancing back once again with 60 meters left, Tully knew that Martinez was gaining ground. All she could do was swing wide down the homestretch, but that was to no avail. Martinez broke the tape in 10:42.57, giving her team the new indoor world record. Tully’s New York All Stars team placed second in 10:42.79, also under the previous record.

“It was a strong group and I just trusted the girls,” said Martinez, relieved to have achieved the record. “We had a discussion last night saying ‘just give us your best leg at your current fitness and we’ll do just fine’… I really needed to dig down and get after it. I didn’t know it was the last lap, that’s how lost I was out there. I kinda snapped out of it and was like I got to go right now.”

Martinez’s teammate, Brown, said she had no doubt that Martinez had enough left in the tank to make the winning move.

“Brenda is one tough cookie. You can see it in her face when she has that determination,” said Brown. “When Nicole went around and I saw Brenda’s face didn’t falter whatsoever, I was like she might have this. She brought a tear to my eye when she was coming down that homestretch. She was fighting it out and doing it for all of the girls who ran before her. I was so proud of her.”

Jenny Simpson-Webster City-Colorado ©Jim Kirby

Jenny Simpson-Webster City-Colorado
©Jim Kirby

Cheers for the world record distance medley relay were loud from the near capacity crowd, though they were matched by the roar Jenny Simpson received when setting a new national record in the two mile.

Returning here one year after mistakenly miscounting laps (and costing herself a shot at the two mile national record), Simpson toed the line tonight with motivation. She knew Regina Jacobs’s 9:23.38 time from 2002 was well within reach.

After pacesetter Heather Wilson stepped off shortly after 1200 meters, it was Simpson leading a string of three Ethiopians: Sentayehu Ejigu, Buze Diriba, and Gotytom Gebreslase. Running lap after lap in the 34 to 35 second range, Simpson kept calm up front by listening to meet announcer Toni Reavis rattle off split times.

With her mind set on the national record, Simpson remembered a lesson she learned while chasing NCAA marks in her final year at the University of Colorado: keep your foot consistently on the gas.

“There’s a very fine balance between settling down and not pushing yourself past that threshold of going to the well, but also still grinding so that you’re keeping the pace up,” she said. “When you start slowing up even just tenths of a second, that can slip away really easily.”

By maintaining her hard pace, one by one the Ethiopians behind her dropped off. First it was Gebreslase, then Diriba, and finally Ejigu. Running her final 200 meters solo in 30.69 seconds, Simpson used the crowd’s adrenaline to power her through the finish in a new national record of 9:18.35.

“No leading, no kicking down people, none of that can help as much as having a rowdy crowd,” said Simpson. “Indoors that’s so much more vibrant and so much more in your face and it really, really helps.”

Taking to the track for the first time since he turned 40, Bernard Lagat wanted to set a record of his own: the masters indoor world record for 3000m. Finding himself tucked in behind Will Leer, Dejen Gebremeskel, and Hassan Mead, Lagat comfortably ran within himself for the race’s first half.

The 3000m turned out to be more like a 300 meter sprint, as no moves would be made until a lap and a half remained. That was when Gebremeskel got anxious and charged to the front.

Lagat, not wanting to lose, quickly matched Gebremeskel’s move and took over pole position. Laser-focused, Lagat made his way down the backstretch with Gebremeskel hot on his heels in full sprint mode.

“He is good at finishing,” said Gebremeskel of Lagat. “I know him very well, so especially if the race is a little bit slow I know he can kick so I was expecting that.”

Lagat did his best to hold off the lanky Ethiopian, pumping his arms faster than he had all race. Yet it was Gebremeskel who had one final gear coming off the last turn.

“I give more time to training this year for Boston Indoor. Three months, around that, I’ve been ready for this. I was working on finishing and sprinting because I was expecting it with Lagat coming,” said Gebremeskel, who won in 7:48.19.

Lagat was still pleased with his 7:48.33 performance, obliterating the previous world master’s record of 8:01.44. However, he thought he could have gone faster.

“I am satisfied but I think we could have gone a little faster. I think we could have gone faster because I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel but I really felt great during the race itself,” said Lagat before appearing on USA Track & Field’s ‘The Cool Down’ post-race show. “This one gave me a lot of confidence.”

In the men’s mile, New Zealand’s Nick Willis was a man on a mission. Having just completed a stint training at altitude in Flagstaff, Ariz., the 2008 Olympic silver medalist over 1500m felt sharp entering today’s race. He looked in prime form, taking over the lead after 1000 meters and never looking back.

Breaking the tape in 3:51.61, Willis set a New Zealand national record for the indoor mile. He eclipsed John Walker’s mark of 3:52.8, which was set in 1981 and matched in 1982. Willis is also running the NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games next weekend.

“I had forgotten about that [record],” Willis told Race Results Weekly, standing feet away from his longtime coach Ron Warhurst. “It’s always an honor to come alongside or ahead of John Walker, a legend in our sport.”

The women’s 2000m was won by Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum in 5:35.46. While the discipline is rarely contested, Seyaum’s time is the third fastest ever run indoors according to Alltime-Athletics.com. Seyaum did not speak to the press, as she got sick shortly after entering the media mixed zone.

Sally Kipyego, fresh off of a training camp in Kenya, finished second in 5:40.35, while steeplechaser Emma Coburn took third in 5:41.11.

Executing a finely timed kick, Nike Oregon Project’s Treniere Moser swung wide to pass teammate Mary Cain with a straightaway remaining in the women’s 1000m, going on to win in 2:37.86. Moser, 33, said the victory was a testament to the training she has completed under coach Alberto Salazar.

Cain, who led nearly the entire race after the rabbit had dropped off, admitted she ran hesitantly knowing that at some point Moser would likely strike with a killer kick.

“I think that was the problem. I think I was waiting for it, being like ‘When’s she coming? When’s she coming? When’s she coming? Rather than thinking Go! Go! Go!” said an honest Cain. “I think that reverse mental attitude, that kind of messed me up a bit.”

Cain and Moser will both run the NYRR Women’s Wanamaker Mile next week at the NYRR Millrose Games in New York City.

Another Nike Oregon Project victory came in the men’s 1000m, as Matthew Centrowitz timed a meet record of 2:17.00. Centrowitz’s time was less than a quarter second shy of David Torrence’s national record.

“This is great preparation,” said Centrowitz, who is running the NYRR Wanamaker Mile next Saturday. “Going through the half [800m] today in 1:50, whatever we go through next week will be obviously slower, and the aim is to make that [pace] feel good and we most likely will.”

North Carolina’s Ryen Frazier won the Girls Junior Mile by nearly ten seconds in 4:44.02; she will be attending North Carolina State University next fall. In the Boys section, Michigan’s Logan Wetzel defeated Rhode Island’s Jack Salisbury by one-one hundredth of a second, 4:08.75 to 4:08.76.

“I just wanted to put myself in position to finish well at the end and I was able to do that. It definitely came right down to the end,” said Wetzel. “This is the biggest win of my career so far.”
Read more at http://running.competitor.com/2015/02/news/jenny-simpson-breaks-american-2-mile-record_122552#jo1l2zElteEwfxck.99

Lauren Martin-Forest City-Simpson
©Jim Kirby

The Storm’s Martin & Yeager Come Big at Central

Lauren Martin-Forest City-Simpson ©Jim Kirby

Lauren Martin-Forest City-Simpson
©Jim Kirby

Lauren Martin won the 100-meter dash and Nick Yaeger won the 3,000-meter steeplechase to lead the Simpson track and field teams at the outdoor season-opening Central Invitational on Thursday.

The men placed fourth of eight teams with 92 points while the women took seventh of nine with 59 points.

Courtesy Storm Athletics

Martin broke the tape in 12.66 seconds, earning her first career win in the 100 meters. Yeager finished his first steeplechase since 2013 in 9:51.46, a 22-second personal record.

Trevor McKee and Isaac Frazier added second-place efforts for the men’s team with McKee running a 57.81 in the 400-meter hurdles and Frazier clearing 6-5 1/2 in the high jump. Dylan Kalinay came in third in the 110-meter high hurdles (14.98) and Bayley Fleshner placed third in the 100-meter hurdles for the women (15.19).

All of Simpson’s relay teams placed third. On the men’s side, the team of Kalinay, Davey Jergens, Tate Tufte and Triston Twedt ran 43.71 in the 4×100 and Brice Sheeder, Tufte, Twedt and McKee ran 3:31.52 in the 4×400. The women’s 4×100 relay squad of Fleshner, Martin, Sarah Ney and Sarah Galbraith ran 50.29 and the 4×400 team of Martin, Jessica Gronke, Courtney Neuendorf and Galbraith ran 4:15.91.

Simpson is off for the Easter Holiday and returns to action next weekend, April 10-11, at the Jim Duncan Invitational in Des Moines.

Women’s Team Standings
1. Central, 143.5; 2. Mount Mercy, 118; 3. Loras, 95; 4. Clarke, 89.5; 5. Winona State, 85; 6. William Penn, 78; 7. Simpson, 59; 8. Waldorf, 15; 9. Faith Baptist, 2

Men’s Team Standings
1. Loras, 212; 2. William Penn, 174; 3. Central, 119; 4. Simpson, 89; 5. Clarke, 46; 6. Mount Mercy, 37; 7. Waldorf, 13; 8. Faith Baptist, 2

Women’s Top Performances
100 – 1. Lauren Martin, 12.66; 8. Sarah Ney, 13.52
200 – 8. Sarah Ney, 27.66; 10. Lauren Martin, 27.97
400 – 5. Keeghan Corcoran, 1:07.52
800 – 12. Jessica Gronke, 2:36.83
1500 – 6. Courtney Neuendorf, 5:12.83; 8. Lesley Roquet, 5:22.16
100 hurdles – 3. Bayley Fleshner, 15.19
400 hurdles – 7. Sarah Galbraith, 1:12.43
4×100 relay – 3. Fleshner/Martin/Ney/Galbraith, 50.29
4×400 relay – 3. Martin/Gronke/Neuendorf/Galbraith, 4:15.91
High jump – 5. Sarah Galbraith, 1.43m
Pole vault – 3. Audrey Lovan, 2.15m
Long jump – 7. Bayley Fleshner, 4.78m
Triple jump – 6. Elisa Wildy, 10.31m
Javelin throw – 9. Hannah Moulds, 27.53m

Men’s Top Performances
100 – 5. Davey Jergens, 11.34
200 – 6. Dylan Kalinay, 22.74
400 – 5. Brice Sheeder, 50.64; 6. Jack Fritzjunker, 52.88
800 – 7. Cody Alexander, 2:02.74
1500 – 7. Miles Kirts, 4:15.35; 9. Ian McKenzie, 4:17.93; 10. Blake Willadsen, 4:20.47
110 hurdles – 3. Dylan Kalinay, 14.98
400 hurdles – 2. Trevor McKee, 57.81
3000 steeplechase – 1. Nick Yaeger, 9:51.46
4×100 relay – 3. Kalinay/Jergens/Tufte/Twedt, 43.71
4×400 – 3. Sheeder/Tufte/Twedt/McKee, 3:31.52
High jump – 2. Isaac Frazier, 1.97m
Pole vault – 4. Mitch Stoltzman, 3.95m
Long jump – 5. Brandt Seward, 6.07m
Shot put – Koltin Pfaffle, 12.16m

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viking relays 20150092

Vikings Place 2nd at Wartburg

viking relays 20150048The Viking’s women’s track and field team brought home five first place finishes Friday at the Wartburg Select and placed second out of seven teams.

Courtesy Viking Athletics
Sophomore Katie Roberts (Ankeny, Iowa) had a successful day on the track as she won the 400m dash in a time of 61.43 seconds, currently the second-fastest time in the MCC this season. Roberts also anchored the Viking’s 4x400m relay to a third place finish in 4:17.33. Other teammates on the 4×400 included freshman Kennedy King (Davenport, Iowa), sophomore Lindsay Albert (Eldon, Iowa) and freshman Jamie Barry (Maynard, Iowa).
In the field, sophomore Taylor Wells (Des Moines, Iowa) won both the javelin (33.73m) and discus (40.20m) and placed seventh in the hammer (40.94m). Senior Val Veiock (West Des Moines, Iowa) finished first in the shot put hitting the NAIA “B” standard with a mark of 13.29m as well as a second place finish in the javelin with a toss of 33.66m. Senior Jena Krebs (Washington, Iowa) finished first in the hammer and third in the shot put (11.93m). Krebs hammer throw of 48.25m meets the NAIA “B” standard.
Other notables from the event include a third place finish from sophomore Tanner Werthmann (Davenport, Iowa) in the 100m hurdles (15.99) and a third place finish in the high jump from freshman Christanne Middleton (Walker, Miss.). Grand View’s 4x800m relay (Bakita Kak-Jasmine Nielsen-Hannah Sobaski-Christa Nordgren) ran a time of 10:29.23 earning them a second place finish.

The Vikings continue their outdoor season this Saturday, April 11 at the Concordia Invitational in Seaward, Nebraska

Aaron Mallett-Iowa
©Darren Miller

Hawks Ranked 25th Nationally

Kevin Lewis-Otumwa-Iowa ©Jim Kirby

Kevin Lewis-Otumwa-Iowa
©Jim Kirby

The University of Iowa men’s track and field team debuted at No. 25 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Top 25 Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Monday.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics

The Hawkeyes were unranked when the preseason poll was announced March 24, but have since climbed eight spots following nationally-ranked individual performances at the Baldy Castillo Invitational, Florida Relays, and Stanford Invitational.

Aaron Mallett ranks second in the nation in the 110-meter hurdles following a career-best time of 13.60 at the Florida Relays. He added a second personal record in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 51.56 for a time that ranks 20th nationally.

Mallett also anchors Iowa’s top 400-meter relay. Vinnie Saucer, Jr., Brendan Thompson, James Harrington, and Mallett ran 40.07 at the Baldy Castillo Invitational and rank No. 15 in the country. Harrington hit an individual personal best at the same meet, running the 200 meters in 20.98, a time that ranks 21st in the nation.

Kevin Lewis set a personal-record in the 10,000 meters at the Stanford Invitational, finishing in 28:59.62 to rank 19th nationally.

The Hawkeyes are back in action April 17-18 at the Mt. Sac Relays. Iowa returns home to compete at the Drake Relays on April 23-25, and host the Musco Twilight XVI on Saturday, May 2.

central hurdlers

Central Women Win Invitational

Dan Roemerman-Central ©Jim Kirby

Dan Roemerman-Central
©Jim Kirby

The Central College women’s track and field team used first place finishes in five events to take first in the nine-team Central Invitational Thursday at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.

The Dutch men, competing without some key contributors, took third of eight teams.

Central women take first—Led by first place finishes and new personal bests the Dutch women scored 143.5 points to win the meet by 25.5 points over Mount Mercy.

Meredith Zimmerman (senior, Urbandale) took first place in the 100-meter hurdles (14.72 seconds). Her time in the prelims of 14.69 ranks third in Division III this season and is a new personal best.

“Meredith kind of started her season off right where she finished her indoor season,” said coach Joe Dunham. “It was a good start for her.”

Other first place finishes for the Dutch on the track included Morgan Koenigs (sophomore, Mapleton, Maple Valley-Anthon Oto HS) in the 400 (1:01.15), and Abi Davis (junior, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) in the 200 (25.47). Davis’s time is sixth in Division III and Allie McBroom (senior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), who finished second to Davis in 25.68, ranks 18th.

In the 800 meters the Dutch had four of the top five finishers including Kasey Wiedmaier (sophomore, Indianola), who won the event in 2:26.35.

A big personal best was set by Lorell Stuht (sophomore, Loveland, Colo.) in the hammer throw Thursday. She topped her old top mark by 24 feet with a toss of 159 feet 0 inches, which ranks 11th in Division III.

“Lorell Stuht had a great day in the hammer,” said Dunham.

In the high jump Hillary Hotz (senior, Fort Dodge, St. Edmond HS) took the title, clearing 5-2.25.

Dutch men take third—On the men’s side Central used multiple personal bests to earn a third place finish as a team (119 points). Loras took the men’s title with 212 points.

Kody Dailey (junior, Waterloo, Iowa City High) won the javelin throw with a toss of 187-11. The 2014 conference champion set a new personal best by nearly five feet and currently ranks 11th in Division III.

“I was really pleased with Kody,” said Dunham. “I thought he had a great day today. It’s a good start to the season for him. A big goal of ours for him this year is to qualify for the national meet, and he is well on his way.”

Dailey wasn’t the only standout in the throws Thursday as Gunnar Johnson (senior, Ankeny, Johnston HS) won the shot put with a toss of 48-5.5.

On the track Tate Jensen (freshman, De Sota, Adel-De Soto-Minburn HS) won the 400-meter hurdles by more than a second (56.74) and Dan Roemerman (junior, Iowa City) took second in the 110-meter hurdles (14.80). Roemerman’s time is the fifth fastest in Division III so far this season.

The Dutch also performed well in the 1,500 meters as Isaac Steffensmeier (sophomore, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) placed second (4:09.34) and Timothy Shepherd (senior, Knoxville) took third (4:11.55).

Both Dutch track teams will compete next at the Jim Duncan Invitational in Des Moines April 11-12.

sd

S. Dakota’s Glisar Breaks School Record

Megan Glisar-Sgt. Bluff-South Dakota ©Jim Kirby

Megan Glisar-Sgt. Bluff-South Dakota
©Jim Kirby

South Dakota senior Megan Glisar broke her own school record and finished runner-up in the high jump as the Coyote track and field teams wrapped up competition at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Saturday.

Glisar cleared 6 feet, ¾ inches to best the record she set a week ago at the Baldy Castillo Invitational by three-quarters of an inch. The height ranks third-best in Division I this season.

Distance runners senior Taylor Chapman and sophomore Mach Dojiok qualified to run in the Jerry Thompson Men’s Mile Invitational. Chapman placed eighth in 4:13.25 and Dojiok took 13th in 4:20.79.

Taylor Chapman-Spencer-Morningside ©Morningside Athletics

Taylor Chapman-Spencer-Morningside
©Morningside Athletics

Senior Cody Snyder rounded out the Coyotes competing on the final day of the Texas Relays. Snyder finished 14th in the shot put with a throw of 55-3.

Coyote track and field returns to South Dakota next Saturday for The Duels in Sioux Falls, S.D.

asu

Houlihan Breaks Meet Meet Record

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Shelby Houlihan-SC East-Arizona St. ©Michael Scott

Arizona State track and field’s senior Shelby Houlihan broke the 1500m run meet record on Saturday, the second and final day of ASU’s Pac-12 vs. Big Ten Invite at Sun Angel Stadium.

“When you look at our team, you see that we continue to make growth,” Director of Track and Field Greg Kraft. “We have to be patient, it’s March 28 and we have a lot more season to come. We’re making progress and people are improving. It’s almost a broken record when you say Shelby Houlihan was special, Bryan McBride was special. We need other people to be special, and we’re starting to see it. When you have some people that haven’t been there before that you’re counting on, that you know have star quality, like Magdalyn Ewen, you just have to be patient and keep the faith that she’s going to be able to do that. Brianna Tate has experience with that, Sara McDonald had a nice race for us, and Shaina Corbin’s steeplechase was a big deal for us tonight. McDonald and LaTroya Franklin in the relays were big for us, and Melese Crozier in the 4x400m relay gives us a team that I really believe can make it to the NCAA finals.”

At the meet, ASU teamed up with UCLA and Arizona to take on Michigan, Indiana, and Nebraska of the Big Ten. The Pac-12 women defeated the Big Ten women, 372-353, while the Big Ten men defeated the Pac-12 men, 363.5-356.7.

Houlihan opened the 2015 outdoor season in the 1500m run, leading from wire to wire and finishing at 4:14.35 and breaking the previous best time, set in 2007 by Oregon Track Club’s Jemma Simpson at 4:19.53.

The senior out of Sioux City, Iowa, also ran the third leg of the 4x400m relay, teaming up with freshman Melese Crozier, sophomore LaTroya Franklin, and senior Sara McDonald. ASU won the race with a season best time of 3:38.61, which currently is marked at one of the top-10 times in the NCAA West region.

Up next, the Sun Devils will have a week to prepare for the third home meet of the season, the 36th Sun Angel Track Classic, April 9-11, at Sun Angel Stadium.

Head Coach’s Views on Shelby Houlihan

“We know she can do well in whatever race we enter her into, we’re extremely confident in her, but we also know that at the Pac-12 meet, she’ll be doubling like she did at the NCAA Indoor Championships. It’s a hard double to do, whether it’s the 1500m and the 5k, or the 800m and 1500m. We have to look at what sets her up most importantly for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. We have to be able to put together points other than Shelby’s in order to meet our perennial goal of being a top-10 team. I’ve always said you have to be in the 20s, and Shelby can get us 10 points, but other people have to come up and score.”

Head Coach’s views onAssistant Coach Louie Quintana

“It was a great day. We started well in the 1500m with Shelby (Houlihan) running 4:14. We keep talking about the same thing, it seems, but she really brings a great energy to the meets. Being able to follow the race plan we put together was a great effort.”

Shelby Talkin’ Shelby

“I was really excited to come and open today. The 1500m went as planned, Louie (Quintana) wanted me to go out in 69-70s, go through 2:18 to 2:20, and that’s exactly what I did. I kicked the last lap and I kicked really well, going out in 63 seconds, with the last 200m in about 30, so that was awesome to be able to do. The leg of the 4×4 was awesome, I never get to run it, but I love running the 4×4, so it was fun to get out there. Louie asked me what I wanted to do this weekend, and we’d already talked about running the 1500m, and I asked if I could get into the relay and he said yes, and it would also help with my speed work.

“For this season I want to run the 1500m in around 4:07, which is the A Standard for Worlds, so that’s what I’m aiming at. I think I’m definitely in that shape right now. In the mile in indoor we went through 1500m in 4:09, 4:10, so I know I can do it, it’s just a matter of getting in the right race.”

Team Results

Women

  • Pac-12 (Arizona State, Arizona, UCLA) – 372
  • Big Ten (Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska) – 353

Women’s 1500m Run

  • 1. Shelby Houlihan – 4:14.35 (Meet Record/Previous: Jemma Simpson (Oregon TC: 4:19.53/2007)