MORRIS, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Morris women’s track & field team defended its outdoor crown on Saturday, cruising to a team title at the 2021 UMAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Cougars had built a solid lead on the first day of competition, but obliterated the field on day two of the meet, defeating the closest visiting squad by nearly 70 points.
Minnesota Morris ended with 207 points for the two-day event. The College of St. Scholastica was second with 139 points. Martin Luther College took third with 111.5 points. In fourth place was the University of Wisconsin-Superior with 101 points. The University of Northwestern finished fifth with 64 points. The final three places went to Bethany Lutheran College in sixth (60 points), Crown College in seventh (50.5 points) and North Central University in eighth (30 points).
The Cougars notched four individual wins on Saturday, two of which came from Hailey Gill in throwing events. Gill won the shot put with the fourth-best distance in school history, winning with a heave of 40-6.25 (12.35 meters). Minnesota Morris had five of the top finishers in the event, with Jessica Bliese coming in third (37-0.25, 11.28 meters) and Jenica Moes finishing fourth (36-10.25, 11.23 meters). Kari Didier and Adrianna Bibeau also were among the scorers in the event.
Gill added a win in the discus with a throw of 125-5 (38.24 meters). The Cougars had three others score points in the discus, with Bliese taking second (124-8, 38.00 meters), Moes ending in third (113-11, 34.72 meters), and Bibeau placing fifth (105-10, 32.26 meters).
On the track Kaitlyn Ladwig and McKenna Langerud had a 1-2 finish in the 1,500 Meters with Ladwig notching the eighth-fastest time in school history, crossing the finish line in 5:02.88. Langerud was just behind, running the 10th-fastest time in program history in 5:04.55. Alexa Yeager also scored for the Cougars in the race, finishing eighth in 5:17.10.
It was another 1-2 finish for Minnesota Morris in the 5,000 Meters as Yeager ran the seventh-fastest time ever for a Cougar with a 19:30.29. Langerud had the eighth-fastest time in school history in 19:38.22. Chloe Haven added a seventh-place finish in 21:04.74.
Other notable individual finishers included Jasmine Terry in the high jump, clearing a height of 4-11.50 (1.51 meters) for the seventh-best leap in school history. Maddie Fenske and Clara Harter tied for sixth at 4-1.50 (1.26 meters). In the final of the 100 Meter Dash, long jump champion Jenna Benson was fifth (13.59) and Lydia Gross was seventh (13.84).
The women’s 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams were also in action, finishing third and sixth, respectively. The 4 x 100 team of Benson, Gross, Harter, and Taylor Prieve ran a time of 55.34 seconds. The 4 x 400 team of Fenske, Ladwig, Yeager, and Prieve ended in 4:47.33.
With the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships just weeks away, select members of the Cougars will likely compete in upcoming last chance meets in an attempt to attain or solidify their places at the national meet.