Eight Blugolds take first place as women’s track team wins six-team home invite

Anna Nelson

With a slight change of plans Saturday the women’s track team still managed to pull together a strong competition. Originally they were scheduled to compete in St. Thomas but bad weather resulted in a six-team home meet instead.

The team had two main goals for the UWEC Snow Open – to make everything work out on short notice and to win the meet, said freshman high jumper Carrie Herdendorf.

With the exception of having to run the meet themselves without scoring officials, the meet went smoothly and resulted in a win for the Blugolds, she said. Herdendorf took second place in the high jump.

The Blugolds scored 230 points over second place Winona State (Minn.) with 71 points.

In their first outdoor meet of the season, the team had to face challenging weather conditions of wind and a wet track, she said.

The weather did not slow down the team a bit. Many of the athletes placed first in their events if not qualifying provisionally.

Freshman Jane-Marie Ovanin smashed through both of her events with a first place time of 10 minutes, 50.82 seconds in the 3,000 meter run and with a provisionally qualifying time of 17:52.77 in the 5,000 meter.

Qualifying in her events and having another chance to compete, despite the cancellation, were two things she wanted to get out of the meet, Ovanin said.

To qualify on the provisional level means a time good enough to go to nationals, she said, adding that not enough athletes had automatically qualifying times.

The season is still young but even at this point she has a small chance to compete in nationals.

Sophomore Katie Miller received first place for the 100- and 200-meter dashes, placing 13.01 and 27.03 in addition to taking the front leg of the 100-meter relay, which had a time of 50.46.

Winning her first race of her college career was freshman Alicia Fredricks, who capitalized the 1,500 meter event with a time of 5:07.81.

With success like this it is no doubt that coach Tracy Yengo is pleased with the season thus far.

“I think she is really impressed by the upcoming freshmen,” Herdendorf said.

Yengo was also pleased to get in more competition during the meet, Ovanin said.

Next Saturday the team will travel to the home track of conference rival UW-River Falls for the Falcon Open. Herdendorf said she hopes the team does its best for the second outdoor meet of the season and individually she said she is hoping to compete better in the outdoor meets than in previous indoor competitions.Eight women take first place as team wins six-team home invite