Women’s track takes win with the wind

Anna Nelson

After breaking the school record in the 100-meter hurdles by a half second at Saturday’s Manitou Track and Field Classic, it could be said sophomore Breanna Mc Mullen runs like the wind.

But that’s not entirely true.

On Saturday, Mc Mullen finally got to run with the wind on the St. Olaf University track and it helped her lead the women’s track team to the meet’s team title.

After the meet, Mc Mullen said she thought she could set the record, it just took Mother Nature’s cooperation.

“I knew I could break the record, it was just a matter of getting a good race,” Mc Mullen said. “We haven’t had the greatest fortune with good weather.”

Along with breaking the school record in the 100-meter hurdles, she provisionally qualified for nationals in the 100-meter and 400-meter runs with times of 14.47 seconds and 1 minute, 3.09 seconds in first place finishes, respectively. The 400-meter relay team she is a part of also ran an NCAA provisional time of 49.40 seconds.

A provisional qualifying time means that if not enough competitors run an automatic qualifying time, the athletes who compete at nationals are picked by the best provisional times.

Sophomore Jessica Beaulieu, who has been battling injuries since spring break, took fourth in the shot put competition with a throw of 41 feet, 5.75 inches. It was her best throw of the season by two feet and provisionally qualified her for nationals.

“I’ll probably need to throw a little farther (to qualify for nationals),” she said. “I’m not expecting to go, but if I do, it would be great.”

Mc Mullen said she was happy with the team’s victory and finishing in front of two Div. II teams: Minnesota State-Mankato, which finished second, and University of Minnesota-Duluth, which finished sixth.

“It was nice with the team taking high places in almost every event,” said Mc Mullen, who had three of the Blugolds 17 top-six finishes. ”

Beaulieu agreed with her teammate’s assessment of the victory.

“I think we did excellent,” Beaulieu said. “I know the girls practiced real hard this week and about 50 percent of the team improved.”

The team will travel to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa for the Drake Relays next weekend. The prestigious event attracts top schools from all over the country in all three NCAA divisions.

After the Drake Relays the Blugolds will travel to UW-La Crosse to face their conference rival in a dual meet. In two weeks, the Blugolds will take the two-hour trek on Hwy 93 back to La Crosse for the WIAC Outdoor Championships.

The Blugolds have consistently finished fourth in both the outdoor and indoor conference meets, and want to finally break that streak.

“We’re looking to place better in conference,” Mc Mullen said. “We want to place third if not better.”