The birds are singing, the snow is melting and the women’s track and field team is off to a great start. Many members on the team spent January and early February moving up St. Olaf’s record boards.
Women’s track and field began its season with a third-place finish at the Chuck Peterson opener. Rebekah Salfer ’23 ran the 60-meter hurdles in 9.63 seconds, sixth best in program history, while Paige Woldt ’21 finished the event in 9.69 seconds, eighth best ever.
In a friendly competition against Carleton College during interim, the women’s team breezed by with a 122-113 win, led by Annika Muller ’23. This first-year found her place on St. Olaf’s all-time list with an impressive 10.46 meters for the long jump and 5.10 meters for the triple jump.
During the same Carleton meet, Salfer followed close behind Muller in the long jump with 4.87 meters. Emily Bohling ’23 won the high jump at 1.60 meters and placed herself top-20 in Division III for this season.
A week later, Pahl again posted top-10 marks at the St. Olaf Quad. She improved her position in second on St. Olaf’s all-time list with a shot put throw of 12.87 meters. Even though it was her first time competing in the event, her weight throw landed her in the top-10s as well.
During the St. Olaf Quad’s 60-meter hurdles, Laura Kammer ’20 moved herself to fourth in program history with an impressive 9.33 second finish and Salfer set a new personal record of 9.42 seconds.
The Mark Shuck Multi-Pentathlon ushered in three top-20 Division III rankings. Mackenzie Schoustra ’20 led the women’s team with her finish in third and position as runner-up in both the high jump at 1.63 meters and 800-meter at 2:32.07 minutes, moving into ninth overall in Division III. Bohling finished sixth in the pentathlon with Salfer close behind.
Three weeks ago, Ellen Mickelson ’22 won the mile at the Gene Glader Classic with time of 5:26.73 minutes, beating her opener time by 11 seconds. She again set a new personal record when she came in second at 3:05.19 minutes in the 1,000-meter.
A week later at the Ted Nelson Classic, Mickelson again impressed fans as she helped place St. Olaf in 10th overall with her second-place finish at 3:12.03 minutes in the 1,000-meter, reaching another personal best. Muller marked second in the college’s all-time list with an impressive 11.00 meters in the triple jump.
Stand-out performances from first-years Salfer and Bohling, as well as returning distance-runner Mickelson, set the women’s team up well for the conference championships this spring.
For the first time in years, the St. Olaf women’s track and field program poses a serious threat to the University of St. Thomas’ 22-year winning streak at the conference championships. With a strong start to the season and many of our runners soaring up the leaderboards, our track and field team has set itself up for success.
Watch out, St. Thomas.