Women's track could send five to nationals

By Megan Walsh

As most students are beginning to prepare for finals, a few members of the women’s track team are working hard to qualify for nationals.

As most students are beginning to prepare for finals, a few members of the women’s track team are working hard to qualify for nationals. Susan Brown ’07, Kaela Schramm ’07, Emily Stafford ’06 and Koby Hagen ’06 all have a chance to qualify for nationals in their respective events.

There are two paths an athlete may take to qualify for the national competition. The first is by meeting an automatic mark, which is a very fast time for runners, or a great distance for jumpers and throwers. While this is quite hard, if an athlete reaches this mark, he or she is automatically in the national competition. The second way is to achieve a provisional mark, which puts the athlete in a pool with other athletes with similar times or marks. In track events, 18-20 runners will make it to nationals, while the number for field events is capped at 18. Coaches may choose to have athletes that have qualified for many events only compete in one or two, which opens the door for more athletes to qualify and makes the process difficult to predict.

As of now, Brown is ranked eighth in the triple jump, and has a chance of qualifying in the high jump, but has yet to post a provisional mark. Schramm has attained provisional marks in the past in the 100 meter high hurdles and triple jump. Stafford, who scored a provisional mark in the indoor season but did not qualify for nationals, has a chance of scoring a provisional mark in the outdoor season as well. Hagen’s best time in the 1500 meter is faster than the times that qualified for nationals last year. “All of us have qualified in the past, either last year or in indoor so we know that we can do it,” Shramm saidin an email. “It’s time to give that extra push and get a mark / time that will actually get us to Naperville [the site of this year’s national competition]. Koby and Susan have already qualified, so they’re right on track, but I think we all have high potential to get there,” Schramm continued.

Brown shares in Schramm’s optimism. “This year the team’s prospects of carrying a reasonable sized contingent to nationals are the best I’ve seen since I’ve been at Mac. Koby is doing great in her events and she has already posted a qualifying time, Kaela and Emily will definitely qualify. I think our presence will definitely be felt at Nationals this year,” Brown said.

Head coach Martin Peper also added that Lisa Ostenson ’06, who is only three meters short of a provisional mark in the javelin competition also has a chance. “It only takes one throw.” Peper said.

This past weekend the women’s team traveled to St. Peter to compete in the Gustavus Lee Krough Open. “The team did well. A lot of athletes posted personal bests,” Peper said. Brown broke her own month-old school record in the triple jump by leaping 11.45 meters to win the event. She also finished third in the high jump. Schramm had a very eventful meet. She placed second in the 100 meter high hurdles, losing by only one hundredth of a second, finished fourth in the 200 meter dash and added a sixth-place mark in the long jump. “Sometimes competing in so many events is difficult, because you have to run from one event to the other and it can be stressful, but I just focus on one event at a time and I am prepared to move on to the next as soon as I get finished.” Schramm said. The women’s 4×800 meter relay team, made up of Hagen, Stafford, Anna Shamey ’07 and Allie Woerpel ’07, finished first with a time of 9:41.08.

The women on the track team will have an opportunity to qualify for nationals and perform well in front of a home crowd on April 29 at the Macalester Invitational.