GENEVA, Ohio – Gustavus women’s track & field was well-represented Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with an All-American performance and two finals qualifiers.
Annika Poe (Jr., Big Lake) earned All-America in the shot put by finishing in sixth place with a mark of 14.36 meters. Poe’s throw was a personal best and school record as she garnered her second All-America distinction of the year after doing the same in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Poe is the first Gustie woman to earn All-America in the outdoor shot put since Sam Broderius in 2009, while earning the program’s 10th All-America honor in the outdoor shot. Poe’s top mark of 47-1.5 came on her first throw of prelims. She followed with marks of 13.62 meters, 14.20, 13.95, 14.31, and 14.07.
“Annika had the best meet of her life,” throws coach Tom Thorkelson said. “She had a personal record, finished sixth, which is better than what she was seeded, and made All-American. It was an excellent end to a record-breaking season for her.”
“Nationals is always such a fun environment to compete in and ending the season with a new personal record against amazing competition is so awesome,” Poe said.
Birgen Nelson (Jr., Edina) continued to impress in the 100-hurdles and solidified her position as the No. 1 time coming into the event. Nelson won her heat by more than two-tenths of a second with a time of 13.72, recording the fastest time among 21 competitors in three heats. Nelson enters Saturday’s 100- and 400-hurdles finals with the top preliminary times in both events. The 100-hurdle final is 12:50 p.m. EST and the 400-hurdle final is at 2:15 p.m.
Elizabeth Donnelly (Sr., Langely, Wash.) broke her own school record in the 800-meter with a time of 2:09.96, qualifying for Saturday’s final. Donnelly, who entered the race with the No. 9 seed time, took second place in her heat and sixth overall among 21 competitors in three heats. Saturday’s final is set for 1:50 p.m.