NDSU Women Primed to Defend Summit League Title in 2013
Release: January 10, 2013
Since joining The Summit League in 2007, the North Dakota State women's track & field team has yet to experience an indoor season that didn't result in a conference championship. Five seasons, five league titles.
The smallest margin of victory out of those five championships? A 50-point edge over South Dakota State in 2008.
With an experienced team returning in 2013, the Bison will be attempting to keep it that way.
The Bison return school record holders in five indoor events, including senior Deborah John, who holds the NDSU indoor records in the 60m dash and 60m hurdles. Senior sprinter Brittany Page owns the school record in the 300m, and she teamed up with Antoinette Goodman, Brittany Schanandore and Paige Stratioti to break the NDSU record in the 4x400m relay last season. Goodman and Stratioti return to the oval with one more year of experience, along with Page.
Page provides versatility in the sprint events, as she is ranked eighth or better all-time at NDSU in the 60m, 200m, 300m and 400m.
Senior Leslie Brost - an All-American, Olympic Trials qualifier, and school record holder in the pole vault - has exhausted her indoor eligibility and will compete unattached until the outdoor season begins.
Goodman has certainly done her share to contribute to the two most recent Summit League titles, winning back-to-back 200m championships and claiming the league long jump title a year ago. Goodman ranks No. 2 and No. 4 all-time at NDSU in the 200m and 60m dashes, respectively.
With John, Page and Goodman dominating the short sprints, sophomores Paige Stratioti and Ashlynn Simon and senior Faith Kruchowski have taken over the mid-distance reigns. Stratioti won the Summit League crown in the 400m as a freshman last season and recorded a season-best time of 55.07 that is tied for the fourth-fastest in school history. Also a placewinner in the 200m indoors, she recorded a sub-2:10 time in the 800m during the outdoor season.
Simon was fourth at the Summit League Championships in the 800m as a freshman in 2012 and ran 2:08.18 the next week to move to No. 6 all-time at NDSU in the event. Kruchowski claimed league runner-up honors in the 800m and is ranked No. 8 in Bison history.
The distance crew remains one of the best in The Summit League, having added another conference championship in cross county in October. Juniors Maddie McClellan and Heidi Peterson placed third at the conference meet in the mile and 5,000m, respectively, last season. Brecca Wahlund, the Summit League runner-up in cross country, is coming off a redshirt season and is expected to contribute in the distance events, along with returning sophomore Abbi Aspengren.
Junior Emily Lesser and senior Katie Johnson return to lead the Bison in the throwing events. Lesser scored 11 points for NDSU at the Summit League Indoor Championships in 2012, placing third in the weight throw and fourth in the shot put. Johnson is No. 4 all-time at NDSU in the indoor shot put, having thrown 47-10.50 at the Dakota Duals on Dec. 7 - a mark that currently puts her at No. 29 in the nation.
Ashley Heinze, Twila Moser and Emily Stalpes all return after placing in the Summit League pentathlon in 2012. The Bison also look to be strong in the high jump where they return the indoor fifth-place finisher in Moser, the outdoor third-place finisher in Greta Zietz, and true freshman Lexy Boschee, a four-time Montana state champion in the event who cleared 5-08.00 in the season opener.
Although the All-American Brost will not be competing for NDSU indoors, the Bison still have one of the top pole vaulters in the conference in junior Caitlin Mack. Mack was third at the Summit indoor meet last season and recorded a season-best clearance of 12-04.00 (3.76m). Freshman Anna Benke cleared 11-05.75 (3.50m) at the Dakota Duals on Dec. 7.
It all adds up to another balanced squad for head coach Ryun Godfrey's program. The Bison will spend the next seven weeks working toward the goal of making it add up to a sixth-consecutive Summit League indoor title.