Indiana women’s track and field competed in its first home meet of the season over the weekend, the Gladstein Invitational, at Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse. Indiana welcomed athletes from all over the country, including the University of Cincinnati, Oakland University, University of Dayton, Eastern Illinois University, Lipscomb University, Saint Louis University and Butler University.
The Gladstein Invitational is the first meet of the season in which Indiana’s throwers participated. Head coach Ron Helmer gave his athletes extra time to train, which proved impactful toward the team’s final results at the invitational.
Senior Madison Pollard and freshman Jayden Ulrich took first and second place in the women’s shot put. Pollard threw for 16.39 meters and Ulrich threw 15.50 meters. Ulrich continued her successful weekend with a second-place finish in the women’s weight throw, setting a personal best of 19.31 meters.
“I still have a lot of things to work on, but I was grateful for that extra week of practice,” Ulrich said.
Freshman Mahogany Jenkins competed in both the women’s high jump and triple jump. In the high jump, Jenkins finished in first place, towering over the bar at a height of 1.77 meters, which is just under her personal best of 1.81 meters. Jenkins received plenty of support from fellow teammates during her last jump after falling just short of accomplishing her goal of reaching a new personal best.
In the women’s 60-meter dash, sophomore Alyssa Robinson and freshman Morgan Snow both qualified to compete in the finals of the event. Robinson finished first in heat one with a time of 7.51 seconds, which automatically qualified her into the finals. Snow finished second in heat two with a time of 7.69 seconds and qualified for finals with the fourth best time overall.
In the finals of the 60-meter dash, Robinson took second place with a time of 7.48 seconds. Snow, who finished in fifth place with a time of 7.66 seconds, came just 0.03 seconds off of her personal best.
Snow also competed in the women’s 200-meter dash, finishing in first place with a time of 24.95 seconds, only 0.55 seconds away from another personal best.
“I have been talking to Coach (Ed) Bethea a lot about how I can improve and get back to when I was at my best,” Snow said. “I’ve been watching my race to see how I can better myself and get back to where I used to be.”
Indiana took first, second and third place on the podium in the women’s 400-meter race. Sophomore Lauren Thomas was the first-place finisher with a time of 55.70 seconds. Freshman Maria Anderson followed in second with a time of 55.93, and sophomore Elizabeth Stanhope rounded out the top-three with a time of 58.17 seconds.
Sophomore Ana Barrott and freshman Alyssa Skorge competed in the women’s 3000-meter run. Barrott finished in first place with a time of 9:42.19 and Skorge finished in fourth place with a time of 9:55.49.
In the 4-x-400 relay, Indiana sent out both its A and B teams. Indiana’s A team finished in first place overall with a time of 3:46.44, highlighted by dominant performances by Morgan Snow in the first slot and Alyssa Robinson in the second slot.
Indiana’s B-team did not finish due to an unknown runner who could not participate. Similar to last weekend at the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Helmer decided to still send out the three runners who were able to participate.
“One of the things we have to get out of these meets is work,” Helmer said. “If we have eight people for two relays and all of a sudden we have seven people, I don't want to tell the other three people that they don’t get to finish out their week of work. We always want to get work in.”
The goal for Indiana’s women is to continue to work during the early portion of the season, and the team will get another chance at improving next weekend at the IU Relays next Friday and Saturday at Harry Gladstein Fieldhouse.