Indiana women’s track and field competed at the Pepsi Florida Relays this weekend in Gainesville, Florida. The Hoosiers and the 37 other competing schools faced a six-hour weather delay due to storms and inclement weather.
The meet, which was supposed to conclude around 6 p.m. Saturday, did not even start until the same time.
The long delay forced the event to reseed and rearrange its schedule. Despite the weather delay, head coach Ron Helmer said the Hoosier athletes overcame the challenges.
“It’s certainly not a tragedy,” Helmer said. “In fact, it’s an opportunity to overcome the elements. There were some awesome performances tonight across the board in spite of the weather.”
One of the most notable performances of the weekend came from sophomore Morgan Snow, who seems to be improving in her races. Last weekend at the Raleigh Relays, Snow competed in the 200-meter dash and broke a personal record with a time of 24.39 seconds. This weekend, Snow competed in the 400-meter dash and broke another personal record with a time of 53.91 seconds, which earned her a fourth-place finish.
“I changed up my training this year, and it's finally working out for me,” Snow said. “I hope that I can finally have a lifetime best in my 200-meter dash, and I really want to make finals at Big Ten (Championships) in my individual events.”
Sophomore Lauren Thomas also competed in the 400-meter dash for the Hoosiers and finished in 25th place with a time of 58.21 seconds.
In the women’s discus throw, Indiana freshman Jayden Ulrich and junior Madison Pollard took first and second place with heaves of 52.50 meters and 51.00 meters, respectively.
Senior Bailey Hertenstein continued her success for Indiana with a first-place finish in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:15.25. Hertenstein has been on a roll in the outdoor season since she qualified for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. She was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week for a seventh-place finish in the 5000-meter run at the Raleigh Relays.
“She’s accepted as we’ve gotten into it, the challenge of outdoor, and she’s doing a great job,” Helmer said. “She has a whole lot more in her, and the challenge that I have is helping her figure out how good she can be.”
Only four athletes total competed in the women’s 3000-meter run, and one of them was sophomore Maddie Dalton. Dalton capitalized on this opportunity with a first-place finish with a time of 9:46.60. She came only .43 seconds away from beating her personal record.
In the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Alyssa Skorge competed for Indiana and took home third place with a time of 10:49.57.
Senior Anna Watson continued her success in the pole vault in Florida. After finishing in fourth place last weekend with a height of 4.00 meters, Watson improved by towering over the bar at 4.16 meters and took home fourth place.
“You have to want to be successful, you have to want to fix things and to make the adjustments to be the athlete you prepared to be,” Helmer said. “When that want is there, as it is with Anna, then good things start to happen.”
Indiana junior Paola Fernandez-Sola opened her outdoor season in the women’s long jump invite. After facing 14 other athletes in the event, Fernandez-Sola finished in seventh place with a leap of 6.02 meters.
Sophomore Maria Anderson, senior Kelly Mindak and freshman Elizabeth Stanhope competed in the 800-meter run for the Hoosiers. Anderson finished in seventh place in heat two with a time of 2:08.45 to take 16th place overall. Mindak and Stanhope finished 10th and 11th with times of 2:09.78 and 2:09.92, respectively. Overall, Mindak finished in 19th place and Stanhope finished in 20th place.
Indiana will next compete in the Tennessee Relays from April 7-9 in Knoxville, Tennessee.