St. Louis, Mo., March 24, 2017 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's and women's track & field programs flexed its way to multiple victories during the WashU Mini Meet in the outdoor track & field opener Friday evening.
The WashU men and women combined to win 11 events. The women accumulated 209 points to claim first ahead of runner-up Lindenwood University's 168 points. The men scored 176 points to outpace Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's second place total of 155 points.
The WashU women totaled eight first place finishes including the 4x400 relay. Annalise Wagner, Kelli Hancock, Ashley Knudson and Daisy Ogede combined to outpace their teammates who placed second with a time of 3:49.94, which ranks first nationally. Nicky Althoff, Anna Bailes, Briana Belfiore and Sara Mesiano ran the race in 4:04.93.
Several of those Bears ran to individual titles including: Ogede (400 – 57.15), Mesiano (800 – 2:22.21), Wagner (1,500 – 4:41.63) and Hancock (400 hurdles – 1:01.53). Hancock's time is the top mark of Division III during the 2017 outdoor season. Ogede's mark ranks second, while Althoff's 58.72 runner-up time ranks sixth in the 400. Wagner has the third best time in the country as Knudson's 4:42.97 is fifth.
Also adding individual titles for the women were Rebecca Ridderhoff (100 hurdles – 14.51), Heidi Nassos (pole vault – 3.50m) and Audrey Western (steeplechase – 11:30.95). Ridderhoff ran to multiple top-10 national times including the second best 100 hurdles time and the eighth best 200 (25.56). Nassos' season opening height of 3.50m ranks seventh while Western is 10th.
Ridderhof, Hancock, Caitlin Cheeseboro and Ogede placed third in the 4x100 relay with a time of 48.78, the sixth best time this season. Anna Cossio placed fourth in the high jump which the top two heights were recorded by Division II competition. Cossio's height ranks third in Division III.
The men were led by first place finishes from Deko Ricketts (1,500 – 3:56.15), Peter Johnsrud (3,000 – 8:42.01) and Everett Kleven (pole vault – 4.70m). Kleven's height is the top mark in Division III this season, while Ricketts time ranks third.
The men's mid-distance runners dominated as the Bears captured the top eight spots in the 3,000. Following Johnsrud's top finish in the 3,000 were Dillon Williams (8:42.41), Jimmy Qiao (8:46.57), Ben Rosenkranz (8:49.04), Sawyer Kelly (8:49.93), Kyle Cepeda (8:51.90), Paul d'Ambrosio (8:54.78) and Richard Hathaway (9:03.11).
The men also totaled the top four spots in the 1,500 race. Ricketts paced the group while Nick Matteucci (3:57.09), Ethan Brodeur (3:57.67) and Chris Blagg (4:03.28) were the other three top finishes for the Bears. Joining Ricketts in the top-10 nationally were Matteucci (sixth) and Brodeur (eighth).
Both of the Bears 4x100- and 4x400-relays placed second during the meet with top-10 national times. Michael Billington, Jon Fleming, Eddie Wintergalen and Ricketts ran the 1,600m relay finishing with the third best time nationally (3:18.42). Billington, CJ Chin, Jason Singer and Roderick Smith placed second in the 400m relay with the sixth best time nationwide (42.21). Billington also added another top-10 national time in the 400 hurdles when he placed third with a time of 56.20.
The women also dominated two mid-distance events with more than half of the top eight finishes. Wagner led the field in the 1,500 while Knudson placed second (4:42.97), Molly Kuhs fifth (4:54.61) and Mariel Lutz sixth (4:59.86).
The Bears also ran to five top eight finishes in the 3,000, led by Elizabeth Hagstrom's second place finish (10:16.10) followed by Annie Marggraff (third – 10:24.87), Paige Lawler (fifth – 10:38.78), Natalie Rogus (sixth – 10:53.95) and Payton Fors (eighth – 11:06.38).
The Green & Red will host its second consecutive track & field meet next weekend Friday-Saturday March 31-April 1 in the WashU Invite. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
100m: Briana Belfiore (Eighth – 13.39)
200m: Rebecca Ridderhoff (Second – 25.56)
High Jump: Anna Cossio (Fourth – 1.60m)
Long Jump: Cienna Jordan (Fourth – 5.02m)
Discus: Betsy Wiener (Seventh – 33.23m)
Hammer: Betsy Wiener (Eighth – 37.14m)
Javelin: Rachel Kershner (Second – 34.09m)
100m: Roderick Smith (Seventh – 11.14)
200m: Roderick Smith (Seventh – 22.58)
800m: Nick Matteucci (Third – 1:59.04)
3,000m: Peter Johnsrud (First – 8:42.01), Dillon Williams (8:42.41), Jimmy Qiao (Third – 8:46.57), Ben Rosenkranz (Fourth – 8:49.04), Sawyer Kelly (Fifth – 8:49.04), Kyle Cepeda (Sixth – 8:51.90), Paul d'Ambrosio (Seventh – 8:54.78), Richard Hathaway (Eighth – 9:03.11)
400 hurdles: Michael Billington (Third – 56.20)
Discus: Randy Bentley (Seventh – 40.41m)