The University of Toledo women’s track and field team opened the season on the road at the Doug Raymond Invitational on Saturday at Kent State University. The Rockets won five events and broke a school record.
Katie Dewey, a third-year thrower, began the season with a terrific start and a record-breaking throw of 55 feet even. Dewey broke the previous record by nearly two inches and now sits high up on two of the top three throwing records for UT indoor track and field.
“Katie Dewey added about a meter to her weight throw PR to break the school record,” head coach Linh Nguyen said in a UTRockets interview. “Breaking a school record off the bat is a great way to start your season.”
Two third-year Rocket distance runners won three events. Jennifer Lichter won the 5,000-meter run in 17:03.65, just edging the second-place finisher by .04 seconds. Olivia Chinn won the 800-meter run, 2:18.85, and the mile run, 5:01.39. Chinn won the 800 by nearly six seconds and the mile by eight seconds.
Christina Johnson, a third-year sprinter, won the 60-meter dash in 7.76. Johnson was seeded third for the finals after clocking in at 7.86 during the prelims.
Athena Welsh, a second-year distance runner, achieved her personal best with a time of 9:32.76 in the 3,000-meter run. Welsh’s run is now the sixth-fastest in UT indoor track history.
Petronela Simiuc, a fourth-year distance runner, secured the second-place finish with a PR of 9:41.37 in the 3,000-meter run. Welsh and Simiuc were the only two runners to break the 10:00 mark and their times qualified them for the MAC Indoor Championships.
“Jen, Athena, and Petronela all put up strong times to lock in their MAC auto qualifiers,” Nguyen said in a UTRockets interview. “Olivia had a good start with two wins and Christina also took home a win in the 60-meter. Overall, a strong start and some really positive things to build on as we move forward.”
Sally Frank, a third-year thrower, was Toledo’s top finisher in the shot put with 43-4.50. This was Frank’s personal best in indoor competition and sixth-best all-time at UT.
Karoline Steppin, a first-year jumper, landed with a 17-11.00 mark in her collegiate debut for the long jump. Steppin is atop the team and the only first-year in the top five placers for the long jump.
Danda da Silva, a graduate sprinter, was UT’s top runner in the 200-meter dash.
“I think today was a good start to the season,” Nguyen said in a UTRockets interview. “We brought home a number of event wins, MAC automatic qualifying marks and a school record.”
The midnight blue and gold will travel to I-75 rival Bowling Green State University Friday, Jan. 19 to take part in the Tom Wright Classic.