Written by Joe Gabbert
This last Friday and Saturday the University Nebraska at Omaha Maverick track and field team participated in the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. On the first day of activities, UNO track star Sami Spenner achieved one first place finish and turned in an impressive performance in a new event.
Spenner won the triple jump with a distance of 40-09 ¾, which exceeded the runner up by more than two feet. Jessica Ripp placed eighth at 34-09 ¾.
In her first attempt at running the 400 meters, Spenner finished second in a time of 54.66, less than a second off the school record set by All-American Pinar Saka in 2009. She was also a mere .31 seconds behind the first placed victor North Dakota State’s Paige Stratioti.
Spenner also placed fourth in the javelin with a throw of 122-08.
UNO earned two personal records in the 800 meters. Ashley Kildow, Omaha Native from Millard South, took three seconds off her previous personal best with a time of 2:18.51. Catherine Davison boosted her personal best by more than six seconds with a time of 2:25.48.
Kristin Rogers posted UNO’s top time in the 5,000 meter this season and personal record at 18:16.99. Lindsey Bruns was not far off and finished with a time of 18:31.73.
In the shot put, Liz Thompson was eighth with a throw of 43-04 ½.
On Saturday, the second day of competition, Spenner once again placed first in the event of Long Jump with a jump of 18-11 ¾, more than a foot farther than the runner up. Jessica Ripp took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 16-04 ½.
In the Discus, Liz Thompson placed ninth with a throw of 135-00.
In the 1,500 meters, Catherine Davidson posted a time of 5:02.09, and Jackie Mezick posted a new personal record of 5:06.35.
The Mavericks will return on May 10 at the University of Nebraska Lincoln at the Nebraska invitational. It will be their final event before the summit league championship.
In meets through April 26 many Mavericks are placed at the top of the summit league in their individual events. Sami Spenner ranks top eight in nine events and has the top marks in the long jump (20-04 1/4), the triple jump (41-10 1/2) and the heptathlon (6,003). Her heptathlon score ranks second in the whole country.
Kathie-Lee Laidley is ranked second in the summit league in the high jump, third in 100 meter hurdles and fifth in the long jump.
In field events, Denneil Shaw is ranked fifth in the triple jump and seventh in long jump. Amanda Alexander and Macy Woitzel are ranked seventh and eighth respectively in the heptathalon.
In the 1,500 meters, Katarina Zarudnaya ranks fifth and Ashley Kildow eighth. Kristin Rogers is fifth in the 10,000 meters, Celeste Robinsons is eighth in the 100 meter hurdles and Terri Armstrong is eighth in the 100 meters.
The Maverick 4×100 meter relay team ranks third, and the 4×400 meter relay team ranks fourth.