Women’s 4×800 sets school record at Drake Relays

A school record time in the 4×800 meter relay highlighted the women’s track team’s trip to the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa this weekend.

A time of 9:03.58 by seniors Cathy Reeves, Erin Sprangers, Kelly Russ and sophomore Larissa Peyton was good for third place and broke St. Thomas’ school record by more than two seconds.

“It’s pretty cool, I don’t think we expected it,” Russ said.

Russ and Sprangers also ran in the 4×400 meter relay along with seniors Molly Demer and Nikki Arola, clocking a time of 3:55.16 that was good for 11th in the preliminaries. Russ, Sprangers and Arola did not compete in the distance-medley relay (dmr), which they won in the indoor national championship in March.

Russ said the field was deep in the distance-medley relay this weekend.

“It was a lot of competition similar to what we saw at nationals,” Russ said. “It was going to be either the 4×800 or the dmr.”

In the end the coaches decided last week it was worth the shot to go for a win in the 4×800. The foursome finished more than four seconds behind Augustana’s winning time of 8:59.02.

Senior Laura Janas, juniors Julianna Gorder and Jenna Ewing, and sophomore Ellie Jensen posted a time of 1:47.23 in the 4×200 meter relay, good for 13th place out of 25 teams.

“The more and more we’ve done the Drake Relays the more and more people we’ve brought, so that’s a great opportunity for the younger girls to experience,” Russ said.

St. Thomas runs next at the Hamline Invite May 1.

Jordan Osterman can be reached at jrosterman@stthomas.edu