DULUTH – The Minnesota Morris track & field program opened up the 2019 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships with three first-place finishes as Minnesota Morris won the men’s mile and swept the 400-meter dash. After day one, the women are in third with 55 points and the men are in third with 44 points.

“Finishing day one with three first place finishes, a meet record, a school record, and six other UMM top-10 performances really shows that our men and women were ready to compete this weekend,” head coach Jessica Devine said. “Adding the countless other points scored and personal records achieved, we really couldn’t have asked or a better way to start the UMAC Championships. We had a fantastic energy filling the fieldhouse today and look forward to another great team effort tomorrow!”

The Cougars swept the 400-meter dash for the second straight year as Emily Ciesynski and Justin Pearson defended their 2018 titles. In the women’s race, Ciesynski clocked in at 59.12, which topped her own school record, and Pearson finished the men’s race with a time of 51.12.

Ryan Anderson brought home gold in the men’s mile with his time of 4:32.42. Anderson crossed the finish line ahead of St. Scholastica’s Easton Foss by over a second (4:33.47) to clinch the victory. With his time of 4:32.42 Friday, Anderson moved from No. 4 to No. 3 in school history.

Sophomore Alex Boyd took third in the men’s weight throw with his personal-best toss of 49-2.25. Boyd’s mark Friday moved him from No. 4 in school history to No. 2. Along with Boyd in the men’s weight throw, freshman Justin Robinson placed fifth with his distance of 43-10.

Matthew Kingland took seventh in the men’s high jump with his height of 5-5. Also in the men’s jumps, Cole Kvistero placed eighth in the men’s long jump with a distance of 18-0.25.

Sophomore Sierra Walker recorded a third-place finish in the women’s high jump as she cleared a height of 4-8.25.

In the women’s weight throw, the Cougars picked up 16 points. For Minnesota Morris in the women’s weight throw, sophomore Jessica Bliese led the way with her third-place finish with her distance of 46-10.25, which ranks seventh all-time in school history.

In addition to Bliese, Sierra Paske placed fourth (42-6.75), Kari Didier took fifth (42-5.25), and Jenica Moes rounded out the top-eight (39-5.75).

Freshman Jenna Benson captured a third-place finish in the women’s long jump with her distance of 15-7.

The women’s mile saw Katherine Novak place fourth (5:26.41) and Kaitlyn Ladwig finish seventh (5:43.20).

A pair of Cougars advanced to the final of the women’s 60-meter dash, as Benson won heat two to auto qualify with her time of 8.26 and Ciesynski qualified on time with a time of 8.29. With her time of 8.29, Ciesynski moved into a tie for fifth all-time at Morris in the women’s 60-meter dash.

Pearson posted the top time in qualifying in the men’s 60-meter dash as he ran a meet record time of 6.99, which tied his school record from earlier this season.

In the men’s 5,000-meter run, Benjamin Barnack ran to a time of 16:38.56 to finish fifth, while Brittney Jonson took seventh in the women’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 21:40.13.

In the distance medley relay, the Minnesota Morris women finished second and the Cougar men took third. Paige Stearns, Ladwig, Alexa Yeager and Novak ran the No. 3 time in school history (13:29.61) in the women’s race, while Edmund Cease, Andrew Stanek, Anderson and Christian Thielke combined for the No. 9 time in school history (11:18.44) for the Cougar men.

The UMAC Indoor Track & Field Championships conclude Saturday, Feb. 23, with the field events getting underway at 11 a.m. and the track events are scheduled for noon.


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