St. Thomas Track and Field had a strong opening day Friday at the MIAC Championships in Collegeville.
On the men's side, UST scored 90 points and has opened up a 37.5-point lead on second-place St. John's with seven of 21 events completed. Connor O'Neill won the pole vault and placed fifth in the long jump after taking second in last week's decathlon. The Toms got seconds in the shot put (Matt Schauer), the 10,000 (Jacob Gerhartz) and the long jump (Preston Huddleston). UST had six athletes jump 21-10 or better in the long jump and scored 28 points in that event by placing 2-3-4-5-6-7.
The Tommies opened up a 16.5-point lead over second-place Concordia-Moorhead with seven of 21 events completed. The UST women won the 4x800 relay, junior Allison Mellin won the hammer, and senior Bailey Cook won the high jump. Alex Fossum (10,000) and Grace Bordson (high jump) took thirds.
The UST women advanced 18 qualifiers from Friday's prelims in the 100, 200, 400, 800, 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles.
Last season, UST trailed Concordia by 37 points after the first day of the MIAC meet but went on to win by 18.5 as it scored 120 points on Saturday.
Competition starts Saturday at 2 p.m. for field events and 3 p.m. on the track.