Gapinski has two top-2 places at NCAAs

Photos by
Photos by

Senior All-America Emily Gapinski had two top-six finishes and scored nine team points in Saturday's action at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in Waverly, Iowa.

Gapinski clocked 4:27.39 for third place in the 1,500, three seconds behind winner Katie McMenamin of Swarthmore. She came back 90 minutes later to run 2:12.68 in the 800 for sixth place. She was the lone athlete to run the finals in both the 1,500 and 800.

Gapinski finishes her career as a six-time All-America. Her nine points let St. Thomas tie for 31st place.

This marks the 40th consecutive year that St. Thomas track and field men's and women's has had at least one All-America at outdoor nationals.

 Emily GapinskiFriday story

Senior All-America Emily Gapinski advanced to her second finals event in Friday action at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in Waverly, Iowa.

Gapinski is the 1,500 meter's top seed, and Thursday she breezed through the prelims to grab one of 12 qualifying spots. On Friday, she clocked 2:10.02 to secure one of eight spots into Saturday's finals in the 800, an event where she came in seeeded second.

UST sophomore Hannah Helstad took 12th out of 21 in the 800 in her first NCAA meet and was unable to reach the finals.

Gapinski runs the 1,500 final at 1:35 p.m., and the 800 final at 3:05 p.m.

The St. Thomas' final two men's competitors in the meet took top-12 placings on Friday but fell short of scoring team points. Matt Schauer was ninth in the shot put (54-3 1-4) and Connor O'Neill placed 12th of 20 in the 10-event decathlon in 6,315, just off his career best of 6,340. O'Neill's best event on Friday was a Emily Gapinski the pole vault.


Thursday story

Junior Connor O'Neill and senior Emily Gapinski had success Thursday on the opening day of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships in Waverly, Iowa.

O'Neill sits in 13th place out of 20 competiors after five events in the 10-event decathlon. His best Thursday scoring came in the high jump (6-6 1-4) and long jump (21-9 1-2).

Gapinski advanced to Saturday's 12-woman finals in the 1,500 meters. She won her heat in 4:33.75 and had the third fastest overall time. She will run the 800 prelims on Friday.

Senior Aimee Junget took 14th in the 1,500 prelims in 4:36.40, missing the finals by two spots.

In the men's long jump, junior Evan Cross fouled on all three tries in the prelim flight and didn't advance.

Live scoring here


Meet preview

Three Tommie male and three female athletes have qualified in six events for next week's NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Waverly, Iowa. The three-day competition begins Thursday May 26 on the campus of Wartburg College.

Coach Steve Mathre's men's team will send senior Matt Schauer in Friday's shot put (seeded 10th); junior Evan Cross in Thursday's long jump (seeded 15th); and junior Connor O'Neill in the Thursday-Friday decathlon (seeded 18th).

Schauer has qualified for his second NCAA outdoor champpionships meet, and he placed eighth last March at indoor nationals to make All-America. O'Neill placed fourth in May 2014 in the Emily Gapinskia freshman at nationals to make All-America. This is the first national meet for Cross.

Coach Joe Sweeney's women's team also will send three athletes led by senior Emily Gapinski iHannah Helstadeeded first) and 800 (seeded second): soAimee Jungetah Helstad in the 800 (seeded 13th); and senior Aimee Junget in the 1,500 (seeded 21st). The 1,500 prelims are Thursday and 800 prelims are Friday, with finals for both on Saturday.

Gapinski was 1,500 national runner-up last May and 1,500 NCAA champion last March indoors. She has also anchored the Tommies' distance medley relay to victory in the 2015 and 2016 NCAA indoor meets. This will be her third consecutive NCAA outdoor meet.

St. Thomas didn't qualify a relay team on the men's or women side. That ends a 32-year streak which has seen UST advance either a men's or women's relay to the finals at outdoor nationals.