Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"We had a tough weekend ... "

"We had a tough weekend," University of Minnesota Women's Coach Matt Bingle told DtB after his Gophers' tepid results a NCAA Division I Indoor Championships.

"But, it was a good learning moment," he immediately added to the description.

The team which amassed 121.5 points in winning the program's first-ever Big Ten indoor title, scored only six at NCAAs -- all earned in defending 800 meter champion Heather Dorniden's 3rd place finish in the event this year.

"With Heather, she came through at 61 through the 400m mark," Bingle said of the 800. "We wanted her to be in the lead at 200 and then run 59-60 at 400m. She just did not engage early enough and got in too much traffic and could not recover. It was unfortunate but I believe that she learned a lot and will not let it happen again."

The team's other likely NCAA scorer, pentathlete Liz Roehrig who, like Dorniden, entered the meet as the #2 seed, finished 16th after failing to get a legal mark in the long jump.

"Liz has been hurt since early February with a knee injury," Bingle said of the three-time Big Ten champ. "She hurt it pretty bad in warming up for the hurdles. So that made the whole day tough."

"With the long jump situation, she kept getting faster and I could not get her on the board," Bingle said. "It was a great learning situation for Liz. We will get to see just how determined she is to be great!!"

The team narrowly missed scoring in weight throw and DMR. Liz Alabi finished 9th in the weight with a throw of 66-2 1/2. The DMR of Dorniden, Kadian Douglas, Jamie Cheever and Emily Brown also ended up a spot from scoring with a 11:14.91 clocking.

“We ran well and improved from being seeded 12th to finishing ninth,” Bingle said in the Gopher media release. “There were so many good milers running the DMR. We weren’t able to give ourselves enough of advantage with the first three legs of the relay.”

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