April 12, 2013
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's Caitlin Comfort has started the outdoor track and field season the same way that she ended her indoor campaign -- with a convincing win.
After closing the indoor season with a Big Ten championship in the 5000 meters, the senior made her 2013 outdoor debut on Friday with another impressive performance -- and win -- in the 3000 meters at the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn.
Comfort, who became the first Badger to win an indoor Big Ten title in 5000 meters since Gwen Jorgensen in 2009, opened the outdoor slate by running a career-best time of 9 minutes, 40.91 seconds to outpace the field by 23 seconds.
Teammate Gabrielle Anzalone was on the other end of that gap, finishing in second place with a time of 10:03.86.
In addition to the Badgers' 1-2 finish in the 3000 meters, seniors Ashley Beutler and Hanna Knurr posted solid showings for Wisconsin in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Beutler ran to a second-place finish in 10:27.24, while Knurr took sixth with a time of 11:15.48.
The redshirt freshman duo of Jenna McMiller and Anne Gregory closed out a strong day in the distances for UW in the 10,000 meters. McMiller placed fifth in 37:18.93, while Gregory came in just behind in sixth place with a time of 38:23.60.
In the 800 meters, sophomore Elizabeth Wendt ran to a fourth-place finish with a career-best time of 2:11.23. Senior Brittney Harper took ninth in 2:12.53.
Junior Kiah Ehrke posted another top-five finish for the Badgers, covering the 5000 meters in 17:57.43 for a fourth-place finish.
Also for Wisconsin, sophomore Katelyn Malcore took 19th in the 100 hurdles in 14.66 seconds, while sophomore Grace Heglund-Lohman ran to a 24th-place finish in the 400 hurdles in 1:05.74.
Off the track, junior Laura McGinnis took ninth in the triple jump with a leap of 39 feet, 4 inches, while senior Alexis Mitchell finished in 15th with a mark of 37-7 1/2.
After a day of strong performances at the University of Tennessee's Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium, Wisconsin continues competition on Saturday, with the Badgers set to compete in several relay events.