MONMOUTH, Ill. – Cornell's Laura Ettlin and Leslie Smebak both ran school-record times in the 3000-meter run and earned all-conference honors in the process at the Midwest Conference Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend at Monmouth College.
The Rams finished the two-day event with 53.5 points and placed sixth out of 10 women's teams. Monmouth won its 12th consecutive conference title with 207.5 points, more than 100 more than runner-up St. Norbert.
"We had a lot of season- and lifetime-best performances," Cornell first-year head coach Dan Schofer said. "This was clearly our best team performance of the season, which is what we look for at the conference championships. Our team is very young, and we have made big strides throughout the indoor season."
Ettlin and Smebak crossed the finish line virtually side-by-side in an impressive 3000 run. Ettlin, a junior, edged her senior teammate for second place in 10 minutes, 23.59 seconds. Smebak took the third and final all-conference spot in 10:23.64.
Both runners shattered the previous program mark of 10:30.57, set by Allie Jagielo in 2011. Ripon's Michelle Matter won the race in 10:19.97.
Ettlin turned in a third-place all-MWC showing in Friday's mile run. She set a personal record (5:14.51) in a race won by Rachel Bowden (5:08.75) of Monmouth.
Smebak just missed out on her second MWC medal, placing fourth in the 5000. She won her heat by more than a minute, but was six seconds out of third place overall.
"Laura and Leslie both had terrific weekends, and established themselves among the very best distance runners in the conference," Schofer said. "Watching them cross the finish line together (in the 3000), both earning all-MWC honors, both smashing the school record, was really special. It is the type of performance that they have both earned through years of hard work and dedication."
Sophomore Madison Acree posted the third-best mark in the weight throw (47-10.50), but wound up fourth on a tiebreaker. Senior Angela Dugan was fifth (44-8) in the event. Acree added a seventh-place finish in the shot put (39-8.75).
"Madison had a very good weekend, scoring in both of her events and missing all-conference honors by the narrowest of margins," Schofer said. "She has done a nice job all winter, and this was a great way to cap off her indoor season. Angela also came through nicely for us, scoring a top-five finish in the final weight throw competition of her career."