BELOIT, Wis. – Cornell senior Leslie Smebak goes out a school-record holder and Midwest Conference champion.
Smebak left no doubt about it in winning Friday's 10,000-meter run at the MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Beloit College's Strong Stadium. She was joined by freshman Sanjuanita Martinez as all-conference honorees for the Cornell women's team, which scored 38 points for eighth place in the two-day event.
Smebak raced into school history with a quick clocking of 38 minutes, 12.68 seconds, breaking the program record of 38:15.87 set by Elise Mead in 2011. Smebak left her closest challenger – St. Norbert's Charlotte Walsh (39:10.32) – nearly a full minute behind to collect her third career all-conference medal on the track.
Smebak became Cornell's first MWC outdoor women's champion in a running event since 1986, when the Rams won four such titles. Sandy Stavoe claimed the 10,000 crown that year in 41:06.25.
Martinez earned all-conference status in the 3000 steeplechase, prevailing in a tight battle with Grinnell's Diana Seer for the third and final all-MWC spot. Martinez crossed the finish line in 11:34.53, nosing Seer by .29 seconds. Monmouth's Marlee Lane was second (11:33.45) in the race, won by Ripon's Michelle Matter in 11:15.96.
Junior Laura Ettlin, a two-time all-MWC indoor performer, came up just short with a fourth-place showing in the 5000. She finished in 18:37.67, besting her top 2013 mark by 19 seconds.
Sophomore Madison Acree racked up 13 points in three field events. She placed fourth in the shot put with a season-best toss of 41-5.25, just one-half inch out of third. Acree also took fourth in the hammer throw (134-4), and was sixth in the discus (127-3).
Freshman Katie Gilbert finished fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 35-0.25.