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UWS holds stunning lead in UMAC Women's Indoor Championship

The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships started off in the most unexpected fashion as the University of Wisconsin-Superior holds a 10-point lead over eight-time champion College of St. Scholastica after day one of competition Friday in Superior, Wisconsin.

For the first time in the nine-year history of the UMAC indoor meet, there could be a new women's team champion as the Yellowjackets scored 80 points while the reigning champion Saints have just 70 points following the opening day of competition.

The leading Yellowjackets won two events to help them secure the lead heading into the final day Saturday.

The Yellowjackets’ top finish came from Svenja Ruehl in the first of her horizontal jumps winning the long jump for the third-straight year. The senior recorded a mark of 5.39 meters (17-8.25) to break her own meet record set at the UWS facility in 2016. She will look to score additional points and defend her title in the triple jump Saturday.

Day one of action also concluded with a thrilling win for the Yellowjackets in the 4x200-meter relay.

The leading 'Jackets clocked a time of 1:50.88 to outrace Bethany Lutheran by less than a second for the victory. Winning the race for the Yellowjackets were Leann Fynboh, Valerie Rowe, Kate Schwerman and Mikaela Shepard.

A historic performance came from St. Scholastica star Casey Hovland who won the 5,000-meter run for the third-straight year. The senior clocked a time of 17:01.41 that was over one minute better than her previous meet record and surpassed the facility record by 11 seconds. Her time was 17 seconds faster than her season-best and currently puts her in the top 10 in Division III.

St. Scholastica also claimed another meet record in the 60-meter dash preliminaries as Sammi Argir clocked the day's best time at 8.03 surpassing the previous best mark of 8.08 from each of the last two years. Argir will lead the finals field set to run Saturday.

The Saints' other event win came in the weight throw with Natalie St. Marie besting the field of 15 competitors. She recorded the top mark of the day with a toss of 14.88 meters (48-10).

Bethany Lutheran currently sits third in the team standings with 50 points. The Vikings scored a huge win in the distance medley relay with a time of 13:18.34 from the team of Kirsten Elyea, Brianna Soutthivong, Morgan Sauer and Sarah Pressler. Kari Marzinske also won the high jump with a mark of 1.47 meters (4-9.75).

Minnesota Morris scored 39 points to finish fourth on the day thanks to an impressive win from Emily Ciesynski in the 400-meter dash. She narrowly won the race with a time of 1:00.39 that was just 0.08 seconds faster than Shepard of UWS. She also had the top prelim time in the 60-meter hurdles.

Northwestern is fifth with 13 points and Crown College is sixth with two points.

The meet wraps up Saturday beginning with field events at 11 a.m. All championship information can be found on the UMAC Championships site including live results, ticket information and meet schedule.