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Shay Nielsen throws season best in Louisville

Former Laker Shay Nielsen recorded a season-best shot put for the Gophers at Louisville Saturday afternoon. Twitter / @GopherWCCTF

Minnesota sophomore and former Laker Shay Nielsen posted a season-best shot put at Louisville's Lenny Lyles-Clark Wood Invitational on Saturday afternoon.

Emma Spagnola and Kiley Sabin both broke Minnesota program records and the Maroon & Gold won seven event titles for the No. 10 Golden Gopher women's track & field team.

Spagnola won the 100m hurdles in a career-best 12.97 seconds to improve on the previous program record of 12.98 seconds, set by Kimberly Golding last season. Meanwhile, Rachel Schow also posted a career-best 100m hurdles time, finishing fourth at the meet and moving into third in Gophers' history with a time of 13.51 seconds.

Meanwhile, Sabin finished as shot put runner-up but improved on her own Minnesota program record with an outdoor career-best throw of 16.89m (55-05.00). Nayoka Clunis also recorded an outdoor PR at 16.04m (52-07.50) to place fourth at the meet and move into fifth in Gophers' history while Nielsen put three Gophers in the top five finishes with her throw of 15.35m (50-04.50).

In total, the Gophers recorded five all-time top-10 records at the meet as Lindsey Smits joined Spagnola, Schow, Sabin, and Clunis in rewriting the Minnesota record books on Saturday.

Smits won the 400m hurdles in a career-best 59.89 seconds, breaking 60 seconds for the first time in her career and moving into 10th among all-time Gophers in the event. Erin Huls (1:02.09) and Thief River Falls’ Meleah Biermaier (1:02.73) finished seventh and ninth, respectively, as well.

Along with event titles by Spagnola (100m hurdles) and Smits (400m hurdles), the Gophers won titles in the 800m, javelin, pole vault, high jump, and discus on day two of the meet after Temi Ogunrinde won hammer throw on day one of the meet on Friday.

Women Shot Put Seeded

Name School Finals


1 Gustafson, Aliyah Bowling Gree 17.36m

2 Sabin, Kiley Minnesota 16.89m

3 Clunis, Nayoka Minnesota 16.04m

4 Thomas, Brandy Illinois Sta 15.59m

5 Nielsen, Shay Minnesota 15.35m

6 Iversen, Elizabeth Bowling Gree 15.05m

7 Williams, Ashley Cincinnati 14.82m

8 Moore, Aveun Southern Ill 14.77m

9 Heckaman, Leah Cincinnati 14.54m

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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