POCATELLO, Idaho – Not even two full years into her collegiate career, sophomore Stephanie Clarke continually finds new ways to top herself.
Yesterday, Clarke broke her own school records in the 200 and 400-meters during the prelims at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championship. Today, in the finals of both events, she merely did it again.
The Edmonton, Alberta, product ran a 200-meter dash of 24.13 seconds to top the 24.24 she ran yesterday. She was the runner-up in the event, claiming All-Big Sky Conference honors.
In the 400-meters, Clarke crossed the line in 55.01 seconds, nearly three-fourths of a second faster than yesterday’s 55.43. She placed fourth in the event.
As a finishing touch, Clarke was a member of UND’s 4x400 relay team that narrowly missed out another school record today. Clarke and teammates Anne Van Heel, Alyssa Espinoza and Jessica Lindsay combined for a time of 3 minutes, 49.76 seconds, just missing UND’s 12-year old record of 3:49.39.
"Steph had just a stellar weekend," said UND head coach Kevin Galbraith. "She stepped in and had a very challenging double with the 200 and 400 and, on top of that, the 4x400. She only had about 40 minutes before she had to jump back on the track and anchor the 4x400."
Clarke’s 24 hours for the ages highlighted UND’s final day of competition at the conference meet.
Northern Arizona took first place in the team standings with 130 points, outlasting Sacramento State (89.5) and Montana (87). UND was 10th with 20 points.
Southern Utah’s Shaye Springall was named Most Valuable Player for scoring 31 points for her team. Montana’s Lindsey Hall was named Outstanding Performer for her performance in the pentathlon.
"Without a doubt this was our best Big Sky meet ever," said Galbraith. "That doesn’t yet show up in the team scores. For us, stll beeing the new kids in the conference, it's about recruiting quality athletes and then filling in after that with volume or numbers. Our best athletes stepped up and had great performances (this weekend).
"As we fill the gaps after our top performers, our team position is only going to get better and better," said Galbraith.
UND’s track and field teams are now idle for two weeks until opening the outdoor season March 14-15 at the UNC-Wilmington Seahawk Invitational.