Breakthrough performances highlight first day at Jim Duncan Invitational

Breakthrough performances highlight first day at Jim Duncan Invitational

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Simpson track and field teams got off to a strong start on the first day of the Jim Duncan Invitational on Friday, setting a handful of personal bests to go along with a pair of performances ranking in the top five in school history.

The women's team especially shined on Drake's Blue Oval, highlighted by Breanna Gaster's performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The senior set a 20-second personal best, running 11:57.97 to place sixth overall. The time ranks third in school history.

Long jumper Sarah Galbraith and discus thrower Annie Gullickson also had personal-best efforts in their respective events. Galbraith improved her mark to 16-foot, 4 1/4-inches in the long jump to place sixth. Gullickson, a senior competing in just the third event of her career, threw the discus 119-feet, 4 inches to place 10th and move into fourth on Simpson's all-time list.

Sophomores Sadie Timms and Courtney Neuendorf ran in their first career 5,000-meter races Friday, turning in solid efforts. Timms ran 18:44.84 to place 15th and Neuendorf ran 19:17.59 to place 16th.

Ian McKenzie's 19-second personal-best in the 5,000 meters stood out most on the men's side. The sophomore ran 15:39.39 to place 18th in the event.

Nick Yaeger didn't set a new mark but did place third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 9:42.80. Isaac Frazier tied for third in the high jump, clearing 6-feet, 2 3/4 inches.

The Storm return for the second day of the Jim Duncan Invitational on Saturday.

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