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Swenson second in Big Ten 1,500

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nikki Swenson, who won the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award for outstanding female athlete in the area in 2007, led the Minnesota Gophers women's track and field team at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships last Sunday.

Nikki Swenson

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nikki Swenson, who won the Tribune's Hengstler-Ranweiler Award for outstanding female athlete in the area in 2007, led the Minnesota Gophers women's track and field team at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships last Sunday.

The Gophers finished a disappointing seventh in the team standings, but Swenson had an outstanding day. With only an hour between her races, the senior finished second in the 1,500 meter run in 4:27.43, then gutted out her season-best time in the 800, finishing fourth in 2:07.69.

"I'm very disappointed by our team finish overall; it's just not what this team is all about," said Gophers head coach Matt Bingle. "With that said, though, we did have some excellent individual performances, like Nikki Swenson, that should be applauded. We'll get back to work and make our team better."

Another competitor from the area scored for the Gophers on Sunday. Natalie Devine, a redshirt senior from Litchfield tied for seventh in the high jump with a leap of 5-7.

Ohio State won the team title with 135 points.

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The Gophers now turn their attention to the NCAA West preliminary meet May 26-28, in Eugene, Ore. Swenson (1,500) and Devine (high jump) are among 16 Gophers that will be making the trip.

Natalie Devine

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