BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University track and field squad saw multiple individual successes and continued the advancement both conference- and region-wide during the 2017 campaign.
The indoor regular season saw the Owls travel to Birmingham, Boston and University Park, Pennsylvania, before returning to Birmingham for the Conference USA Indoor Championships. Two Owls climbed the medal stand in that conference meet: Frida Thorsås, who finished second overall in the women's pentathlon, and freshman Mikaela Jonsson, who came in third in the 800 meters.
Three other team members – Crystal McDougle (60 meter hurdles), Deja Jones (60 meter dash) and Liz Wellman (1 mile) – advanced to their respective finals, with McDougle and Jones each finishing fifth.
Following a more local regular season during the outdoor slate, a similar number of Owls moved on at the C-USA Outdoor Championships. The team only left the Sunshine State for the Virginia Challenge in late April, as they ran three times at the University of Miami in Coral Gables and twice at the University of Florida in Gainesville, as well as at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach.
During the third of three meets in Coral Gables, and for the third straight year, Thorsås took home a win in the heptathlon, during which she set the school record in the javelin throw. For her efforts, she earned Conference USA Field Athlete of the Week the following Monday. The outdoor season also saw the debut of graduate student Jamika Glades, who would join Thorsås as individuals advancing to the postseason.
Before that though, at the conference outdoor meet in El Paso, Texas, four Owls qualified for the finals of five events. Glades moved on to the Sunday finals at both lengths of her hurdle events (100 meters and 400 meters), McDougle joined her in the 100 hurdle finals, Anne-Catherine Wasser in the 400 hurdles, and distance runner Wellman moved on as she did during the indoor season, this time in the 1,500 meters.
Glades would wrap the C-USA meet as runner-up in the 400 hurdles and place fourth in the 100. Both McDougle and Wasser came in seventh in their respective races, and additionally, Thorsås finished third overall in the heptathlon and seventh in the javelin. Also, in the 10,000 meters, Christina Schultz earned a point for the squad with an eighth-place finish.
Due to their season marks, Glades (in both hurdle events) and Thorsås, in the javelin throw, competed at the NCAA East Regionals in Lexington, Kentucky, marking the seventh year in a row that at least one member of the track team moved on to regional competition. At the time of qualification, Glades ranked No. 26 in the region in the 400 meter hurdles and No. 44 in the 100 meter hurdles, and would end up second all-time on the FAU list in both events. Thorsås was ranked No. 44 in the javelin, and also finished No. 12 regionally in the heptathlon (No. 31 nationally).
Over the course of the season, members of the 2017 squad entered into the program's all-time top-mark list in 14 positions on the indoor side, and earned 19 new slots on the outdoor ledger as well. An innumerable amount of personal records were set, and though the squad loses six talented seniors, many key contributors will return to compete in the spring of 2018.