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Eric Peterson, Published May 12 2012

Hoffman takes first in 400 hurdles at MIAC meet

MOORHEAD – Soon after she crossed the finish line Saturday at Jake Christiansen Stadium, Megan Hoffman shared an emotional hug with her mother.

The celebratory scene came after Hoffman edged Gustavus senior Danielle Burgmeier for the women’s 400-meter hurdles title at the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor track and field championships.

“We had been talking about it for awhile, me winning,” Hoffman said of the emotional reaction.

Hoffman finished the 400 hurdles in 1 minute, 2.53 seconds, bettering her personal best by more than a second. Burgmeier ran a 1:02.72.

Hoffman was one of three individual champs for the Cobbers on the second and final day of the conference meet. Hoffman’s effort helped Concordia finish second in the women’s team race with 120½ points. St, Thomas was first with 172½.

That second-place finish was Concordia’s highest since it won the MIAC crown in 2004.

“Megan is a tough girl,” said Concordia women’s coach Marv Roeske. “She’s a real competitor and she is running real smart this year. She just never gave up.”

Hoffman, who is from Plymouth, Minn., was a teammate with Burgmeier at Wayzata High School. Hoffman said she hadn’t beat Burgmeier in a race, dating back to high school, before Saturday.

“We gave each other hugs. We’re like really good friends,” Hoffman said. “It was neat because she’s beat me every single time. This is the first time I have ever beat her. It was great.”

Concordia freshman Chelsea Klemetson took first place in the women’s high jump, clearing 5 feet, 5¼inches. Klemetson, who is from Moorhead, was happy with the win but wanted more.

Her goal was to clear 5-7, an inch taller than her 5-6 frame.

“I’m pretty much the shortest one out there, no big deal,” Klemetson said with a laugh. “To think I’m trying to jump over my own height is a pretty cool thought. I love it when I can beat girls taller than me. That’s awesome.”

Klemetson entered the conference outdoor as the top seed and emerged the champion.

“She didn’t disappoint,” Roeske said. “When you come in as a freshman and are the top seed and you win, that’s not easy.”

Concordia junior Kaari Jensen grimaced after she handed off the baton, running the first leg for the 1,600 relay, which took third place. That ended a busy day for Jensen, who competed in six events Saturday.

“It was probably the hardest (400) of my whole life,” Jensen said.

Jensen started her day with the javelin. She won that event with a personal best throw of 131-0.

“I was seeded first so I was pretty nervous, hoping I could get off a good throw,” said Jensen, who won the MIAC heptathlon last weekend. “I went out there got a good throw in and almost beat my PR by two meters so that was good.”

Jensen also competed in the high jump, 100 hurdles, triple jump and 400 hurdles Saturday.

She also had personal best efforts in the 100 hurdles and triple jump. Jensen finished third in 100 hurdles (15.04), fifth in the 400 hurdles (1:05.51) and eighth in the triple jump (36-8).

“My legs were hurting pretty bad so I was pretty please with how it turned out,” Jensen said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com