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Outdoor season begins today

BEMIDJI - Captains Michelle Ohman and Kristen Maras are looking to finish their BSU track careers with a strong outdoor season.

"Both of them are capable of a school record in the 800," Bemidji State track coach Craig Hougen said of the two seniors. "Both are capable of running on a 4x400 team that could be all-conference. They both have an outside chance of making the national meet, and that would be great."

Ohman and Maras are two of the four seniors on a young squad. The other seniors are Kendra Cobb and Alison Hougen. With only four juniors, the Beavers will rely heavily on Maras, Ohman, and the other two seniors to lead the way for the five sophomores and 10 freshman.

"Being one of the senior captains, I have been trying to remind the girls to rest their bodies in between the indoor and outdoor seasons," Maras said. "From my experience, I just want to remind the girls that while it is important to do your best, it is also important to focus on all other aspects."

Pole vaulter Chelsea Borwege is one freshman who Ohman and Hougen raved about.

"Chelsea did a really good job in indoor season and I think she will do even better outdoors," Ohman said.

Both Ohman and Maras said that running outdoors requires a different approach, mainly because of the longer track.

"It is mostly a mental thing, especially in the 400," Ohman said. "Outside, we only run the one lap instead of two indoors. We have made sure to get outside a little bit to get that feeling under our feet."

"We have been lucky because of the weather to get outside to practice over the last couple of weeks," Maras said. "Going outdoors to the 400-meter track, you have to remind yourself that it is one big lap, rather than two small laps."

Hougen noted that one of the bigger differences in the indoor and outdoor seasons is the weather.

"Sometimes it's windy, sometimes it's raining, sometimes it's even warmer," Hougen said. "It always changes so that always makes things interesting. Luckily we have the perfect indoor place to practice for the kinds of meets we will run."

Bemidji opens its outdoor season 10 a.m. today at the Hamline Invite.

"Coach has been doing a good job getting us outside," Maras said. "I think come Friday, we will be ready to compete."