By Ben Gotz, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
After finishing seventh at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Gophers are hoping a little bit of experience goes a long way. Over half of the track and field athletes that will compete at the 2014 B1G indoor championship also competed at last year's championships, and many of them are poised to take a big leap this time around.
The Gopher women are seeded high in several of the track events, sometimes with several Gophers near the top of the list. Here are some events loaded with Gophers to keep an eye on as the B1G championship gets underway this Friday and Saturday:
Four Gopher pentathletes are set to compete, including three seeded in the top 10. The highest seeded Gopher is junior Jess Herauf who ranks third with 4,008 points. Sophomore Alex Beckman is seeded seventh with 3,669 points, and she looks poised to improve upon her 14th place finish from last year.
Rounding out the Gopher contingent for this event is freshmen Audra Winter, seeded eighthth, and sophomore Amanda Beckman, seeded 17th.
1 Mile Run
The mile looks to be a strong event for the Gophers, as they have four runners seeded in the top 12. The Gophers' highest seed belongs to senior Maggie Bollig, listed fifth with a time of 4:46.49. Following Bollig is the only Gopher with Big Ten championship mile experience, sophomore Becca Dyson, who is seeded 10th with a time of 4:50.89.
The other two runners for the Gophers, freshmen Haley Johnson and senior Kaitlin Mincke, are seeded 11th and 12th, respectively.
The 400-meter dash features two Gophers who competed in this event last year, and they both are looking to make big improvements in their finishes this year. Senior Megan Geyen finished 11th at the 2013 Big Ten Championships last year, but she has dropped almost a full second off her time and is currently seeded fifth in the event with a 54.41.
Junior Jessica Waldvogel is seeded 15th in the event after finishing 18th last year with a time of 56.66. Freshmen Titania Markland is the final Gopher competing in the event, seeded 13th with a time of 55.77.
Senior Alena Brooks is the lone Gopher competing in this event, but she is currently the favorite to win the event with a seed time of 1:28.57. Brooks finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships last year, but this year she is looking to be the first one across the finish line.
The Gophers have four runners seeded in the top 12 in the 3,000-meter run, including three returning competitors from last year. Junior Molly Kayfes and senior Laura Docherty look to repeat top-10 finishes from last year. Kayfes is seeded sixth with a time of 9:31.75 while Docherty is seeded 10th at 9:35.41.
Sophomores Becca Dyson and Kaila Urick round on the Gophers' competitors in the 3,000m. Dyson is seeded ninth with a time of 9:34.69. Meanwhile, Urick returns to the Big Ten championships much improved, as she has dropped over 20 seconds off her time from last year and is seeded 12th after finishing 27th last year.
Distance Medley Relay
Three of the Gophers' four distance medley relay team members competed in the event last year. The team of Katie Hill, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley and Maggie Bollig finished fourth last year in 11:17.94. This year, the team of Hill, junior Jessica Waldvogel, Brooks and Bollig are seeded second heading into the meet with a time of 11:12.85.
The Gophers will have four competitors in the 5,000-meter run, all seeded within the top 15 in Molly Kayfes (second), Liz Berkholtz (fourth), Laura Docherty (seventh) and Kelli Budd (15th). Docherty and Kayfes led the Gophers in the 5,000m at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, taking second and third, respectively.
Kayfes is the highest seeded Gopher at second (16:19.12), while Berkholtz has shown tremendous improvement in the event in dropping her time by almost 25 seconds to put her as the fourth seed at 16:31.86. Berkholtz finished 19th in the 5,000m at the Big Ten Championships last year. Docherty is seeded seventh, less than five seconds out of fourth at 16:36.49. Budd also returns to the B1G 5,000m stage after finishing 18th last year.
The Gophers' 4x400-meter relay team brings back three of its competitors from last year, with a final runner entering the fold to hopefully improve upon the team's fourth place finish in 2013. The Gophers are seeded third with a time of 3:38.10, with freshmen Titania Markland joining seniors Te'Shon Adderley, Alena Brooks and Megan Geyen to complete the team.
Junior Katie Murgic and sophomore Cami Gilson are both ranked in the top 10 in the pole vault. Murgic is seeded sixth at 13-02.25 (4.02m), and Gilson is ninth at 13-01.50 (4.00m). The duo has consistently cleared the 13-foot mark this indoor season.
Three Gophers are seeded in the top 12 in the shot put, led by redshirt freshman Kailee Kamps in eighth at 48-10.75 (14.90m) and sophomore Becci Osterdyk in ninth at 48-07.50 (14.82m). Sophomore Lyndsey Thorpe comes in 12th at 47-01.75 (14.37m).
Junior Devin Stanford returns for the Gophers in the weight throw after finishing 12th at the 2013 B1G championships. Stanford's 2014 season-best throw of 62-01.00 (18.92m) positions her as the seventh seed in this year's championship. Fellow Gophers Lyndsey Thorpe (15th), Angie Guenther (19th) and Kailee Kamps (23rd) are also set to compete.
The 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships get underway at 9 a.m. CT Friday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Action continues at 9 a.m. CT Saturday.
Several Golden Gopher women's track and field athletes delivered all-time top-10 performances at last weekend's Bill Bergan Invitational, led by the school record-breaking 4x400-meter relay team of Titania Markland, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley and Megan Geyen.
The record-breaking 4x400m relay performance topped Minnesota's previous school record by 2.6 seconds, improving on a 3:40.77 ran by Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas and Mollie Hupp in 2006. The Gophers also broke the Bill Bergan Invitational meet record, set by host Iowa State in 2010, by nearly five seconds (3:42.96).
4x400 METER RELAY
1. 3:38.10, 2014 (Titania Markland, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley, Megan Geyen)
2. 3:40.77, 2006 (Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas, Mollie Hupp)
3. 3:40.99, 2013 (Megan Geyen, Te'Shon Adderley, Jessica Waldvogel, Alena Brooks)
4. 3:41.16, 2005 (Melissa Steele, Mollie Hupp, Candace Borgen, Kadian Douglas)
5. 3:42:55, 2001 (Jessica Shuster, Amber Day, Shani Marks, Ali Gartner)
6. 3:42.74, 2010 (Kelly Stalpes, Rikita Butler, Chioma Omeoga, Alena Brooks)
7. 3:43.08, 2008 (Ekene Obi, Rikita Butler, Jamie Dittmar, Heather Dorniden)
8. 3:43.22, 2001 (Shani Marks, Amber Day, Jessica Shuster, Tahesia Harrigan)
9. 3:43.39, 2009 (Adrienne Thomas, Chioma Omeoga, Julie Schwengler, Heather Dorniden)
10. 3:43.41, 2011 (Nyoka Giles, Katie Hill, Sharyn Dahl, Alena Brooks)
Senior Megan Geyen climbed to No. 5 all-time with a personal best of 55.18 in the open 400-meter dash; she was previously ranked No. 6 at 55.32. Freshman Titania Markland posted a 55.87 in the 400m to make her debut at No. 9 in the Gophers' 400m all-time top-10 list as well.
400 METER DASH
1. Rikita Butler, 54.35, 2010
2. Alena Brooks, 54.51, 2011
3. Heather Dorniden, 54.71, 2006
4. Kou Luogon, 54.78, 2003
5. Megan Geyen, 55.18, 2014
6. Adrienne Thomas, 55.31, 2009
7. Jessica Shuster, 55.47, 2001
8. Shani Marks, 55.53, 2003
9. Titania Markland, 55.87, 2014
10. Mollie Hupp, 55.95, 2005
In the weight throw, sophomore Lyndsey Thorpe made the all-time list at No. 7 in program history with a throw of 57-0.25 (17.38m) for fifth place at the meet.
1. Liz Alabi, 69-0 3/4 (21.05m), 2007
2. Beth Howard, 64-1 3/4 (19.55m), 2000
3. Aubrey Schmitt, 63-1 1/4 (19.23m), 2001
4. DeAnne Hahn, 62-1 (18.92m), 2010
5. Devin Stanford, 60-1 1/4 (18.32m), 2013
6. Jeri Johnson-Chambers, 57-7 3/4 (17.57m), 2013
7. Lyndsey Thorpe, 57-0 1/4 (17.38m), 2014
8. Caty Dongoske, 56-6 3/4 (17.24m), 2011
9. Sara Clinkenbeard, 56-2 1/2 (17.13m), 2003
10. Jess Stephan, 55-8 1/4 (16.97m), 2006
Two Gopher pentathletes made their mark among the all-time ranks as well. Junior Jess Herauf climbed from eighth all-time to second all-time with 4,008 points (third place) at the Bill Bergan Invitational. Her previous personal best was 3,516 points from 2012. Sophomore Alex Beckman also debuted in the all-time rankings with 3,669 points for sixth all-time. Earlier this season, redshirt freshman Audra Winter made the top 10 with 3,504 points.
1. Liz Roehrig, 4,218 (2008)
2. Jess Herauf, 4,008 (2014)
3. Apasha Blocker, 3,715 (1996)
4. Jacenta Spandl, 3,698 (2005)
5. Polly Oas, 3,675 (1984)
6. Alex Beckman, 3,669 (2014)
7. Maggie Jaunich, 3,641 (2005)
8. Christine Gulbrandsen, 3,526 (1998)
9. Nikki Schultz, 3,518 (2009)
10. Audra Winter, 3,504 (2014)
Gophers alumna Gabriele (Anderson) Grunewald, the fourth-fastest American at 1500 meters in 2013, is slated to compete in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 15, it was announced by New York Road Runners and the Armory Foundation this week.
Headlining the women's field are teenage track sensation Mary Cain and three-time USA champion Morgan Uceny. In addition to Grunewald, the women's field also includes two-time USA steeplechase champion, Emma Coburn; the 1500-meter bronze medalist at the 2013 USA Outdoor Championships, Cory McGee; Villanova University star, Emily Lipari; and Alexa Efraimson, the youngest Wanamaker Mile entrant at age 16 and the winner of the girls' race at the 2013 Nike Cross Nationals. The Millrose Games women's record for the mile is 4:21.45, run by Rumania's Doina Melinte in 1988.
The NYRR Millrose Games will be presented live on NBCSN from 2-4 p.m. CT. Fans will have the chance to watch the famed Wanamaker Miles, a world-class women's 800-meter race, and much more.
Most recently, Grunewald finished second in her first race of the 2014 season at the Sainsbury's Glasgow International meet last weekend. Grunewald was second in the 1,500-meter run in 4:12.76. Kenya's Hellen Obiri won the race in 4:10.20. Grunewald, then Anderson, wrapped up her Gopher running career as an All-American and the 1,500-meters runner-up at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Team USA Minnesota
World Championships Medalist Matthew Centrowitz and Teenage Track Sensation Mary Cain to headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields
A few Gophers have already made their mark in the University of Minnesota's all-time top-10 performer list in just the second week of the indoor track and field season. Three Gophers delivered top-10 performances at the Jack Johnson Classic last weekend: Alex Beckman (60-meter hurdles), Lyndsey Thorpe (weight throw) and Audra Winter (pentathlon).
1. Dawn Solberg, 8.58 (2007)
2. Yvette White, 8.72 (1999)
3. Shari Schutz, 8.75 (2005)
4. Liz Woolford, 8.75 (2003)
5. Vanessa Nelson, 8.75 (2004)
6. Nicole Carroll, 8.77 (2008)
7. Neketa Sears, 8.79 (1999)
8. Liz Roehrig, 8.80 (2006)
9. Alex Beckman, 8.81 (2014)
10. Kelly Stalpes, 8.85 (2009)
1. Liz Alabi, 69-0 3/4, 21.05m (2007)
2. Beth Howard, 64-1 3/4, 19.55m (2000)
3. Aubrey Schmitt, 63-1 1/4, 19.23m (2001)
4. DeAnne Hahn, 62-1, 18.92m (2010)
5. Devin Stanford, 60-1 1/4, 18.32m (2013)
6. Jeri Johnson-Chambers, 57-7 3/4, 17.57m (2013)
7. Caty Dongoske, 56-6 3/4, 17.24m (2011)
8. Sara Clinkenbeard, 56-2 1/2, 17.13m (2003)
9. Lyndsey Thorpe, 55-10 1/2, 17.03m (2014)
10. Jess Stephan, 55-8 1/4, 16.97m (2006)
1. Liz Roehrig, 4,218 (2008)
2. Apasha Blocker, 3,715 (1996)
3. Jacenta Spandl, 3,698 (2005)
4. Polly Oas, 3,675 (1984)
5. Maggie Jaunich, 3,641 (2005)
6. Christine Gulbrandsen, 3,526 (1998)
7. Nikki Schultz, 3,518 (2009)
8. Jess Herauf, 3,516 (2012)
9. Audra Winter, 3,504 (2014)
10. Nicole Murphey, 3,461 (2012)
In addition, Katie Murgic and Cami Gilson improved their ranks among the all-time top-10 Gopher pole vaulters at the season-opening Northwest Open.
1. Alicia Rue, 14-4 1/2, 4.38m (2010)
2. Samantha Sonnenberg, 14-1 1/4, 4.30m (2010)
3. Becca Pilkerton, 13-7 1/4, 4.15m (2011)
4. Andrea Smith, 13-6 1/4, 4.12m (2008)
T-5. Katie Murgic, 13-1 1/2, 4.00m (2014)
T-5. Cami Gilson, 13-1 1/2, 4.00m (2014)
7. Laura Massey, 13-0 1/4, 3.97m (2008)
T-8. Monica Stearns, 12-10, 3.91m (2003)
T-8. Ashley Nord, 12-10, 3.91m (2007)
10. Erica Findlay, 12-6, 3.81m (2003)
The Gophers travel to Ames, Iowa, for the Bill Bergan Invitational this Friday and Saturday.
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention is taking place in Orlando this week. One highlight of the convention is the annual presentation of The Bowerman Award, the highest honor in collegiate track and field. The Bowerman debuted in 2009 and is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
"Clemson hurdler Brianna Rollins and Indiana high jumper Derek Drouin were awarded The Bowerman Trophy as the most outstanding collegiate track & field student-athletes of the 2013 season in a ceremony held Wednesday evening at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes as part of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Convention. Rollins is just the second hurdler to win the award -- the first since Queen Harrison in 2010 -- and the first from Clemson, while Drouin scored a plethora of firsts for the award. He is the first student-athlete from Indiana and the Big Ten to win the award, and is the first field event specialist to hoist The Bowerman Trophy."
Watch a replay of the award presentation courtesy of flotrack.org:
Watch more video of Bowerman Awards 2013 on flotrack.org
Minnesota's cross country and track & field coaches are enjoying the convention.
Catch up on all the details of The Bowerman Award presentation and the rest of the 2013 USTFCCCA Convention.
The NCAA announced sites for upcoming national championships in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field for all divisions today. The locations and hosts have been determined for the championships between 2014-15 and 2017-18. Watch the announcement from NCAA.com:
NCAA Division I Cross Country
2014: Terre Haute, Ind.
2016: Terre Haute, Ind.
2017: Louisville, Ky.
NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field
2015: Fayetteville, Ark.
2016: Birmingham, Ala.
2017: College Station, Texas
2018: College Station, Texas
NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field
2015: Eugene, Ore.
2016: Eugene, Ore.
2017: Eugene, Ore.
2018: Eugene, Ore.
2019: Eugene, Ore.
2020: Eugene, Ore.
2021: Eugene, Ore.
The cross country and track & field announcements came as the NCAA announced 523 sites that have been named hosts for 82 of its 89 championships for the 2014-18 seasons, marking the largest collection of host site announcements in association history.
NCAA: NCAA Championships Site Selections
USTFCCCA: NCAA Championships Sites for Cross Country and Track & Field Announced Through 2017-18
Before junior Laura Docherty left for Oregon, I was able to chat with her a few times about the trip, the race and just the aura of Track Town USA. Similar to me, she had never been to Eugene, so we both had the same excitement in our eyes that you used to get as a kid on Christmas morning. The only difference is that she would be experiencing "runner's paradise" in a handful of hours, while my wish would remain just that...a wish.
During her trip, she will get to see all that Eugene has to offer along with a possibility of visiting the Pacific Ocean, which is roughly an hour away, so I can see why she is getting antsy for this experience.
Before she left, Michael Rand, who is the College Sports Editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, came to interview her for a feature, which is in today's paper or online here
. Along with the article, he compares his running ability to that of Docherty's.
We will cut Rand some slack since Docherty is an elite collegiate athlete.
In another tweet Rand also mentioned Docherty's quest to break the school record in the 5,000 meters, which is currently held by Megan Duwell with a time of 16:04.55 (2010). The St. Paul, Minn. native qualified for the NCAA Championships by running a personal-best time of 16:10.63, so she is on the heels of accomplishing that feat, especially with how fast the 24-person race in Eugene is expected to be. Docherty already broke the school record for the 10,000 meters (33:24:93) earlier this season at a high-profile meet at Stanford, so can we expect/hope for the same results? Possibly, and if she would break Duwell's record, Docherty would be the on first Gopher in over 30 years to hold both records at the same time.
Heather (Dorniden) Kampf finished up her stellar Golden Gopher career in 2009, but she has remained a standout on the track. Her latest accomplishment was a win in the USA 1 Mile Road Championship in Minneapolis last night.
Kampf crossed the finish line on Nicollet Mall in four minutes, 36.90 seconds. She took the lead with about a quarter mile to go and won by almost three seconds. Watch RunnerSpace.com's video of the race below.
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Former Minnesota Golden Gopher runners
Heather (Dorniden) Kampf, Gabriele Anderson, Jamie Cheever and Emily Brown top times for 2011 have been released by USA Track/Field.
Kampf: Ranked #11 in the US in the 800m (2:00.41), and had the 25th-fastest US time in the 1500m (4:12.09).
Anderson: Had the 6th-fastest US time in the 1500m (4:06.77).
Cheever: Had the17th-fastest US time in the steeple (10:02.18).
Brown: Had the 16th-fastest US in the 10K (33:00.74)