Ben Blankenship
Ben  Blankenship


Stillwater, Minn.

High School:
Stillwater HS




Seven Gophers Set for USATF Championships

The best track & field athletes in the country will compete to qualify for the IAAF World Championships to be held in London Aug. 4-13.


Plasencia Named U.S. Junior Cross Country Coach

True freshmen Hamza Ali and Nick Rink will also represent the U.S. in international competition next month.


Blankenship Advances to Olympic Semis

Blankenship returns to action in the 1,500 meter semifinals on Thursday at 6:52 p.m. CT.


Blankenship Makes Olympic Trials Semifinals

The Stillwater, Minn., native paced his heat to earn an automatic qualifying spot in the semifinals, clocking a 3:49.61.


Blankenship Paces Semis at Olympic Trials

The Stillwater, Minn., native led the field with a time of 3:44.24 in Friday's semifinals.

Career Highlights
A 2010 All-American in the distance medley relay • 2010 NCAA cross country All-American • three-time NCAA Track Championships competitor • lead-off runner of the Gopher DMR that placed third in the 2010 NCAA indoor meet • 2010 Big Ten champion in the mile run • Minnesota's first runner to clock a sub-4 minute mile • school record holder in the mile (3:57.87) and 1,500 meters (3:39.77) • 2010 All-Big Ten First Team • a 2009 All-Big Ten Second Team as a member of the distance medley relay • a three-time NCAA all-region honoree in cross country • a three-time NCAA Cross Country Championships competitor • number-three runner on Minnesota's 15th-place team at 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships, number-two runner on 2009 NCAA lineup that placed 24th • number-one runner on 2010 NCAA team that placed 27th • 2010 Gopher cross country MVP • helped Minnesota to indoor and outdoor track Big Ten team titles in 2009 and 2010 • ranks third in the 3,000 meters (7:59.49) top-10 list.

2011 Season- Indoor:Big Ten Champion in the mile run (4:01.14) • broke the school record in the 3,000 meters with a time of 7:52.52 at the Husky Open • finished second at the NCAA championships in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:04.65 • ran the fourth leg of the Gophers distance medley relay team that broke a school record (9:29.70) at the NCAA championships • relay team also took first place at the Big Ten championships with a time of 9:50.58 • distance medley picked up another first place at the Alex Wilson Invite with a time of 9:31.78.Outdoor:Did not compete.

2010 Season:
Indoor: All-American. Lead-off runner on the Minnesota distance medley relay that placed third (9:38.09) at the NCAA meet • competed in the NCAA mile prelims (4:07.91) • Big Ten champion in the mile (4:05.64) • All-Big Ten First Team • clocked the first sub-4 minute mile in Gopher history winning the event at the Washington Qualifier with a school-record time of 3:57.87 • an NCAA provisional qualifier in the 3,000 meters • ran a career-best 3,000m time of 7:59.49, the third-fastest in Gopher history, at the Husky Classic. Outdoor: NCAA Championships competitor in the 1,500 meters • placed 10th in the NCAA Prelim with a school-record time of 3:39.77 • placed third in the 1,500m (3:44.21) at the Big Ten meet • earned second varsity letter.

2009 Season:
Indoor: All-Big Ten Second Team • a redshirt freshman • led off the Big Ten runner-up distance medley relay • placed fourth in the mile at the Big Ten meet with a career-best time of 4:04.43, the fifth-best time is school history • anchored the DMR that clocked a season-best and NCAA provisional qualifier (9:40.46) at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Outdoor: NCAA competitor in the 1,500m • ran career-best and the fifth-fastest time in school history in the NCAA prelim (3:42.47) • NCAA Midwest Region runner-up in the 1,500 meters (3:45.37) • placed fourth in both the 1,500 meters (3:58.48) and the 5,000 meters (14:26.15) at the Big Ten Championships • anchored the Gophers' champion Drake Relays 4x1,600-meter relay • varsity letterwinner.

Cross Country
A 2010 All-American • placed third overall in 2010 Big Teh Championships • 2010 All-Midwest Region • 2010 Fred O. Watson Award recipient as Gopher MVP • earned All-NCAA Midwest Region honors in his first season with the Gophers in 2008 • three-time NCAA Cross Country Championships competitor • three-time varsity letterwinner.

At Mississippi State:
An All-NCAA South Region honoree in cross country in 2007, placing 25th (31:42.83) in the NCAA South Region Championships • placed 23rd at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championships • named to the 2007 SEC All-Freshman Team • ran season-best 8K time of 24:15 at the Pre-NCAA Meet • competed in seven meets for the Bulldogs, finishing among Mississippi State's top two finishers six times • clocked season-best times in two events at the 2008 SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships, 3:51.45 in the prelims of the 1,500-meter run and 14:25.94 in the 5,000 meters.

High School:
A 2007 graduate of Stillwater High School • coach was Scott Christensen • won Minnesota Class AA crowns in the 1,600 meters as a junior (2006) and senior (2007) • added a third-place finish in the 3,200-meter run in 2006 • finished sixth as a junior in the 2005 Minnesota Class AA Cross Country Championships, leading Stillwater to a second-place finish.

Born Dec. 15, 1989 • American studies major • parents are Richard and Patricia Blankenship.


Obsa Ali Captures NCAA Steeplechase Crown

Obsa Ali Captures NCAA Steeplechase Crown

6/8/2018 - M. Track & Field

Ali claimed the program's first national championship in the steeplechase by breaking his own school record at 8:32.23 on Friday night at Hayward Field.

Ali Advances to NCAA Steeplechase Final

Ali Advances to NCAA Steeplechase Final

6/6/2018 - M. Track & Field

Competing at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, Ali led the semifinal field with a time of 8:39.17 on Wednesday to advance to Friday's final at 7:54 p.m. CT.

'U' Heads to Hayward for NCAAs

'U' Heads to Hayward for NCAAs

6/4/2018 - M. Track & Field

Representing the Gophers will be Obsa Ali (3,000 meter steeplechase), Ryan Lockard (high jump) and Kieran McKeag (hammer throw).

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