The Gophers have now boasted an All-American for five-straight years at the NCAA outdoor meet.
The Gophers have won seven outdoor conference team titles in program history (1949, 1968, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010).
Minnesota returns to action next weekend at the Big Ten championships in Lafayette, Ind.
Afoaku will join the Gophers in the fall of 2014 after a stint at Ole Miss.
The Coon Rapids, Minn., native finished first in the men's weight throw with his toss of 22.09 meters (72-05.75 ft.).
Men's Track and Field at Big Ten Track 05.17.15
In 2014-2015, Lynden Reder enters his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Minnesota men's track & field team. Reder is charged with coaching the Golden Gopher throwing events.
Since he joined the staff in 2008, Reder has established Minnesota as a premiere program at the Big Ten and NCAA level. One of the deepest and most accomplished throwing event groups in the county, Gopher throwers ranked first statistically in all NCAA throws programs in 2013.
In six seasons at Minnesota Reder has coached 15 NCAA All-Americans and 10 Big Ten Champions. Since joining the staff for the 2008-2009 season the Gophers have scored more Big Ten points than any other program in the throwing events.
During the 2014 season Gopher throwers continued the strong tradition Minnesota has come to expect. Seniors Jon Lehman and Dominique Howard earned NCAA All-American honors during the outdoor season in the hammer and discus, respectively. Howard broke onto the national scene in the discus throw, qualifying for the outdoor NCAA Championships where he advanced to the final with his toss of 58.60m (192-3 ft.). Howard's lifetime best of 59.61m (196-3 ft.) came at the Big Ten Championships and ranks fourth all-time at Minnesota. Lehman capped his outstanding Gopher career by breaking the school record in the weight throw during the indoor season (22.98m, 75-5 ft.) and earning NCAA All-America honors at the indoor NCAA Championship. Lehman's lifetime best in the hammer during the outdoor season ranks second in Minnesota history (66.40m, 217-10 ft.). He earned his third and final NCAA All-American honor in Eugene at the 2014 Outdoor NCAA Championships (two awards in the weight throw, one in the hammer).
2013 highlights included senior Micah Hegerle winning the Big Ten Championships in the hammer throw, the fourth-straight year a Gopher thrower won the title. The win marked Hegerle's fourth Big Ten title with the weight throw and hammer combined. His senior captain teammate Quentin Mege took the runner-up spot at the Big Ten Outdoor Championship to round out the 1-2 finish, the second time the duo had swept the top two spots. Mege won the title in 2012 and 2011 while Hegerle also won the event in 2010.
Mege reset his own school record earlier in the spring with his throw of 67.49m (221-5 ft.) but suffered an injury to his hand shortly after which hampered the remainder of his season. Both Hegerle and Mege went on to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet where they earned All-American honors. For Hegerle that marked his fourth such honor, for Mege his second. Adding to the awards in 2013 was junior Jon Lehman. During the indoor season Lehman took home NCAA First Team All-America honors in the weight throw with his throw of 21.35m (70-1 ft.) placing fifth.
Although the hammer and weight throw have been strong events for Reder and the Gophers, the remaining throwing events have also been well represented at the NCAA and Big Ten level. The Gophers have qualified athletes to the NCAA Championship in every throwing event in Reder's time at Minnesota. The personal bests of Gophers Reder has coached in his first five seasons include: Shot Put: 19.37m (63-7 ft.- Aaron Studt), Hammer Throw: 67.49m (221-5 ft. - Quentin Mege), Javelin: 67.43m (224-6 ft. - Paul Hoplin), Discus: 59.61m (196-3 ft. - Dominique Barber) and Weight Throw: 22.98m (75-5 ft. - Jon Lehman).
The emergence of Aaron Studt as a major player on the Big Ten and NCAA levels is one of the highlights of Reder's early years at Minnesota. Reder coached Studt to a banner season in 2009 where he earned his first two All-America awards and two Big Ten Championships. Studt finished second at the indoor NCAA championship meet throwing a lifetime best on his final throw to jump up from seventh. Studt went on to finish fifth at the NCAA outdoor meet - throwing another personal best in the final. At the Big Ten championships in 2009, Studt won the Big Ten title in the shot put both indoors and outdoors. For his efforts, Studt was named Big Ten Indoor Field Athlete of the Championships, and Big Ten Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. In 2010, Studt continued his Big Ten dominance with Big Ten titles in both the shot put and weight throw, winning both events on his final throw. He went on to earn All-American honors in both events at the NCAA championship meet.
Prior to returning to the Gophers, Reder, a Luverne, Minn., native, spent the previous two seasons (2007, 2008) as the head men's track & field coach at Hamline University in St. Paul. Overall, Reder was a member of the Hamline coaching staff for five years, his first three as an assistant.
Reder's roots in Minnesota run deep. A former All-American Golden Gopher track athlete himself, Reder walked on in 1999 and went on to become a team captain and a four year letter winner. In his senior season he earned All-American honors and provisionally qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials outdoors. His All-American finish at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships marked the first in Minnesota history in that event. He was a three-time NCAA championships qualifier and completed his Minnesota career as the school record holder in the weight throw (67-2 1/4, 20.48m) and the hammer throw (215-9, 65.76m). Reder's school record stood for eight years until his pupil Quentin Mege re-wrote the record in 2012. Reder was also a scoring member of the Gophers squad that won the 2003 Big Ten Team Championship and broke the all-time record for points tallied.