Feb. 1, 2014
AMES, Iowa – The No. 15 Minnesota men’s indoor track & field team picked up its fourth-straight Bill Bergman Invitational team title on Saturday in the team’s first road meet of the 2014 indoor season.
The Gophers totaled seven individual titles and 153 points at the meet, well ahead of runner-up Iowa with 96. In the event’s five-year history, the Gophers have never finished below second.
“We continued to improve this weekend as a team and that’s going to be very important as we move forward with our indoor schedule,” Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “Overall, we had a number of good performances including national top-ten marks from Zach Siegmeier and Jon Lehman, who set a new school record for us, and we need to keep getting better in the coming weeks.”
Zach Siegmeier set a new personal record in Saturday’s pole vault – picking up his second title of the season with a height of 5.35 meters (17-06.50 ft.). Siegmeier’s mark stands as the Big Ten’s best pole vault this season – improving on on his performance of 5.32 meters from last week’s Jack Johnson Invitational – and is tied for the ninth best performance in the NCAA this season.
The Gophers took home the top three finishes in the men’s 3,000 meter seeded race with All-American John Simons taking the top place at 8:10. Bob Nicolls finished second to his teammate at 8:14.77 with Aaron Bartnik in third at 8:15.41. Minnesota posted four of the top five finishes in the event with Adam Zutz finishing fifth at 8:18.40.
The Gophers showed similar dominance in the one-mile run with four of the top five finishers. Blayne Dulian gave the Gophers another individual title with a top time of 4:06.643, followed by Marcus Paulson in third at 4:09.66, Derek Storkel in fourth at 4:11.32 and Christian Skaret in fifth at 4:11.59.
Minnesota also picked up three of the top five finishes in the men’s 800 meters on Saturday, paced by Goaner Deng’s winning time of 1:50.87. Alex Brend finished fourth at 1:52.06 and Bradley Johnson came in fifth at 1:52.27.
Danny Schiller added a win in the men’s high jump, pacing the competition with a height of 2.10 meters (6-10.75 ft.) while Jeffrey Cottrell won the men’s 800 meter unseeded race with a time of 1:52.24 followed by Michael Bolland in third at 1:54.01.
Other notable performances by the Gophers on Saturday included a second-place finish in the shot put by Mark Jennings (17.67 meters, 57-11.75 ft.) followed by Logan Hussung in fourth (17.56 meters, 57-07.50 ft.), a third-place finish by Jacob Capek in the 400-meter dash (48.11), and a fourth-place finish by the 4x400 relay team of Nate Roese, Deng, Capek and Austin Salargo (3:13.55).
Senior All-American Jon Lehman opened the weekend on Friday with a winning toss of 22.09 meters (72-05.75 ft.) in the weight throw – a new Minnesota record and the fourth-best throw in the NCAA this season.
The Gophers next action comes on Feb. 13-15 when the team returns to Ames to compete in the Iowa State Classic.
Blankenship, Mead Shine in Olympic Finals
Mead and Blankenship recorded the best Olympic finishes by Gophers since Staffan Strand finished sixth in the high jump for Sweden during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
Ben Blankenship (1,500) and Hassan Mead (5,000) will run in Olympic finals on Saturday night.
Mead Moves on to Olympic 5,000 Final
Mead races in the 5,000 meter final at Olympic Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.