Feb. 15, 2014
SEATTLE, Wash. - John Simons of the No. 15 Minnesota indoor track & field team ran a sub four-minute mile for the third time in his career on Saturday at the Washington Husky Classic.
Simons clocked a 3:59.38 in Saturday's competition to finish fifth overall. The senior's heat produced the top six overall finishers - all running under four minutes. Simons just missed his personal record in the mile of 3:59.32 set last year as a junior - a performance that ranks second all-time at Minnesota. Ben Blankenship holds the Minnesota indoor mile record at 3:57.87.
"John had a great run for us in the mile, and we're really happy with the way he performed this weekend," Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. "We've got room to get better as a team, and that starts next week at home with the Snowshoe Open."
Additionally, Bob Nicolls finished third overall and second in his heat in the 3,000 meter run. Nicolls clocked an 8:10.34 in the race.
While several of Minnesota's distance runners were in action in Seattle, the rest of the Gophers were in action in Ames, Iowa at the Iowa State Classic.
Zach Siegmeier and Jon Lehman both won their second-straight titles in the pole vault and the weight throw, respectively, on Friday night after picking up wins two weeks ago in Ames at the Bill Bergan Invitational.
Siegmeier, who set a new personal record two weeks ago in Ames, matched the feat with a height of 5.35 meters (17-06.50 ft.) on Friday night at the Iowa State Classic. The winning height by the Gophers senior was more than 0.2 meters -- nearly eight inches -- higher than the runner-up.
Meanwhile, Lehman posted another win in the weight throw for the Gophers, leading the pack with a toss of 22.05 meters (72-04.25 ft.). Lehman, who set a new school record two weeks ago at the Bill Bergan Invitational, dominated the competition with runner-up Justin Baker from Northern Iowa hitting 18.91 meters (62-00.50 ft.).
‘U’ Alum Siegmeier Joins Gophers Staff
A two-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion, Zach Siegmeier will serve as director of operations for men's track & field and cross country.
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.