Feb. 22, 2013
GENEVA, Ohio – The No. 15 Minnesota men’s indoor track and field team sits in fifth place at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute after one day of competition with 10 team members advancing to finals competition on Saturday.
Senior Nick Hutton paced Minnesota with the fastest preliminary time of the meet in the one-mile run, crossing the line at 4:03.37. The Gophers’ Alex Brend also advanced to the finals in the one-mile run with a time of 4:06.55.
The Gophers also had a pair of runners advance to finals in two events each in Harun Abda and Devin Crawford-Tufts. Abda, a returning two-time Big Ten champion in 2012, advanced to day two of competition in both the 400-meter run (47.32, fourth) and the 600-meter run (1:16.81, seventh) with teammate Jacob Capek also moving on in the 400-meter run (47.54, sixth).
Abda, a senior and one of Minnesota’s most experienced runners, is joined by the newcomer Crawford-Tufts in one of his first competitions of the indoor season. Crawford-Tufts posted the third fastest time in the 60-meter dash preliminaries (6.78) while also advancing with a seventh-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Senior Sean King also advanced in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.73 that was second best in the event while Cameron Boy joined Crawford-Tufts in the 200-meter dash finals with a sixth-place finish at 21.24.
Minnesota’s final team member to advance to Saturday’s finals was Travis Burkstrand, who finished sixth in the 800-meter run preliminaries.
The Gophers also had several student-athletes post notable performances in finals on Friday including the distance medley relay team of Burkstrand, Hutton, Kevin Bradley and Goaner Deng. The squad finished third in the event with a time of 9:41.20. Jack Szmanda paced Minnesota with a fifth-place finish in the pole vault (5.22 meters, 17-01 1/2) and an eighth-place finish in the heptathlon (2,892) while Oladipo Fagbemi and Sam Kettenhofen finished fifth and sixth in the long jump, respectively. Fagbemi edged his teammate with a jump of 7.46 meters (24-05 3/4) while Kettenhofen cleared 7.43 meters (24-04 1/2). John Simons paced Minnesota in the 3,000-meter run with a seventh-place finish at 7:55.93.
For the second-straight year, Minnesota finds itself in fifth after the first day of Big Ten competition. Last season, the Gophers rallied with several notable final performances to finish within four points of the team’s fourth-straight Big Ten title. This season, Minnesota will need to do the same as Wisconsin set the pace on the first day of competition with 39 team points. Nebraska ranks second after day one at 29.666 team points with Indiana (27), Illinois (20.5) and Minnesota (19) rounding out the top five.
Gophers Claim Five Titles at Stanford
Meanwhile, four unattached Gopher freshmen picked up titles at Concordia-St. Paul’s Holst Invitational on Saturday at SeaFoam Stadium in St. Paul.
Harold Headlines Opening Day at Stanford
The Gophers also added three top-10 all-time performances on Friday from Mitch Hechsel, Luke May and Obsa Ali.
Minnesota Heads West for Cardinal Classic
The Cardinal Classic is a two-day meet (Friday-Saturday) set at Cobb Track and Angell Field while the Holst Invitational is scheduled for Saturday at SeaFoam Stadium.