Feb. 24, 2012
The No. 8 Minnesota men's track and field team wrapped up the first day at the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota currently sits in fifth place with 22 team points. The Gophers are looking for their fourth straight Big Ten title and it is still anyone's game.
Host Nebraska leads overall with 45 points, Wisconsin is second with 32 points, Ohio State is third at 27 points and Indiana sits in fourth with 23 points.
Head coach Steve Plasencia says the team had some strong performances today, but will need to step it up and score points in every event tomorrow.
"We had some good leadership today from Trey Davis and Jack Szmanda," Plasencia said. "Trey came up with an incredible performance in the shot in a very talent field and Jack set a new lifetime record in the pole vault. We are still in the hunt and will need to score big tomorrow on the track."
Trey Davis finished fourth overall in the shot put for the Golden Gophers today, but his distance of 18.45m (60-6 ½). The mark by Davis was a new personal record for the senior and he was to put four team points on the board.
Another career best performance today came from Jack Szmanda. He cleared 5.32m (17-5 ½) in the pole vault to earn a second place finish. The junior now finds himself ranked seventh on the all-time list.
Harun Abda recorded the fastest time in the 400m this afternoon. Abda clocked in at 46.92 and advances to the finals tomorrow. He later would also qualify for the 600m finals along with John Holton. Abda finished in second place at 1:18.44 while Holton ran a season best time of 1:18.29.
Minnesota qualified an event best three runners in the 800m. David Pachuta finished third overall at 1:49.62. Travis Burkstrand ran a 1:49.89 to take eighth and Nick Hutton clocked in at 1:49.90 for ninth place.
Cameron Boy finished with a career best time of 21.31 in the 200m. Boy qualified for the finals tomorrow and his time bumps him up two spots on the Minnesota all-time list.
Hassan Mead finished scored eight team points in the 3,000m. Mead took second in the 3,000m with a time of 8:01.76. It was Mead's fastest time of the season in the event.
The Gophers would score their last points on the track in the distance medley relay. Hutton, Kevin Bradley, Pachuta and Burkstrand finished a season best 9:50.51 for two team points.
Other season best performances today
200m: Jacob Capek 21.90
400m: Jacob Capek 48.37
Mile: Paul Hilsen 4:08.97
Gophers Earn USTFCCCA Academic Merits
Eight Gophers earned individual honors while Minnesota also earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors.
Blankenship Joins Mead on Olympic Team
A native of Stillwater, Minn., Blankenship took third in the 1,500 meter final at Hayward Field, clocking a 3:36.18.
Mead Punches Olympic Ticket
The Minneapolis, Minn., native ran a 13:35.70 at Hayward Field to earn his first bid to the Olympics.