GENEVA, Ohio – The University of Minnesota men’s track & field program closed out the 2018 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships with a ninth-place finish on Saturday at the SPIRE Institute.
The Maroon & Gold earned 37 team points over the two-day competition with Ryan Lockard leading the way with eight points in the high jump while Jackson Wellenstein had a hand in a total of 11 team points between the distance medley relay, the 400 meters and the 4x400 meter relay.
Wellenstein’s last run of the weekend might have been the most impressive for Minnesota as he anchored the 4x400 meter relay with Jonathan Webb, Matthew Baker and Ben Psicihulis for a fourth-place finish and five points at 3:05.52 – a time that ranks second on Minnesota’s all-time Top Performers List behind the 2004 squad’s 3:03.48. Wellenstein also moved up in the University of Minnesota 400 meter history book with his personal record of 46.83 – a stat that ranks sixth all-time at the school. Wellenstein, who also added a point with the distance medley relay’s eighth-place finish on Friday, was fourth in the 400 meter finals on Saturday for five points. Webb added an eighth-place showing in the 200 meter finals on Saturday at 21.55.
Meanwhile, Lockard posted Minnesota’s highest individual finish on the weekend with a runner-up finish in the Big Ten indoor high jump. The All-American pulled in eight points for the Maroon & Gold after clearing 2.16 meters (7-01.00 ft.).
The Gophers started the day with a bang in the heptathlon as newcomer Teddy Frid led the final three events to jump from ninth after four events on Friday to third at the conclusion of the competition for six points. The transfer closed out the competition with a personal record of 5,680 points to move from 10th all-time at Minnesota to fourth. Frid led the 60-meter hurdles (8.10, 957 points), the pole vault (4.85 meters, 15-11.00 ft., 865 points) and the 1,000 meters (2:41.00, 862) on Saturday. He started the event in the 60 meters (7.17, 823 points), the long jump (6.77 meters, 22-02.50 ft., 760 points), the shot put (12.51 meters, 41-00.50 ft., 637 points) and the high jump (1.97 meters, 6-05.50 ft., 776 points).
The Maroon & Gold also combined for eight points in the 600 meters as Psiculis finished fourth at 1:17.60 (moving up to eighth all-time at Minnesota) and Chris Trotter came in sixth at 1:18.59.
Additionaly, Kieran McKeag finished ninth in the weight throw with a personal record of 20.40 meters (66-11.25 ft.) – a toss that pushed McKeag into 10th all-time at Minnesota.
Minnesota’s final three points came from Obsa Ali’s sixth-place finish in the 3,000 meters on Friday night. Ali clocked an 8:16.91 in the event. Wellenstein was joined in the distance medley relay by Owen Hoeft, Dawson LaRance and Shane Streich as the group ran a 9:52.62 for eighth-place and one team point.
The Gophers are back in action at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 9-10, in College Station, Texas.
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Ali claimed the program's first national championship in the steeplechase by breaking his own school record at 8:32.23 on Friday night at Hayward Field.
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Competing at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, Ali led the semifinal field with a time of 8:39.17 on Wednesday to advance to Friday's final at 7:54 p.m. CT.