Feb. 25, 2012
Final Big Ten Results
The No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s track and field team came up just short this afternoon in quest for their fourth straight Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championship. Minnesota entered the final day of competition in fifth place, trailing leader Nebraska by 23 points. The Gophers finished second overall with 100 points behind winner Indiana who ended the weekend with 104 points.
Things came down to the final event of the weekend, the 4x400 relay. Minnesota edged out Michigan by .2 seconds (3:09.52) for third place overall. The strong effort from Jacob Capek, Harun Abda, Kevin Bradley and John Holton wasn’t enough to push the Maroon and Gold into their fourth straight championship. The group ran their second fastest time of the season.
Minnesota recorded four first places finishes this afternoon at the Devany Center. Abda (400m and 600m), Micah Hegerle (weight throw) and Hassan Mead (5,000m) each brought home Big Ten titles in their respective events.
Abda once again was the Big Ten champion in the 600m, except this time he set the Big Ten Conference all-time record with a time of 1:15.86. The previous time was held by Minnesota’s Tom Gerding (1:16.19) back in 2001.
Abda also collected a title in the 400m. The junior clocked in at 46.51 edging out Nebraska’s Ricco Hall by .2 seconds. Abda’s time ranks him fifth on the all-time list.
Another first place finish for the Maroon and Gold came in the weight throw. Hegerle won for the second consecutive year and finished with a mark of 21.50m (70-6 ½). Jon Lehman finished in sixth with a distance of 20.09m (65-11). Both Hegerle and Lehman gave Minnesota 12 team points for the day.
Mead’s first place finish in the 5,000m pulled the Gophers within six points of Wisconsin, who were leading the field with 100 points heading into the 4x400 relay. Mead qualified for the NCAA’s with a time of 13:43.13.
Other strong performances today for the Maroon and Gold came in the 800m and Heptahlon. The Gophers had top three finishes in both events.
David Pachuta finished second overall in the 800m with a time of 1:48.05. Nick Hutton was fourth after finishing in 1:48.68 and Travis Burkstrand snuck in for eighth place with a time of 1:49.73. Burkstrand was able to score the last point in the event after beating out Wisconsin’s Zach Mellon by one-hundredth of a second.
Jack Szmanda wrapped up his weekend on a very high note for Minnesota. Szmanda took third overall in the heptathlon with 5,656 points. His point total is a new career high and bumps him up to fourth on the all-time list.