Feb. 28, 2014
GENEVA, Ohio (Gophersports.com) – Senior Zach Siegmeier of the Minnesota men’s indoor track & field team cleared 5.26 meters (17-03.00 ft.) to win the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championship in the pole vault on Friday as the Gophers kicked off conference competition at the SPIRE Institute.
The Gophers sit in fourth through five events at this year’s conference meet with 20 points. Wisconsin and Nebraska are tied for first currently with 41.5 points while Michigan State is in third with 28.
“We had a couple of good performances today including Zach and John (Simons). Now we have to make the most of our opportunities tomorrow and see what we can do to improve our standings,” Minnesota Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “I’m really happy for Zach. He’s matured into a very consistent performer, and it’s nice to see him get rewarded with a Big Ten title today.”
Siegmeier, who was the Big Ten outdoor pole vault champion last season as a junior, earned Minnesota’s first indoor conference title since 2012 on Friday and gave the Gophers its first indoor pole vault title since Ben Peterson in 2010.
Additionally, John Simons just missed setting a new school record in the 3,000 meters as the senior finished second in the event on Friday. Simons clocked a 7:52.62 for a new personal record and the second fastest time-ever at Minnesota behind Ben Blankenship’s 7:52.52 in 2011. Reed Connor of Wisconsin edged Simons for the Big Ten title with a time of 7:51.78.
Simons also led all runners in the one-mile run preliminaries with a time of 4:03.96 to move on to Saturday’s finals. Blayne Dulian (eighth, 4:05.50) and Marcus Paulson (ninth, 4:05.63) also advanced to the one mile finals.
Goaner Deng paced all competitors in the 800-meter run preliminaries with a time of 1:51.11 to move on to tomorrow’s finals while Nate Roese advanced to the 600-meter finals running a 1.17.93 in the preliminaries – the seventh fastest time among entrants.
The Gophers also received top-10 performances from the distance medley relay squad of Alex Brend, Bradley Johnson, Goaner Deng and Marcus Paulson (seventh, 9:48.32), Trevor Yedoni in the long jump (10th, 7.08 meters), Logan Hussung in the shot put (ninth, 17.40 meters).
Competition at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships resumes on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. CT.
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.