March 1, 2013
SOUTH Bend, Ind. – The Minnesota’s distance medley relay team of Travis Burkstrand, Cameron Boy, Harun Abda and Nick Hutton set a new Gopher men’s indoor track and field record on Friday night with a time of 9:29.22 at the Alex Wilson Invite.
“We’re really proud of this group of men and their performance today. Our DMR team came here with a goal in mind, and they took care of business,” director of men’s track and field and cross country Steve Plasencia said. “They competed hard at the Big Ten championships last weekend and this performance will give our guys a lot of momentum heading into the national championships.”
The goal in mind was earning a qualifying bid to next weekend’s NCAA indoor championships in Fayettville, Ark. Under the new NCAA guidelines, only the top-12 relay teams in the country earn bids to the national championships unlike previous years where qualifying marks guaranteed bids.
The Gophers’ time of 9:29.22 was actually the fifth-best time overall at Friday’s meet although all five times were better than the top-ranked performance in the nation entering Friday – meaning Minnesota’s fifth-ranked distance medley relay team will almost certainly be called on Sunday when final qualifying bids are announced.
Friday’s record-setting time bests Minnesota’s previous distance medley relay record of 9:29.70, set by Hutton, Abda, Burkstrand and Ben Blankenship in 2011.
Minnesota will have one more competitor running tomorrow in South Bend as John Simons is set to go in the 3,000-meter run.
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Saturday’s performance ranks third in program history behind a 9:29.22 in 2013 and a 9:29.70 in 2011.
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