March 8, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Gophers distance medley relay team of Harun Abda, Cameron Boy, Nick Hutton and Travis Burkstrand earned First Team All-America honors with a third-place finish on Friday in the first day of action at the 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Minnesota crossed the finish line with a team total of 9:34.21 to finish third in the event, narrowly edged for runner-up honors by Penn State at 9:34.00. Princeton took home the individual title with a winning time of 9:33.00.
Friday’s performance marks Abda’s seventh overall All-America honor while Burkstrand and Hutton each earned the second All-America accolades of their careers. Friday’s finish marks the first career All-America honor for Boy.
In addition to the distance medley relay team, the Gophers had a pair of competitors move on to finals action on Saturday in Abda and John Simons.
Abda finished third in his 800-meters heat with a time of 1:48.65 to advance to Saturday’s finals. The 800-meter finals will be ran Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Simons, meanwhile, who ran just the second sub-four-minute mile in school history last weekend to earn a qualifying bid to the national championships, nearly matched his personal record in Friday’s preliminaries. The Hartland, Wis., native crossed the finish line at 4:00.47 to advance to Saturday’s finals, which are slated for 6:10 p.m. C.T.
In addition to Simons and Abda, Minnesota will also feature competitors in two more events on Saturday. Micah Hegerle and Jon Lehman are set to compete in the preliminary trials and finals of the weight throw beginning at 2 p.m. while the 4x400 relay team of Aba, Boy, Jacob Capek and Goaner Deng will close out the meet at approximately 8:20 p.m.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 9 from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 17 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
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The Gophers will be in action starting Thursday, April 27 with competition coming to a close on Saturday, April 29.
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Meanwhile, four unattached Gopher freshmen picked up titles at Concordia-St. Paul’s Holst Invitational on Saturday at SeaFoam Stadium in St. Paul.
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The Gophers also added three top-10 all-time performances on Friday from Mitch Hechsel, Luke May and Obsa Ali.