March 22, 2014
Tempe, Ariz. (GopherSports.com) – The University of Minnesota men’s track & field team picked up three individual titles on Saturday to open the outdoor season at the Baldy Castillo Invitational at Arizona’s State’s Sun Angel Stadium.
All-American and defending Big Ten indoor and outdoor pole vault champion Zach Siegmeier opened the outdoor campaign with a win at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. The senior cleared 5.40 meters (17-08.50 ft.) to lead all competitors in Tempe.
Jordan Charles won the men’s triple jump on Saturday with a distance of 15.60 meters (51-02.25 ft.) for his first outdoor title as a collegiate athlete.
Minnesota’s third title came from Goaner Deng in the 400-meter dash. The Gophers speedster clocked a 47.48 to pace the event, nearly a second faster than the runner up.
The Gophers also posted runner-up finishes in three events on Saturday and totaled four second-place finishes at the meet.
Defending 800 meter champion Alex Brend finished second in the event at Sun Angel Stadium on Saturday. The runner crossed the finish line at a 1:51.28. Dominique Howard was the runner-up in the discus on Saturday with a feat of 55.05 meters (180-07 ft.) while the 4x400 meter relay squad of Jacob Capek, Goaner Deng, Bradley Johnson and Nate Roese finished second in 3:11.70 – just behind Long Beach State at 3:11.63.
Jon Lehman finished second in the hammer throw on Friday with a toss of 64.59 meters (211-11 ft.).
Other notable performances for the Gophers included Wally Ellenson’s fourth-place finish in the high jump (2.03 meters, 6-08.00 ft.) and Derek Storkel’s fifth-place finish in the 2,000 meter steeplechase (5:55.76). Brad Neumann and Capek finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 200 meters with times of 21.69 and 21.79. The 4x400 relay team of Rashawn Fountain, Mitch Hechsel, Jeffrey Cottrell and Neumann came in fourth at 3:17.58.
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The senior captain won all three shot put competitions he participated in during the month of January.
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True freshman Johnathan Tharaldsen qualified for the USA Track & Field Junior Championship with his personal record on Saturday.