April 13, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Against some of the top competition in the nation including the top two programs in the NCAA, No. 22 Minnesota men’s track and field team finished tied for first on Saturday at the John McDonnell Invitational. The Gophers totaled 137 points at the meet to tie defending NCAA indoor champion and No. 2 Arkansas and top No. 1 Texas A&M in third with 129 points.
The Gophers earned the team’s first shot put title of the season on Saturday as Mark Jennings’ mark of 17.36 earned top honors, setting a new personal record for the thrower and Minnesota’s best throw so far this season. Luke Johnson (16.60) and Logan Hussung (16.57) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, as both Gophers set new personal records.
Minnesota’s Harun Abda added an individual title in the 800 meters, crossing the finish line at 1:48.66 for his second title of the year in the 800. Alex Brend finished eighth in the event with a personal record of 1:51.04.
Zach Siegmeier improved his personal record in the pole vault with a second-place finish of 5.31 meters. The performance also moved the junior into a tie for fourth in the Gophers outdoor record book with Ben Peterson (1998).
Other notable performances: Oladipo Fagbemi posted a pair of top-five finishes for the Gophers on Saturday in Fayetteville. The senior finished third in the triple jump with a leap of 15.23 meters and added a fourth-place finish in the long jump at 5.15 meters.
Logan Connors earned runner-up honors in the javelin throw on Saturday 66.18 meters, just short of his Gophers personal record of 66.27 (set earlier this season) while Aaron Bartnik finished second in the 3,000 meters with a time of 8:47.13.
Minnesota posted three top 10 finishes in the 400 meters including Jacob Capek’s second-place finish of 47.39. Kevin Bradley finished fourth at 48.45 and John Holton came in eighth at 49.06. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Bobby Nicolls finished second (9:05.03) to best teammate Derek Storkel in third (9:12.48).
The Gophers also placed three throwers in the top five of the hammer throw competition in Fayetteville with Micah Hegerle coming in second at 63.58 meters, Jon Lehman finishing fourth at 57.54 meters and Justin Barber ending the weekend in fifth at 54.37 meters. Meanwhile in the discus throw, Dominique Howard recorded a toss of 54.46 meters – his best throw of the outdoor season this year – to finish second while Mark Jennings came in fifth at 50.77 meters
Wally Ellenson finished tied for seventh in the high jump with a height of 2.02 meters, Ryan Todhunter came in sixth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.77. Goaner Deng finished sixth in the 400-meter hurdles at 54.91, and Cameron Boy posted a fourth-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 20.94.
Minnesota also sent a contingency of competitors to the Tom Cat Open at St. Thomas on Saturday. In an indoor meet due to inclement weather, Adam Isakson tied for first in the pole vault with a jump of 4.95 meters, setting a new personal record. The Gophers also had a pair of top 10 performances in the 1,500 meter run as Adam Zutz finished fourth in 4:00.49 and Andrew Larsen came in seventh at 4:02.57. Danny Schiller finished second in the high jump with a leap of 2.13 meters.
Blankenship, Mead Shine in Olympic Finals
Mead and Blankenship recorded the best Olympic finishes by Gophers since Staffan Strand finished sixth in the high jump for Sweden during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
Ben Blankenship (1,500) and Hassan Mead (5,000) will run in Olympic finals on Saturday night.
Mead Moves on to Olympic 5,000 Final
Mead races in the 5,000 meter final at Olympic Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.