April 24, 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa (GopherSports.com) – The University of Minnesota men’s outdoor track & field program opened the weekend up on Thursday at the 105th Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
Minnesota’s 4x1600 meter relay squad of Alex Brend, Blayne Dulian, Christian Skaret and Marcus Paulson finished fourth at Drake Stadium on Thursday with a time of 16:33.03. Washington took the title at 16:21.46 followed by Illinois at 16:24.29 and Notre Dame at 16:24.32.
The Gophers closed out the night with Aaron Bartnik’s fifth-place finish in the 5,000 meters. The sophomore set the pace early and battled among the leaders throughout the race before clocking a 14:14.95.
Multi-eventers actually kicked off the weekend on Wednesday but closed out the decathlon on Thursday to open the competition. Luca Wieland and Nick Bachinski finished 13th and 14th, respectively in the field. Wieland totaled 6,120 points in the event after a great start on Wednesday while Bachinski followed his teammate with 5,786 points.
The Gophers continue to compete at the Drake Relays on Friday and Saturday.
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.