April 28, 2012
For the second straight year the Golden Gopher Men’s Distance Medley Relay team won a title at the Drake Relays. This year though, the Maroon and Gold broke the school record that has stood since 1977, which head coach Steve Plasencia was a part of.
According to assistant coach Paul Thornton the performance by this foursome is truly a special honor.
“What is special about these four guys (Hutton, Abda, Pachuta and Burkstrand) is that they are all Minnesota kids,” Thornton said. “Together all four of them have been outstanding and we could not be more proud of them.
It was the second title for the quartet this weekend, as they won the 4x800 relay last night (7:19.02) for the Golden Gophers and as coach Thornton said they all hail from the state of Minnesota. Abda is from Fridley and Pachuta’s hometown is Eagan, while Burkstrand and Hutton both hail from Apple Valley.
“These four guys have done an outstanding job this weekend,” Plasencia said. “Their time in the DMR was a really fast time and to have a group of guys with two relays at the Drake Relays isn’t easy. I am very proud of them.”
Following the incredible morning session for the University of Minnesota men’s track and field 4x100 relay team finished sixth in the finals. The Gophers finished with a time of 40.26 as Jacob Capek, Sean King, Cameron Boy and Oladipo Fagbemi raced for the Gophers, who bumped up to fifth on the all-time list.
The Gophers 4x400 relay team made a run in the finals today. Capek, Harun Abda, Boy and Hohn Holton finished at 3:08.18.
In the 1,500 meter run the Gophers had one entry in Paul Hilsen. Hilsen finished ninth overall with a time of 3:58.84
Over in the field event side of things, Quentin Mege finished third overall in the hammer throw with a toss of 212-03 (64.70m). In the discus throw both Trey Davis and Dominique Howard had top 10 finishes. Davis finished seventh overall with a mark of 173-07 (52.91), while Howard landed a throw of 172-02 (52.48).
Fagbemi reached the finals in the triple jump and finished with a mark of 49-4 ½ (15.05m)
Tomorrow Hassan Mead and Pieter Gagnon will both run the 10,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational, on the campus of Stanford University. The race is scheduled for 10:55 p.m. PT/12:55 a.m. CT (Monday).
“Overall it was a great weekend for us,” Thornton said. “Obviously the highlights were our titles in both the 4x800 and DMR, but also (Jack) Szmanda, (Trey) Davis, (Quentin) Mege and all our field event athletes performed very well. Even with the weather not being the way we would have liked it, I thought the team did an outstanding job.”
Drake Alternative Meet
Also going on this afternoon was the 12th annual Drake Alternative Meet, in St. Peter, MN. Minnesota picked up three four on the afternoon. Frank Falzone (400m), Logan Marksuon (Pole Vault), Sam Kettenhofen (Long Jump) and Jon Lehman (Hammer) all grabbed individual titles.
Falzone clocked in at 48.99 in the 400 meter dash on a cold and rainy afternoon. Markuson cleared 16-5 ½ (5.01m) in the pole vault, while Kettenhofen leaped 21-5 ½ (6.53m) for a long jump title. Lehman landed a throw of 196-6 (59.89m) for a hammer throw championship.
Gophers Earn USTFCCCA Academic Merits
Eight Gophers earned individual honors while Minnesota also earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honors.
Blankenship Joins Mead on Olympic Team
A native of Stillwater, Minn., Blankenship took third in the 1,500 meter final at Hayward Field, clocking a 3:36.18.
Mead Punches Olympic Ticket
The Minneapolis, Minn., native ran a 13:35.70 at Hayward Field to earn his first bid to the Olympics.