May 3, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa (GopherSports.com) – The University of Minnesota men’s track & field team picked up two titles at the Musco Twilight on Saturday night as defending Big Ten champion Zach Siegmeier won the pole vault and newcomer Gian Ferretti won the hammer throw at Iowa’s Francis X. Cretzmeyer Track. The Gophers also set several personal and lifetime records at the meet.
Not only did Siegmeier set a new meet record at the event, the senior improved his personal record by clearing 5.51 meters (18-01.00 ft.) to win the pole vault and cleared the fifth highest pole vault in school history. Siegmeier has now won four individual pole vault titles in his final campaign with the Maroon & Gold. Logan Markuson came in 10th with a height of 4.53 meters (14-10.25 ft.).
Meanwhile, Ferretti – competing as an individual – also set a new meet record and recorded his best throw of the season to win the hammer on Saturday. The rookie was one of four Gophers in the top-10 at the Musco Twilight and led all competitors with a 67.10 meter throw (220.02 ft.). All-American Jon Lehman was one spot back in second at 64.77 meters (212-06 ft.) while Justin Barber finished seventh at 58.44 meters (176-02 ft.) and Viktor Stelter came in ninth at 53.37 meters (175-01 ft.).
“All and all, it was a good meet for a lot of our guys, and we were able to test ourselves against some really good teams as we get ready for the Big Ten championships later this month,” Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “We were really happy with the way we competed, and it was great to see some of the guys setting new marks individually.”
Dominique Howard also hit a new personal best and recorded the fourth best discus throw in school history, finishing fourth at 58.13 meters (190-08 ft.) while Justin Barber (54.83 meters, 179-11 ft.) and Mark Jennings (52.45 meters, 172-01 ft.) came in eighth and ninth, respectively.
Blayne Dulian paced seven Gophers in the top 15 finishers in the 1,500 meters with his second-place finish at 3:49.89. Marcus Paulson trailed Dulian in third at 3:53.80 with Bob Nicolls in fifth at 3:55.03. Christian Skaret came in ninth at 3:56.57 with Adam Zutz in 10th at 3:56.79. Wayde Hall finished 12th as an unattached runner at 3:57.53 while Derek Storkle clocked a 3:58.57 to finish 15th.
Running unattached, Eric Colvin also finished as the runner-up in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:33.62 with Steve Sulkin one spot back at 14:38.40 in third. Josh Thorson finished fifth at 14:51.51 while Troy Koivisto was seventh in 15:00.48.
The 4x100 meter relay team of Jacob Capek, Brad Neumann, Jordan Charles and Trevor Yedoni ran a 41.49 to finish third. Bradley Johnson finished third in the 800 meters with a new personal record at Minnesota of 1:50.48 while Derek Wiebke came in seventh as an unattached competitor at 1:51.95. Jeffrey Cottrell finished ninth at 1:52.37 with Michael Bolland clocking a 1:56.09 to place 16th.
The Gophers also had notable performances from Ben Holcomb (eighth, 14.74) and Luca Wieland (11th, 15.40) in the 110-meter hurdles, Brad Neumann (11th, 11.00) in the 100 meters and Rashawn Fountain (12th, 52.45) in the 400-meter hurdles. Neumann also placed sixth in the 200 meters (22.01).
In the field events, Mark Jennings finish fourth (17.07 meters, 56-00.00 ft.) in the shot put while Emmanuel Onyia (16.64 meters, 54-07.25 ft.) came in sixth followed by Logan Hussung in seventh (16.56 meters, 54-04.00 ft.) and Luke Johnson in eighth (16.45 meters, 53-11.75 ft.). Bryan Bjerk hit a 54.98 meter mark (180-04 ft.) in the junior disk as an unattached competitor. Trevor Yedoni came in third in the long jump (7.18 meters, 23-06.75 ft.) while Wally Ellenson came in second in the high jump (2.17 meters, 7-01.50 ft.) followed by unattached competitor Ryan Lockard in sixth (2.01 meters, 6-07.00 ft.) and Jamie Crum in ninth (1.96 meters, 6-05.00 ft.).
While the majority of Gophers were in Iowa City, a number of competitors were also in action at Hamline’s Meet of the UnSaintly on Saturday.
Matthew Welch posted his second top-five performance of the season in the 1,500 meters with a third-place showing at the meet. Welch led a trio of Gophers to top-20 finishes in the event with a time of 3:57.30 while Bradley Woodford finished 15th at 4:07.79 for a new personal record at Minnesota. Riley Macon was one spot back in 16th at 4:08.12. Welch and Woodford both competed as unattached runners.
Colton Bender also set a new personal record with his fifth-place showing in the hammer throw. The Minnesota newcomer hit 49.29 meters (161-08 ft.) while Mac Riedy followed in sixth at 47.56 meters (156-00 ft.) – both as unattached competitors.
Minnesota closes out the weekend on Sunday with All-American Jon Simons competing in the 5,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Stanford, Calif.
‘U’ Alum Siegmeier Joins Gophers Staff
A two-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion, Zach Siegmeier will serve as director of operations for men's track & field and cross country.
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.