May 4, 2014
STANFORD, Calif. (GopherSports.com) – Despite having only one current student-athlete and one alum competing on Sunday night at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, the University of Minnesota men’s track & field team had plenty of reason to celebrate come night’s end.
All-American John Simons ran the second fastest 5,000 meters in school history while Gophers alum Hassan Mead clocked the second fastest 5,000 meters in the world this year at Stanford’s Cobb Track and Angell Field.
“John and Hassan both really had outstanding races tonight, and we couldn’t be happier for them,” Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “The 5,000 is the marquee event for this meet, and it says something about our student-athletes to have two of them do so well among some of the best distance runners in the country.”
A senior from Hartland, Wis., Simons clocked a 13:39.11 to finish eighth in his section at the highly touted meet. The mark, a personal record for Simons, stands as the second fastest time ever by a Gopher behind only Mead’s 13:28.45 from 2009. Luc Bruchet of British Columbia won the section at 13:33.20.
Mead, meanwhile, was less than a tenth of a second off the world's best time for this year with his 13:02.80 on Sunday night. The Gopher great finished second in his section behind Ben True, who clocked a 13:02.74 for a new world’s best for the year. An eight-time All-American in track & field and cross country for Minnesota, Mead currently competes for Nike’s Oregon Track Club.
Minnesota returns to action next weekend with the NDSU Tune-Up in Fargo, N.D., and UNI’s Mark Messersmith Invitational in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
‘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.