May 11, 2013
COLUMBUS, OHIO - At the conclusion of day two of the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the Minnesota men's outdoor track and field team finds itself in third place after a successful day of competition. With 35 team points, the Gophers are still in the hunt for a team title with Nebraska leading the way with 46.5 points and Wisconsin in second at 44.5.
The Gophers' 800 meters duo of Travis Burkstrand and Harun Abda paced the day for Minnesota with both runners winning their preliminary races to advance to Sunday's finals. Burkstrand posted the event's top overall time with a new personal record of 1:47.56 - moving up the Minnesota all-time performance list to fourth. Abda led the second heat with a time of 1:49.07 to finish with the fourth fastest overall preliminary and set up a potential repeat of this year's Drake Relays where Burkstrand and Abda finished first and second, respectively.
Meanwhile, Gophers newcomer Wally Ellenson netted Minnesota six team points with his third-place finish in the high jump. The freshman cleared 2.12 meters (6-11.5 ft.) behind Indiana's Derek Drouin (2.24 meters, 7-04.25 ft.) and Purdue's Geoff Davis (2.12 meters, 6-11.5 ft.).
Cameron Boy advanced to finals in a pair of events on Saturday, finishing second in his 200 meter dash heat and fourth overall with a time of 20.97 and also adding a sixth-place time of 10.61 in the 100 meter dash prelims. Five of the top six overall times came from Boy's heat in the 100 meter dash.
Jacob Capek also advanced after finishing sixth overall in the 400 meters preliminaries. Capek finished third in his heat with a time of 47.21. Alex Brend finished first in his 1,500 meter heat with a time of 3:49.85 to advance as did John Simons, who posted a time of 3:47.92. Minnesota's 4x100 relay team also moved on after posting a time of 41.07 in the preliminaries.
The Gophers also had top-10 finishes from Dominique Howard (fifth, 56.78 meters, 186-03 ft.) and Mark Jennings (10th, 52.31 meters, 171-07 ft.) in the discus and Bob Nicolls (seventh, 9:00.95) and Derek Storkel (eighth, 9:02.78) in the 3,000 meter steeplechase final. Micah Hegerle, who picked up Minnesota's fourth-straight Big Ten title in the hammer throw on Friday, added a 13th-place finish in the discus finals.
‘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.