May 12, 2013
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Harun Abda and Zach Siegmeier added individual Big Ten titles in the 800 meters and pole vault, respectively, on Sunday as the Minnesota men’s outdoor track and field team finished second at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The Gophers recorded 93 team points while Nebraska earned the 2013 team title with 131.5 total points.
Approaching the tail end of a career that includes 11 total All-America honors and five Big Ten indoor titles, Abda can now claim a Big Ten outdoor title as his own after capturing Minnesota’s first Big Ten outdoor 800 meters title since Hans Storvick in 2008. The First Team All-Big Ten honoree – his fifth career conference accolade -- paced the day with a winning time of 1:48.64 on Sunday to edge Penn State’s Casimir Loxsom by 0.03 seconds while Travis Burkstrand finished third overall in Sunday’s final with a time of 1:49.74.
Meanwhile, Siegmeier picked up his first-ever Big Ten title and First Team All-Big Ten honor on Sunday with a win in the pole vault, clearing 5.21 meters (17-01 ft.). The junior’s win on Sunday marks the Gophers’ first conference title in the pole vault since Ben Peterson in 2010.
Hammer thrower Micah Hegerle added his second career Big Ten title and Minnesota’s fourth-straight conference title in the event on Friday with a toss of 65.34 meters (214-04 ft.) Hegerle earned First Team All-Big Ten distinction for the performance while defending champion Quentin Mege finished second behind his teammate to claim Second Team All-Big Ten accolades.
Senior Oladipo Fagbemi also earned his first career conference on Sunday with a runner-up finish in the triple jump. The Second Team All-Big Ten selection cleared 15.51 meters (50-10.75 ft.) behind Ohio State’s Mike Hartfield (15.62 meters, 51-03 ft.).
Other notable performances for the Gophers on Sunday included a third-place finish by the 4x400 relay team of Abda, Jacob Capek, Goaner Deng and Cameron Boy (3:09.15), two top-ten finishes in the javelin throw as Logan Connors finished fourth (63.47 meters, 208-03 ft.) and Sam Kettenhofen finished eighth (59.73 meters, 195-11 ft.), a sixth-place finish in the 200 meter dash by Boy (21.42) and a ninth-place finish by the senior in the 100 meter dash (10.60), a seventh-place finish in the 400 meter dash by Capek (47.12) and a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 meter run by John Simons (3:49.27) and a tenth-place finish in the 5,000 meter run by Simons (14:28.08). The 4x100 relay team of Capek, Boy, Fagbemi and Kettenhofen finished seventh with a time of 41.37 while Mark Jennings (17.71 meters, 58-01.25 ft.) and Logan Hussung (17.60 meters, 57-09 ft.) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, in the shot put.
The Big Ten Network will air tape-delay coverage of the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Track and Field Championships at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 19.
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.