May 16, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (GopherSports.com) – The University of Minnesota men’s track & field team kicked off the 2014 Big Ten Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Friday at Purdue’s Rankin Track & Field with All-American Jon Lehman leading the Gophers in the first day of competition.
Inclement weather delayed the opening day of conference competition including the men’s pole vault, however a handful of events were able to beat the rain and lightning in West LaFayette.
Lehman finished third in the weight throw to pace a trio of Minnesota competitors in the event. The senior hit 64.11 meters (210-04 ft.) in his third attempt while Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Purdue won the event at 66.22 meters (217-03 ft.) to snap Minnesota’s streak of four-straight Big Ten outdoor weight throw titles. Michael Lihrman of Wisconsin came in second at 65.15 meters (213-09 ft.).
Meanwhile, true freshman Luca Wieland sits in fourth halfway through the decathlon with 3,771 points. The Minnesota newcomer finished first in the shot put at 13.37 meters (43-10.50 ft.), second in the long jump at 7.16 meters (23-06 ft.), fourth in the 100-meter dash at 11.25, tied for sixth in the high jump at 1.88 meters (6-02 ft.) and seventh in the 400 meters at 51.95. The final five events for the decathlon are scheduled for Saturday.
The men’s pole vault was originally scheduled for Friday with Minnesota’s Zach Siegmeier set to defend his outdoor conference title, but inclement weather forced the event to be rescheduled for Saturday.
The 2014 Big Ten Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships continue over the next two days in West LaFayette.
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.