May 25, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas – Harun Abda and Travis Burkstrand added their names to the Minnesota men’s track and field contingency that will be moving on to the NCAA Championships next month after earning automatic qualifying bids in the 800 meters on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Following a roughly three-hour delay due to heavy rains and inclement weather at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Championships, the Gophers duo finished first and second in the same quarterfinal heat to advance to the 800 meter semifinals next month in Eugene, Ore.
Abda, who finished with a season-best time of 1:48.18, led the pack for the final 400 meters of Friday’s race and posted the third best overall time in the quarterfinals while Burkstrand was right on his teammate’s trail at 1:48.46 for the sixth best overall time.
Minnesota now has three student-athletes moving on to the NCAA Championships in Eugene as freshman Wally Ellenson qualified in the high jump with a leap of 7-01 ft. (2.16 meters) on Thursday.
Meanwhile on Friday, Cameron Boy advanced out of the 200 meters prelims and will compete in the semifinals on Saturday night. Boy clocked 21.47 to finish second in his heat and 12th overall.
Additionally, Mark Jennings and Logan Hussung were unable to advance in Friday’s shot put competition. Jennings narrowly missed the cut in 16th with a toss of 57-00.25 ft. (17.38 meters) while Hussung hit 51-07.25 ft. (15.73 meters). Likewise, Bob Nicolls crossed the finish line at 8:54.78 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase quarterfinals early Saturday morning to finish 21st overall.
Due to the weather delay, Friday’s hammer throw competition was rescheduled for Saturday morning.
Minnesota wraps up the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminary Championships on Saturday.
‘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.