May 30, 2014
FAYETEVILLE, Ark. (GopherSports.com) – Two more members of the University of Minnesota men’s track & field team are headed to the 2014 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships next month after stellar performances on Friday at the 2014 NCAA West Prelims.
Senior captain Jon Lehman and sophomore Wally Ellenson posted top-12 finishes in the hammer throw and high jump, respectively, on Friday at John McDonnell Field. The duo join senior pole vaulter Zach Siegmeier, who qualified for the NCAA championships on Thursday.
“We’re certainly happy for Jon and Wally. They’ve both had great seasons for us, and we’re excited about their prospects next month in Eugene,” Minnesota Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “We have one more day to move some guys on, and hopefully we’ll continue the success we’ve had over the first two days of competition.”
Lehman earned his first trip to the NCAA outdoor championships with a fourth-place finish on Friday, hitting a throw of 65.24 meters (214-00 ft.) to advance.
Ellenson, who was a First Team All-American at last year’s championships, tied for first at the NCAA West Prelims after clearing 2.16 meters (7-01 ft.) on Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, senior Bob Nicolls closed out his collegiate career with a 22nd-place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase on Friday. Nicolls clocked a 9:00.81 in the event.
Minnesota wraps up the 2014 NCAA West Prelims on Saturday with the discus (Mark Jennings, Justin Barber, Dominique Howard, Luke Johnson), the 1,500 meter quarterfinals (John Simons) and the 4x400 meter relay (Jacob Capek, Mitchell Hechsel, Nate Roese, Bradley Johnson).
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True freshmen Hamza Ali and Nick Rink will also represent the U.S. in international competition next month.
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The two-day event begins on Friday, Feb. 24 and culminates on Saturday, Feb. 25.
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Saturday’s performance ranks third in program history behind a 9:29.22 in 2013 and a 9:29.70 in 2011.