June 7, 2012
Junior Nick Hutton'spersonal-best in the 1500 meters and a strong effort by the Gophers 4x400-meter relay team were not enough to reach the finals as the Gophers finished the second day of competition at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines just outside of advancing positions in two events.
"It was a frustrating day because our guys ran really well," said director of track & field/cross country Steve Plasencia. "Other teams just ran better and we continue to finish just outside of every advancement."
Hutton's 3:43.16 was the fastest 1500-meter time of by a Gopher this season and the 10th-fastest time in school history but came up 4/10ths of a second outside the last automatic qualifying position. The junior was on the lead with 200 meters to go, but was unable to stay in the top five before finished less than a second behind heat winner Erik van Ingen of Binghamton (3:42.57) in seventh place.
In the 4x400-meter relay, the team of sophomore Jacob Capek, junior Harun Abda, senior David Pachuta and junior Kevin Bradleycombined to run the 10th-fastest time in school history, but were also unable to move on. The squad completed the 1600 meters in a time of 3:06.95 to finish sixth in the fastest heat of the night.
The Gophers will be back in action Friday with their final chance to leave the championship with points. Juniors Quentin Mege and Micah Hegerle will compete in the hammer competition beginning at 2 p.m., with senior Hassan Mead running in the 5000 meters at 7:10 p.m.
‘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.