June 7, 2013
EUGENE, Ore. – The Minnesota men’s outdoor track and field team added three more All-America honors on Friday at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as Harun Abda, Travis Burkstrand and Wally Ellenson all claimed First Team accolades for the Gophers. The Minnesota men’s program has now collected a total of nine All-America honors for the outdoor season with more possible on Saturday.
In his final collegiate event, Abda picked up his 13th overall All-America honor – adding a First Team accolade on Friday after garnering Second Team honors on Thursday as part of Minnesota’s 4x400 meter relay team along with Goaner Deng, Cameron Boy and Jacob Capek. The senior clocked a 1:47.60 in the 800 meter finals on Friday in Eugene to finish fourth, just over a second behind national champion Elijah Greer of Oregon (1:46.58).
Burkstrand also wrapped up his collegiate career on Friday with his first individual All-America honor, earning First Team accolades with an eighth-place finish in the 800 meters. The senior ran a 1:48.24 as the Gophers’ 800-meter duo earned Minnesota a total six team points with the program sitting in 22nd with a total of 9.50 points. Burkstrand now has a total of three All-America distinctions after picking up a pair of honors in the indoor distance medley relay in 2011 and 2013.
While Abda and Burkstrand closed out their collegiate careers on Friday, Ellenson improved his personal record yet again in his freshman campaign with the Gophers. The newcomer finished tied for eighth in the high jump to earn First Team All-America honors with a height of 7-02.5 ft. (2.20 meters). Ellenson is the first Gopher to earn All-America honors in the outdoor high jump since Kevin Netzer in 2004 (also finished eighth at 7-02.5 ft.).
‘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.