June 14, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. (GopherSports.com) – John Simons closed out his collegiate career by earning his first outdoor First Team All-America honor on Saturday, finishing seventh in the men’s 1,500 meter final at Hayward Field.
The fifth-year senior clocked a 3:40.57 at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, just off his personal record of 3:40.56 set last month at the NCAA West Prelims in Fayetteville, Ark.
“Certainly, John has had a great career for us and has shown he is one of the elite runners in the country,” Minnesota Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia said. “With this year’s 1,500 field, earning First Team All-America honors wasn’t going to be easy, and John really stepped up to the challenge.”
Simons’ seventh-place finish in the men’s 1,500 meters also improves on his 10th-place finish at last year’s national championships while the native of Hartland, Wis., ends his college career with four total All-America accolades (two indoor, two outdoor.
Minnesota’s final competitor at the national championships, Simons was just over a second off the pace of Oregon’s Mac Fleet, who led the field with a time of 3:39.09 to win his second-straight NCAA 1,500 meter title.
All five Gophers that qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships earned All-America honors with Simons joining Wally Ellenson (second in the high jump, 2.25 meters), Dominique Howard (ninth in the discus, 58.60 meters), Zach Siegmeier (fifth in the pole vault, 5.50 meters) and Jon Lehman (10th in the hammer, 64.27 meters).
Miller Inspired By Rio Experience
Former Gopher student-athlete and current women's assistant coach Peter Miller attended the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as a fan.
`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.