Overall the Gophers, the two-time defending Big Ten indoor champions, won six titles on the day with Harun Abda, Nick Hutton and Mike Torchia accounting for three middle distance crowns.
Torchia, a senior, thrilled the large Classic crowd with a come-from-behind victory in the mile run. Torchia trailed Iowa’s Jeff Thode by five meters going into the final lap. Torchia passed Thode on the final turn and sprinted to the victory in a time of 4:08.90. Thode finished with a time of 4:09.88.
Abda captured the 600-meter dash in a time of 1:17.85, edging Iowa’s Steven Willey by just 14 hundreds (0.14) of a second. Abda won the Big Ten title in the event as a true freshman a year ago.
Nick Hutton won the 800-meter run with a Jack Johnson record of 1:51.04. It is Hutton’s first career win.
Senior Brock Spandl’s win in the pole vault was the highlight of the three field event titles picked up by the Gophers. Spandl cleared 17-1 with take the crown, his first vault over 17 feet this season.
Micah Hegerle and Trey Davis added titles in the throwing events. Hegerle won the weight throw with an effort of 63-9 3/4, while Davis took honors in the shot put with a throw of 56-1 3/4.
Gophers Claim 12 Titles in Opener
The Gophers throwers added a pair of titles in assistant coach Matt Conly first home event with the Maroon & Gold.
Gophers Kick Off Season with Minnesota Open
Field events for the Minnesota Open begin at 11 a.m. CT with running events set to begin at 12:30 p.m.
Gophers Pace B1G in USTFCCCA Rankings
One of three Big Ten programs in the opening rankings, the Maroon & Gold lead the conference followed by Penn State (20th) and Ohio State (21st).