Feb. 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota men’s indoor track and field team enters this weekend’s action as the No. 8 team in the nation and the No. 2 team in the Midwest region, according to Tuesday’s U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association weekly poll.
The Gophers boast the Big Ten’s second-highest ranking in this week’s national poll, one spot behind seventh-place Indiana after flip flopping with Hoosiers a week ago. The remainder of the top 10 remains unchanged from last week with Arkansas sitting atop the national rankings followed by Florida, Texas A&M, Oregon and Arizona State, respectively.
Five Big Ten teams are ranked in the national top 25 with No. 13 Penn State, No. 14 Nebraska and No. 15 Wisconsin joining Minnesota and Indiana.
The Cornhuskers are actually the only team in the Midwest region ranked ahead of the Gophers this week with the Big Ten claiming four of the top five spots in the regional poll. Illinois is ranked third in the regional this week followed by Kansas State in fourth and Iowa in fifth.
In individual events this season, the Gophers have recorded national top 20 finishes four times – all in the last two weeks. Sean King’s time of 6.68 seconds in the 60-meter dash at the Bill Bergan Invitational ranks tied for 18th nationally this year and is the second fastest time in Minnesota men’s indoor history. Harun Abda ranks sixth in the nation in the 800 meters at 1:48.44 while the men’s 4x400 relay ranks 16th with a time of 3:10.60 – both events came at the Bill Bergan Invitational. Minnesota’s throwers are represented by Jon Lehman, who sits tied for fourth in the nation in the weight throw at 20.97 meters after recording the finish last weekend at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.
‘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.