Men's Track Looking for Fourth Straight Big Ten Title
Feb. 22, 2012
2012 BIG TEN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The No. 8 Minnesota men’s track & field team travels to Lincoln, Neb., to compete in the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships, Feb. 24-25 at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. The action gets underway on Friday with the running of the heptathlon 60-meter dash at 10 a.m. Finals will be held in five events on the first day. On Sunday, the heptathlon continues with the 60-meter hurdles at 10 a.m. Finals will be held in the remaining 12 events on the second day of the Championships.
UPDATES FROM THE B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS
Fans that can’t make it to Lincoln this weekend can follow along a few different ways. The Minnesota Men’s Track and Field Facebook page will be giving updates over the course of the weekend. If you don’t have access to Facebook then you can get updated results by clicking here.
FIRST TIME COMBINED
2012 marks a special moment in Big Ten Indoor Track and Field. This season Nebraska will be hosting the first combined men’s and women’s indoor championships and the first ever Big Ten Championship in Lincoln.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
Minnesota is the three-time defending team champion, winning its fourth overall team crown a year ago. The Gophers’ first Big Ten Championships Indoor title was in 1998.
Michigan has won the most indoor titles with 26, but has not captured a title since 1994. Wisconsin had won eight straight until dethroned by Minnesota in 2009.
TWO BIG TEN ATHLETES OF THE WEEK IN 2012
This season Minnesota has been awarded the Big Ten Athlete of the Week honor twice. Harun Abda was awarded for his performance in the 800m (1:46.97) back at the Bill Bergan Invitational and just this week Micah Hegerle was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week for breaking his own school record in the weight throw 21.95m (72-0 ¼) for Minnesota.
HASSAN BEING HASSAN
Senior All-American Hassan Mead is back in the full swing of things for a successful final campaign on the track, for the Maroon and Gold. Mead hit an NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 5,000m at the Husky Classic, earlier this indoor season. The senior clocked in at 13:33.42 and has the fifth fastest time in the country.
ABDA LEADS THE NATION IN THREE EVENTS
Harun Abda currently holds the fastest time in the country in the following events: 600m (1:16.38), 600 yd (1:07.66) and 800m (1:46.97). The Minneapolis native also picked up Big Ten Runner of the Week for his performance at the Bill Bergan Invitational. Abda hit his NCAA automatic qualifying time in the 800m and anchored the first place 4x400 relay team (3:09.93) at the invite.
PACHUTA SETS FIELDHOUSE RECORD
David Pachuta broke the Jack Johnson and UM Fieldhouse record with a time of 1:49.90 in the 800m. The previous Jack Johnson record was set last season by current Gopher Nick Hutton, who ran a 1:51.04. The Fieldhouse record was 1:50.18 and was set in 2010 by Wisconsin's Zach Mellon, who finished at 1:50.18.
HEGERLE LEADING THE THROWERS
Micah Hegerle has picked up right from where he left off last season. Last weekend Hegerle hit an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the weight throw with a toss of 21.95m (72-0 ¼). His mark also broke his own school record 21.73m (71-3 ½) for the Gophers in which he set last season. Hegerle currently has the fifth best throw in the nation and has the top distance in the Big Ten.
IN THE AIR
Oladipo Fagbemi has been on a hot streak lately. Last week Fagbemi hit his season best mark in the triple jump at 15.25m (50-0 1/2). He has the sixth furthest jump this season in the conference, but this event is up for grabs this weekend.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR…
One Golden Gopher who has taken a big step forward this season is Jon Lehman in the weigh throw. The sophomore from Coon Rapids, Minn., has shown huge signs of improvement over the last few weekends. Last weekend Lehman hit a personal best mark of 20.79m (68-2). Along with Hegerle and Quentin Mege, this group can do some damage as the indoor season closes out.
THE GOLDEN GOPHER COACHING STAFF
Steve Plasencia enters his fourth season as the Golden Gophers head women's track & field coach. Plasencia was Plasencia was awarded his fifth consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year award, adding the 2011 indoor accolade to those from the 2009 and 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons. Plasencia heads an extremely experienced coaching staff that includes assistants Scott Berggren, Paul Thornton, Lynden Reder, Steve White and Roy Griak.