Nine Gophers Earn Bids to NCAA Indoor Championships
March 4, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – Nine members of the Minnesota men’s indoor track and field team have earned qualifying bids to this weekend’s 2013 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Complex in Fayetteville, Ark.
Among Minnesota’s representatives for this year’s indoor championships is senior All-American Harun Abda, who will compete in three events this weekend – the distance medley relay, the 4x400 relay and the 800-meters. Abda, Minnesota’s school record holder in the 800-meters, earned a qualifying bid for the event with his winning time of 1:49.68 (adjusted to 1:48.14 for track size) at the Snowshoe Open earlier this season.
Minnesota’s distance medley relay team of Abda, Travis Burkstrand, Cameron Boy and Nick Hutton set a new Minnesota record of 9:29.22 last weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind. The mark, which earned the Gophers’ foursome a trip to Fayetteville, ranks fifth in the nation this season.
Abda and Boy also make up half of the Gophers’ 4x400 relay team along with Goaner Deng and Jacob Capek. The relay team earned All-Big Ten honors and qualified for the national championship with a time of 3:07.19 at this year’s Big Ten indoor championships, earning second in the event. Minnesota’s 4x400 relay mark ranks seventh in the nation this season.
John Simons joined the distance medley relay team in South Bend last weekend and ran just the second sub-four minute mile in Minnesota men’s indoor track and field history at the meet to qualify for this weekend’s event. The Hartland, Wis., native finished first in his heat and third overall in Saturday’s one-mile race, crossing the finish line at 3:59.32 for the second –fastest performance in the event in school history. Only Ben Blankenship’s time of 3:57.87 in 2010 ranks higher in the Gophers indoor record book.
Minnesota will also send a pair of throwers to Fayetteville in Jon Lehman and Micah Hegerle. The duo battled throughout the indoor season in the weight throw with Hegerle narrowly besting his teammate for Minnesota’s top performance in 2013. Hegerle’s throw of 21.84 meters (71-08 ft.) at the Snowshoe Open marks the sixth best throw in the nation this season and just missed out on the senior’s school record. Lehman’s best of the season was not far behind, however, as the junior’s throw of 21.79 meters (71-06 ft.) at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships ranks seventh in the nation – one spot behind his teammate’s toss.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 8 from 6:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET and March 9 from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. ET. A tape delay of the championship will air Sunday, March 17 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. ET on ESPNU.