Gophers Open Outdoor Season in Tempe
March 21, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota men's outdoor track & field program kicks off the 2014 outdoor campaign this weekend at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State hosts the two-day meet at the Sun Angel Stadium.
Gophers Boast Three Indoor All-Americans
Minnesota closed out the 2014 indoor campaign last weekend with three Gophers earning All-America honors at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
John Simons earned First Team All-America while Jon Lehman and Zach Siegmeier were named Second Team All-Americans. Simons and Lehman have now earned two indoor All-American honors each (all coming during the indoor season) while Siegmeier earned his first career All-America honor.
Simons finished sixth in the 3,000 meter field at the NCAA championships with a time of 8:14.40 after winning the 2014 Big Ten title in the mile run. Lehman, who set a new school record in the weight throw during the season, finished 10th at nationals with a distance of 20.90 meters (68-07 ft.). The Big Ten indoor pole vault champ this year, Siegmeier finished 13th at the NCAA championships with a height of 5.30 meters (17-04.5 ft.).
2013 Baldy Castillo Invite Recap
The Gophers picked up four individual titles at the 2013 Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
Zach Siegmeier successfully cleared 5.30 meters (17-04 1/2 ft.) to pick up individual honors and improve his slot in the school outdoor record books to a tie for fifth with teammate Jack Szmanda. Szmanda finished fourth at the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Saturday with a height of 5.20 meters (17-00 3/4 ft.).
Alex Brend paced the competition in the 800-meter run with a top-time of 1:51.88 while Oladipo Fagbemi bested teammate Sam Kettenhofen in the long jump for a 1-2 finish for Minnesota. Fagbemi cleared 7.21 meters (23-08 ft.) for top honors in Tempe while Kettenhofen followed closely in second at 7.20 meters (23-07 1/2 ft.).
Minnesota's fourth individual title came on Friday as Quentin Mege bested his own school record in the hammer throw and posted the top throw in the nation this year at 67.49 meters (221-05 ft.)
Both Brend and Siegmeier will defend their titles at the 2014 Baldy Castillo Invitational.
Lehman Named USTFCCCA Midwest Field Athlete of the Year
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association named Jon Lehman the 2014 USTFCCCA Midwest Field Athlete of the Year after a phenomenal indoor season from the Gophers senior.
A native of Coon Rapids, Minn., Lehman set the school record in the weight throw earlier this year at the Snowshoe Open with his throw of 22.98 meters (75-05 ft.) The mark ranks third in the NCAA this season.
The senior captain and Second Team All-Big Ten honoree for the Gophers has four individual wins this season - the Snowshoe Open, the Bill Bergan Invitational, the Iowa State Classic and the Northwest Open. Lehman was named a Second Team All-American after his performance at the national championships.
Honoring Roy Griak
The 2014 Minnesota men's track & field and cross country season marks the 50th year of service to the University of Minnesota by legendary coach Roy Griak. Griak served as the head coach of the Minnesota men's cross country team from 1963-1996 and led the Gophers to three Big Ten titles. Griak has remained on staff as an administrative assistant since handing over the reigns of the program to current Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross CountrySteve Plasencia. Minnesota honors its long-time coach each Fall with the Roy Griak Invitational -- the 28th running of the Griak was held on Sept. 28.
Next Time Out
After a brief break next weekend, the Gophers return to action during the first weekend of April. The Maroon & Gold will split up for a pair of meets with a contingency heading to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational and another group staying closer to home with the Hamline Invitational in St. Paul.