April 24, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota men's outdoor track & field team competes in what could possibly be the busiest and toughest weekend of the 2014 season with major meets including the 2014 Drake Relays in Iowa and the Triton Invitational in California.
Four-Peat Possibility at Drake
The Gophers will look to land their fourth-straight 4x800 relay title at the Drake Relays this weekend and the program's fifth overall 4x800 meter relay title (2004). The Gophers will have to do so without All-Americans Travis Burkstrand and Harun Abda, who were both lost to graduation last year after running in the 4x800 for Minnesota in each of the last three wins. Alex Brend and Goaner Deng were rookies on last year's winning relay team and will be expected to lead the race this season while All-American John Simons and rookie Brad Johnson are expected to round out the relay team.
2011 - David Pachuta, Travis Burkstrand, Nick Hutton, Harun Abda (7:19.51)
Meanwhile in California
While many of Minnesota's runners will compete in Iowa, the majority of throwers will compete at the Triton Invitational on Saturday in San Diego. UC-San Diego will host the meet at Triton Track & Field Stadium.
Logan Hussung returns to the meet as the defending champion in the shot put. Hussung set a new personal record to win the event last season with a toss of 17.49 meters (57-04.75 ft.).
The Gophers will feature throwers in the hammer throw (Viktor Stelter, Justin Barber, Jon Lehman), the discus (Mark Jennings, Dominique Howard, Barber, Luke Johnson), the shot put (Johnson, Hussung, Emmanuel Onyia, Jennings) and the javelin (Logan Connors).
Also in Action
While the Drake Relays and the Triton Invitational highlight the weekend, the Gophers will also send a small contingency of competitors to the SMU Cardinal Open at St. Mary's in Winona on Saturday. Minnesota will not compete at the Drake Alternative at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter as originally scheduled.
‘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.