Gophers Split Up for Pair of Meets

Go Gophers! Mark Jennings
Go Gophers!
Mark Jennings
Go Gophers!
2014 UNI Mark Messersmith Invitational
Date Friday, May 9, 2014
Location Mark Messersmith Outdoor Track & Field Complex | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Info Schedule | Heat Sheets 
Time Field Events: 11 a.m. CT 
2014 UW-La Crosse Eagle Open
Date Friday, May 9, 2014
Location Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex | La Crosse, Wis.
Info Schedule
Time Field Events: 3 p.m. CT | Track Events: 4 p.m. CT

May 8, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) -- The University of Minnesota men's track & field program closes out the regular season this weekend with a pair of meets in Wisconsin and Iowa on Friday. 

The Gophers will send contingencies to UNI's Mark Messersmith Invitational in Cedar Rapids, Iowa while another group of competitors will head to the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open in La Crosse, Wis. 

Mark Messersmith Invitational Preview

Minnesota's throwers will get their final tune-up of the year this weekend in Cedar Rapids before next week's Big Ten outdoor championships in Lafayette, Ind.

The Gophers did not compete at the meet last season but return eight top-10 performances from the 2012 edition of the event. Mark Jennings finished fourth in both the shot put  and the discus while Logan Hussung came in fifth in the shot and eighth in the discus. Justin Barber finished fifth in the discus and seveth in the hammer with Jon Lehman coming in fifth in the hammer and Dominique Howard finishing 10th in the discus. The Gophers had five of the top 10 discus throws at the meet. 

Lehman, Barber, Howard, Jennings and Hussung will be back to compete for the Gophers this year as will Viktor Stelter, Luke Johnson, Emmanuel Onyia and Logan Connors. Gian Ferretti, Mac Riedy and Colton Bender will also head to Cedar Rapids as individual competitors. 

Field events for the 2014 Mark Messersmith Invitational are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. CT at the Messersmith Outdoor Track and Field Complex. 

Siegmeier Nabs Big Ten Weekly Honor

Senior All-American Zach Siegmeier has been named the Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week after winning the pole vault at last weekend's Musco Twilight. 

The Lakewood, Ill., native cleared 5.51 meters (18-01 ft.) for a new personal record, the Big Ten's best mark of the season and the eighth best pole vault in the NCAA this year. The defending Big Ten indoor and outdoor pole vault champion has four titles this season for the Gophers. 

Notable Performances

The Gophers have a total of six performances that rank in the top-25 for the NCAA this season including two of the best peformances in the Big Ten this season. 

1,500 Meters

13 - John Simons (3:41.94) at Mt. SAC Relays (third best in Big Ten)

5,000 Meters

11 - John Simons (13:39.11) at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (second best in Big Ten)

High Jump

11 - Wally Ellenson (2.20 meters, 7-02.50 ft.) at Drake Relays (best in Big Ten) 

Pole Vault

8 - Zach Siegmeier (5.51 meters, 18-01 ft.) at Musco Twilight (best in Big Ten)

Discus

25 - Dominique Howard (58.13 meters, 190-08 ft.) at Musco Twilight (sxith best in Big Ten) 

Hammer Throw

18 - Jon Lehman (65.39 meters, 214-06 ft.) at Sun Angel Track Classic (fourth best in Big Ten)

Simons Clocks School's Second Best 5K 

Senior All-American John Simons ran the second fastest 5,000 meters in school history last Sunday at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. 

The Hartland, Wis., native crossed the finish line at 13:39.11 to finish eighth in his section and set a new personal record. Hassan Mead holds the school record at 13:28.45, set in 2009.

Mead Runs Year's Second Fastest 5K 

Eight-time All-American Hassan Mead was also at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational and clocked the second fastest 5,000 meters in the world this year in a different section. 

Currently running for Nike's Oregon Track Club Elite, Mead ran a 13:02.80 on Sunday night to finish second, just off the pace of Ben True (13:02.74) who finished first for the fastest time in the world this year. 

Up Next

Minnesota returns to action next weekend at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships in Lafayette, Ind. Purdue hosts this year's conference meet with the action starting on Friday, May 16 and continuing through Sunday, May 18.