May 9, 2012
As the school year comes to an end there is always that time that we say thank you and farewell to a senior class. The University of Minnesota men’s track and field team season is coming to a close and it has been one incredible journey for the group of 13 seniors that will be departing very soon.
Lacing it up for their final Big Ten Championships of their career this weekend will be Trey Davis, Hassan Mead, Quentin Mege, Alex Migit, Sean Olson, David Pachuta and Matt Volz. Other members of the senior class include Ben Blankenship, Paul Hilsen, Paul Hoplin, Joe McFarland, Brad Parent and Andy Richardson.
Head coach Steve Plasencia could not be more proud of what this group has accomplished and brought to this team over the years.
“A number of these guys were part of our Big Ten Championship run,” Plasenica said. “There is great leadership among this group and some very outstanding athletes, which I can say I had the privilege of working with.”
Together this group has been a part of five Big Ten Championships (three indoor and two outdoor) during their time. From 2009-11 the team dominated the indoor season by winning three-straight conference titles. This past indoor season the squad was just five points shy of claiming their fourth indoor title in a row.
The past few years of the outdoor season have also been an exciting time for the Golden Gophers. Back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 highlighted the outdoor season. Last outdoor the season the team came in second place and fell short of a three-peat. Heading into the weekend the Gophers look poised and ready to go, but they will be dealing with a very competitive field as Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State and host Wisconsin will all bring a strong attack, in efforts of winning this year’s title.
Davis who originally came to Minnesota on a football scholarship made the switch to the track team early in his career. Davis says it has been a very humble experience and a privilege to have been a part of this team.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of this team for the past five years,” Davis said. “While the championships have been special memories, I think the experiences that have meant the most have been the ones spent with my teammates on and off the track. The chemistry this team has maintained over the years with guys caring about one another and competing for and supporting each other is a special thing that has been the core of our success.”
Davis and company are set to do battle starting this Friday and will continue through Sunday. One thing is for sure is that this group of student-athletes will leave the University of Minnesota and the track team as a strong and mature group of individuals, according to Plasencia.
They have maintained a good focus on both the academic and athletic standpoint and that is what we strive for here at Minnesota,” Palsencia said.
“They have been good teammates and great mentors for the younger guys that are coming up in the program.”
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