Minnesota Set for Big Tens at Purdue
May 14, 2014
The University of Minnesota men's outdoor track & field team returns to action this weekend at the 2014 Big Ten Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships in West Lafayette, Ind. Purdue hosts this year's conference competition at Rankin Track & Field with the action scheduled to start on Friday, May 16 and conclude on Sunday, May 18.
Throwers Look to Continue Big Ten Success
The Gophers have tallied tallied four-straight Big Ten hammer throw titles entering this year's conference meet with All-American alums Quentin Mege and Michah Hegerle each winning two Big Ten titles under throws coach and fellow Gophers All-American alum Lynden Reder. Senior Jon Lehman will lead the charge for a fifth-straight Big Ten title. The Coon Rapids, Minn., native set a personal record of 66.40 meters (217-10 ft.) at the Mark Messersmith Invitational last weekend -- the mark stands as the third best in the Big Ten this season (tied for 15th in the NCAA).
Siegmeier Goes for Third Big Ten Title
Senior pole vaulter Zach Siegmeier will compete at his final Big Ten championships this weekend as the defending indoor and outdoor conference champion. The Lakewood, Ill., native cleared 5.26 meters (17-03 ft.) at the 2014 indoor meet in February after winning the 2013 outdoor meet at 5.21 meters (17-01 ft.). A two-time Big Ten Field Athlete of the Week this season, Siegmeier has four titles (Musco Twilight, Baldy Castillo Invitational, Stanford Invitational, Hamline Invitational) to his credit for the outdoor season this year while his 5.51 meter (18-01 ft.) performance at the Musco Twilight stands as a personal record for the senior as well as the Big Ten's top performance this year (tied ninth in the NCAA).
One Last Go Round for Simons
After winning the indoor mile in March for his first career Big Ten title, senior John Simons will try for his first outdoor conference title this weekend in West Lafayette. The Hartland, Wis., native is coming off a stellar peerformance at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, where he ran the second-fastest 5,000 meters in school history at 13:39.11 -- the mark stands as the second best time in the Big Ten this year (11th best in the NCAA). Simons also has the Big Ten's third best 1,500 meter time this year at 3:41.94 (16th best in the NCAA).
Ellenson Enters Weekend Hot
Wally Ellenson heads to West LaFayette after hitting a new personal record of 2.21 meters (7-03 ft.) in the high jump last weekend -- the best performance in the Big Ten this season (tied for ninth in NCAA). The Rice Lake, Wis., native was a First Team All-American as a freshman last year and went on to win gold at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships last August in Colombia.
Minnesota at the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships
The Gophers have won seven outdoor conference team titles in program history (1949, 1968, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010) while the Maroon & Gold have also won a total of 113 Big Ten indivudual titles dating back to Isaac Tate's high jump win in 1901. Director of Men's Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia led Minnesota to back-to-back team titles in 2009 and 2010 in his first two seasons with the team (earning Big Ten Coach of the Year awards both years). Now in his sixth year as head of the track & field program, the Gophers alum has guided the Gophers to a total of 12 outdoor Big Ten individual titles including three titles last season.
BTN will air tape-delay coverage of the Big Ten Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships at 5 p.m. CT on Sunday, May 25.