Gophers Head South For NCAA West Preliminary Meet

Go Gophers! Hassan Mead
Go Gophers!
Hassan Mead
Go Gophers!

May 22, 2012

2012 NCAA West Prelimiary Meet
Tickets Purchase Online
Date Thursday, May 24-26
Time 11 a.m. CT (Each Day)
Location Austin, Texas 
Schedule of Events Click Here
Live Results Click Here
All-Access Click Here
Performance List/Top Ten Performance List Get Acrobat Reader | Top Ten List Get Acrobat Reader
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The University of Minnesota men's track and field team will make the trek down to Austin, Texas, this weekend for the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, hosted by the University of Texas. Minnesota will send 23 student-athletes down south to compete in a total of 13 events. Action begins on Thursday and will run through Saturday. Click here for live results.

Qualifying for the Big Show

With the exception of the decathlon, the NCAA West Preliminary Meet serves as the first round of the NCAA Championships or the qualifying round to the NCAA Championships. Each preliminary round site will host the top 48 declared athletes, or 24 relay teams. The NCAA Championships will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 6-9, athletes and relays must finish in the top 12 of the preliminary rounds to advance to the championships.

Third Year for East/West NCAA Prelims

This is the third straight season in which the NCAA will host an East and West Preliminary meet. The East Preliminary meet will be held May 24-26 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Gophers will be joined by four other Big Ten teams in the West: Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The six remaining Big Ten teams head to the East Preliminary meet site.

GOPHER ALL-ACCESS

Fans who can't to make it to this weekend's meet, Gopher All-Access is your place to be to watch all the action. You can join Gopher All-Access for $9.95 per month or $79.95 per year. Gopher All-Access is also part of the Big Ten Digital Network. If you upgrade to the Big Ten package, you can access hundreds of live events featuring all 12 conference schools. A link to the live coverage can be found here

Highlights From FloTrack

FloTrack.com will be covering both regional meets this weekend. The site will provide video interviews, highlights and results.

Who is Competing?

Golden Gophers earning NCAA Preliminary Rounds berths are:
Harun Abda - 800m, 4x400m relay
Justin Barber - Discus
Cameron Boy - 200m, 4x100m relay 
Kevin Bradley - 4x400m relay
Travis Burkstrand - 800m
Jacob Capek -4x100 relay
Trey Davis - Shot put, Discus
Pieter Gagnon - 10,000m
Micah Hegerle - Hammer, Discus
John Holton - 4x400m relay
Dominique Howard - Discus 
Nick Hutton - 1,500m
Mark Jennings - Shot put
Sam Kettenhofen - 4x100m relay
Sean King - 100m, 4x100m relay
Jon Lehman - Hammer
Hassan Mead - 5,000m
Quentin Mege - Hammer
Bob Nicolls - Steeplechase
David Pachuta - 800m, 4x400m relay
Marcus Paulson - 1,500m
John Simons - 5,000m
Jack Szmanda - Pole Vault 

Mege Ranks Third

Quentin Mege, who won his second consecutive Big Ten Hammer title a couple weeks back comes into the weekend seeded third overall. Mege ranks sixth in the country currently after breaking the school record with a toss of 220-1 (67.08m).

Big Ten End of the Year Awards

The Golden Gophers earned five post-season Big Ten awards. Mege was the lone Gopher selected to the All-Big Ten First Team, while Hassan MeadDavid Pachuta and Jack Szmanda were voted to the second team. Sam Kettenhofenwas voted as a Sportsmanship Award winner.

THE GOLDEN GOPHER COACHING STAFF

Steve Plasencia enters his fourth season as the Golden Gophers head men's track & field coach. Plasencia was awarded his fifth consecutive Big Ten Coach of the Year award, adding the 2011 indoor accolade to those from the 2009 and 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons. Plasencia heads an extremely experienced coaching staff that includes assistants Scott BerggrenPaul ThorntonLynden RederSteve White and Roy Griak.

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