Gophers Head South For NCAA West Preliminary Meet
May 22, 2012
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.
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?
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 Mead, David 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 Berggren, Paul Thornton, Lynden Reder, Steve White and Roy Griak.