Nineteen Gophers Qualify for NCAA Prelims
May 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – The University of Minnesota men’s track & field team will send a total of 19 competitors to the 2014 NCAA West Prelims next week in Fayetteville, Ark., including Big Ten champions Zach Siegmeier and Trevor Yedoni.
The Gophers list 15 team members competing in individual events at the regional meet while the 4x400 meter relay team will also be in action at Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field, May 29-31.
Four returning outdoor All-Americans will lead the charge for Minnesota with two-time honoree Jacob Capek attempting to capture his third career accolade in the 4x400 meter relay this year with a trio of freshmen – Mitchell Hechsel, Nate Roese and Bradley Johnson.
Senior All-American John Simons will once again compete in the 1,500 meters and will look to improve on his 10th-place finish from a year ago while Goaner Deng will run the 800 meters after earning All-America status as a member of the 4x400 meter relay team a year ago. First Team All-American Wally Ellenson finished tied for eighth in the high jump last year and will be one of two Gophers competing in the event along with Danny Schiller.
Coming off his second-straight outdoor conference title and third overall, Siegmeier will compete for his first outdoor All-America honor in the pole vault this season. Already an indoor All-American, Siegmeier’s 5.51 meter seed mark ranks sixth among the field.
Yedoni, meanwhile, heads into the NCAA West Preliminaries after hitting 7.57 meters for a new personal record to win the Big Ten championships last weekend.
Seven throwers will also make the trip to Fayetteville including Mark Jennings, who will compete in both the discus and the shot put next week. Justin Barber, Dominique Howard and Luke Johnson will join Jennings in the discus while Emmanuel Onyia will also compete in the shot put.
Indoor All-American Jon Lehman will look to replicate his success at this year’s outdoor meet. The senior captain’s seed mark of 66.40 meters ranks eighth in the field.
Logan Connors rounds out the Gophers contingency in the javelin.
Qualifiers from the NCAA East and West Preliminaries will advance to the NCAA finals, which are set for June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.
Gopher NCAA West Preliminary Competitors
John Simons – 1,500 Meters
Jacob Capek – 4x400 Meter Relay
Goaner Deng – 800 Meters
Mitchell Hechsel – 4x400 Meter Relay
Nate Roese – 4x400 Meter Relay
Bradley Johnson – 4x400 Meter Relay
Bob Nicolls – 3,000 Meter Steeplechase
Andrew Larsen – 10,000 Meters
Wally Ellenson – High Jump
Danny Schiller – High Jump
Emmanuel Onyia – Shot Put
Zach Siegmeier – Pole Vault
Trevor Yedoni – Long Jump
Jon Lehman – Hammer Throw
Justin Barber – Discus
Dominique Howard – Discus
Luke Johnson – Discus
Mark Jennings – Discus, Shot Put
Logan Connors - Javelin