June 16, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) officially unveiled its All-America honorees for the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships on Monday with all five competing members of the Minnesota men’s track & field program earning the distinction.
Competing at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., Minnesota totaled 13.50 team points at the national championships to finish 17th – the program’s best finish at the meet since 2004 and also the best performance in six years under Director of Men’s Track & Field and Cross Country Steve Plasencia.
Ellenson led the charge for Minnesota, finishing as the national runner-up in the men’s high jump. The Rice Lake, Wis., native picked up his second-straight First Team All-America honor (tied for eighth in 2013) and set a new personal record of 2.25 meters (7-04.50 ft.) at the meet. The finish ties Ellenson with Staffan Strand and Tim Heikkila for the top NCAA outdoor high jump finish in school history while Ellenson’s mark is tied for the sixth-best jump in school history. Only Strand and Mike Vukovich have jumped higher for the Maroon & Gold.
Two-time defending Big Ten outdoor pole vault champion Zach Siegmeier earned his second career All-America, tying for fifth in the men’s pole vault. The Lakewood, Ill., native was also the 2014 Big Ten indoor pole vault champion and earned Second Team All-America honors at this year’s indoor meet. Siegmeier’s mark of 5.50 meters (18-00.50 ft.) made the senior the first Gopher to earn outdoor All-America status since Tye Harvey in 1998 while his finish is the best by a Gopher since Martin Ericksson finished third in 1993.
Simons clocked a 3:40.57 in the men’s 1,500 final for his first-ever outdoor First Team All-America and fourth overall All-America accolade. The Hartland, Wis., native finished seventh in the event, improving on his 10th-place finish in 2013 while his time of 3:40.57 was just off his personal record of 3:40.56 – set at the NCAA West Prelims last month.
Howard earned a ninth-place finish in the men’s discus in his first outdoor NCAA competition and became the Gophers’ first All-American in the discus since Karl Erickson in 2006. The Ames, Iowa native cleared 58.60 meters (192-03 ft.).
Lehman finished 10th in the men’s hammer throw to earn his first career outdoor All-America honor and third overall after picking up two accolades in the indoor weight throw. The Coon Rapids, Minn., native topped out at 64.27 meters (210-10 ft.).
Blankenship, Mead Shine in Olympic Finals
Mead and Blankenship recorded the best Olympic finishes by Gophers since Staffan Strand finished sixth in the high jump for Sweden during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
Ben Blankenship (1,500) and Hassan Mead (5,000) will run in Olympic finals on Saturday night.
Mead Moves on to Olympic 5,000 Final
Mead races in the 5,000 meter final at Olympic Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT.