June 19, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa – Four members of the Minnesota men’s track and field team will be competing this weekend at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships with berths to the IAAF World Championships on the line.
Abda and Burkstrand will be the first to compete for the Minnesota contingency, lining up for the first round of the 800 meters at approximately 3:50 p.m. CT on Thursday (semifinals are slated for 8:25 p.m. on Friday with the finals on Sunday at 3:13 p.m.). The pair of Gophers both finished as First Team All-Americans earlier this month at the NCAA championships in the 800 meters. Abda finished fourth in the event with a time of 1:47.60 (also earned Second Team All-America honors as part of Minnesota’s 4x400 relay team) while Burkstrand came in eighth at 1:48.24.
Mege will try his luck in the hammer throw final on Friday at approximately 5:00 p.m. after finishing 13th at the NCAA Championships with a throw of 207-03 ft. (63.18 meters), earning Second Team All-America accolades. Mege reset his own school record in the hammer throw earlier this year.
Ellenson will actually compete in the high jump at the U.S. Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships (ages 16-19) this weekend in Des Moines. The two-sport student-athlete at Minnesota earned First Team All-America honors and set a new personal record at the NCAA championships with a leap of 7-02.5 ft. (2.20 meters). The high jump finals are slated for 6:20 p.m. on Friday night.
‘U’ Alum Siegmeier Joins Gophers Staff
A two-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion, Zach Siegmeier will serve as director of operations for men's track & field and cross country.
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.