June 24, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) - All-American John Simons will represent the University of Minnesota men's track & field program at the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships this week in Sacramento, Calif. Joining the fifth-year senior will be Gophers alums Hassan Mead and Harun Abda.
The 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships are slated for June 26-29 at Sacramento State University's Hornet Stadium.
Simons is set to compete in the 1,500 meters at the U.S. championships after recently wrapping up his collegiate career with a seventh-place finish in the men's 1,500 meters at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships earlier this month. The Hartland, Wis., native was named a First Team All-American for the performance - his second outdoor All-America honor and fourth overall as a Gopher. Simons has posted four of the fastest eight 1,500 meter runs in Minnesota history with his career best of 3:40.56 (set at the Mt. SAC Relays on May 31, 2014) ranking third all-time in school history. The All-American also won the 2014 Big Ten title in the one mile run and was named First Team All-Big Ten for the achievement.
The men's 1,500 meter first round is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 26 with the final set for 4:14 p.m. on Saturday, June 28.
Mead, meanwhile, will compete in the men's 5,000 meters after clocking a personal record of 13:02.80 in the event earlier this year at the Stanford Payton Jordan Invitational. The mark, which now stands as the fifth fastest 5,000 meters in the world this year, was the second fastest at the time of the race behind Ben True's 13:02.74, which won the event. Mead was a seven-time Big Ten champion and a five-time All-American in track & field while also earning two Big Ten titles and four All-America honors in cross country. The Gophers' runner still holds the school outdoor records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Mead enters this weekend's meet with the event's fastest qualifying mark.
The men's 5,000 meter final is scheduled for 11:25 p.m. CT on Friday, June 27.
Abda will run in the 800 meters at this year's U.S. championships and enters the weekend with a qualifying mark of 1:45.55. Abda was a three-time All-American in the outdoor 800 meters for Minnesota while his 13 total All-America nods make him the most decorated runner in Gophers' history. He also posted six Big Ten titles and still holds the school outdoor 800 meter record at 1:46.38. Abda's qualifying mark stands as the fourth fastest time in the U.S. this year.
The men's 800 meter first round is set for 6:40 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 26 followed by the semifinal at 10:26 p.m. on Friday, June 27 and the final at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, June 29.
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Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
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