June 27, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (GopherSports.com) – Two runners with University of Minnesota ties opened the 2014 USATF Outdoor Championships on Thursday night in Sacramento, Calif.
Thirteen-time All-American Harun Abda ran in the men’s 800, finishing fourth in his heat and 22nd overall as a competitor for Oregon Track Club Elite. Abda clocked a 1:50.12 in the preliminary but did not qualify for Friday’s semifinal. Duane Solomon paced all runners in the preliminary race with a time of 1:47.19.
Meanwhile, four-time All-American John Simons finished 13th in his heat and 25th overall in Thursday’s men’s 1,500 prelims. The Hartland, Wis., native ran a 3:51.33 but failed to qualify for the finals on Saturday. Leonel Manzano led the pack on Thursday with a time of 4:42.01.
Minnesota features one more competitor at this year’s U.S. Championships with Hassan Mead set for the men’s 5,000 meter final on Friday night at 11:25 p.m. CT.
Blankenship Joins Mead on Olympic Team
A native of Stillwater, Minn., Blankenship took third in the 1,500 meter final at Hayward Field, clocking a 3:36.18.
Mead Punches Olympic Ticket
The Minneapolis, Minn., native ran a 13:35.70 at Hayward Field to earn his first bid to the Olympics.
Blankenship Paces Semis at Olympic Trials
The Stillwater, Minn., native led the field with a time of 3:44.24 in Friday's semifinals.