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.
‘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.