Three Gophers Earn B1G Runner-Up Finishes
May 18, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Three Golden Gophers finished as Big Ten Conference runners-up as the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships came to a close at Purdue's Rankin Track & Field Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Junior Devin Stanford finished second in the discus with a throw of 167-7 (51.09m) to become the Gophers' third B1G runner-up of the championships. Sophomore Jess Herauf (heptathlon) and freshman Nicolle Murphy (javelin) finished second in their respective events on Saturday.
The Gophers finished seventh in the team standings with 75.50 points. Penn State took home the B1G team title with 136.00 points, followed by Nebraska (102.50) and Purdue (89.00) in the top three. Just 10.50 points separated fourth place through seventh place in the always-tight team standings as Iowa and Michigan tied for fourth (86.00) and Michigan State finished sixth (85.00).
"It's disappointing to finish seventh, but we had a great meet," director of women's cross country and track & field Matt Bingle said. "We competed really well. We were only 14 points out of third place. We had some setbacks at the meet and significant injuries coming into it, so that was tough.
"We have the team though. We're getting better. I had us pegged to score 60 points coming into the meet, and we scored 75. We had a heck of a meet."
In addition to their three B1G runners-up, several other Gophers set individual milestones on the final day of the Big Ten meet, including seniors Megan Geyen, Te'Shon Adderley, Kelli Budd, Kaitlin Mincke and Maggie Bollig racing in their final B1G championships.
Geyen set a new personal best in the 400-meter dash and finished fourth. Geyen's time of 53.62 ranks second in Gopher history, and she trimmed over .50 seconds off her previous best this season.
Meanwhile, Adderly picked up four points for the Gophers in the team standings with a fifth-place finish in the 800-meter run, clocking a 2:07.36.
Budd cut over 24 seconds off her personal best in the 5,000-meter run, finishing in 16:28.59 for sixth place. Her new career-best mark places her eighth among Gophers all-time. Budd also finished fourth in the B1G 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday evening.
Mincke and Bollig both set career bests in the 1,500-meter finals. Mincke clocked a 4:25.36 for 10th place, and Bollig finished in 4:26.94 in 12th overall.
Minnesota concluded the meet with a huge school-record performance in the 4x400-meter relay. The team of Titania Markland, Jessica Waldvogel, Adderley and Geyen clocked a 3:35.07 for third place and cut nearly three seconds off the previous school record of 3:38.03, set by Sharyn Dahl, Nyoka Giles, Kelly Staples and Alena Brooks in 2011.
"It was a huge school record by the 4x400 relay," Bingle said. "We were right there for second place, too. It came right down to the end. It was good, a very exciting way to end the meet."
The Gophers' 4x100-meter relay team of Akuoma Omeoga, Geyen, Waldvogel and Erin Hawkins also posted a Minnesota top-10 performance. They finished fifth in 45.56, their second-fastest time of the season and the eighth-best time in Gopher history.
Hawkins, racing in her first B1G event final, finished 12th in the 100-meter finals in 12.04 on Sunday as well.
Redshirt freshman Audra Winter finished ninth in high jump, clearing a career-best 5-07.25 (1.71m).
"We're very excited about the future of the program," Bingle said. "We're very young, and we have a great recruiting class coming in. There are a number of underclassmen who finished in the top three or four of their events this weekend and got some great experience."
Up next for the Gophers is the NCAA West Preliminary, set for Thursday, May 29 through Saturday, May 31, hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The list of student-athletes who have been accepted to compete in the two preliminary championship competitions will be announced Thursday, May 22.
Gopher B1G Championships Scorers
2. Jess Herauf, heptathlon (5,490) - 8 points
2014 Big Ten Team Standings
1. Penn State, 136.00