Gophers to Host Jack Johnson Classic
Jan. 22, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota women's track and field team hosts its second-straight home meet when the Gophers welcome some of the top teams in the country to Minneapolis for the 2014 Jack Johnson Classic at the UM Fieldhouse this Friday and Saturday. The action kicks off Friday at 3 p.m., and Saturday's competition begins at 10 a.m.
About the Jack Johnson Classic
The annual Jack Johnson Classic honors the memory of Jack Johnson, who passed away in February 2006 after serving for more than three decades as a Gopher equipment manager. Johnson will always be a part of the Minnesota women's cross country and track programs.
In addition to the actual competition, there will be entertainment on the side for everyone present. A DJ will be playing music during both days of the meet, and young fans can get involved with a kids' fun run with Goldy. Concessions will be available in the lobby.
The Gophers will also be collecting donations to the University of Minnesota's first annual Unlimited Dance Marathon, set for Feb. 22-23. The 12-hour event is designed to raise funds and awareness for the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. It is a year-long fundraising and awareness campaign for the fight against pediatric health issues. All donations collected at the Jack Johnson Classic will be donated to the Unlimited Dance Marathon in honor of Jack Johnson.
Last Time Out: Gophers Collect Nine Titles at Northwest Open
Minnesota earned nine event titles at the season-opening Northwest Open last Saturday. The Gophers won six running events and three field events.
Two Gophers broke Northwest Open meet records en route to winning event titles. Senior Alena Brooks won the 600m dash in 1:29.65 and bettered the meet record by nearly four seconds, improving on Sue Gentes' (Wisconsin) mark of 1:33.31 from 1988. In addition, freshman Erin Hawkins won the 200m dash in 25.00, breaking a 14-year-old record held by Oluwascun Adetiba of Iowa State by .01 (25.01).
Along with Brooks' and Hawkins' individual titles on the track, senior Kaitlin Mincke won the 800m, sophomore Becca Dyson won the mile, junior Molly Kayfes won the 3,000m and the Gophers' relay team of Jessica Waldvogel, Madison Smith, Brooks and Hawkins won the 4x400m relay.
In the field events, senior Katie Loberg won the high jump, sophomore Becci Osterdyk won the shot put, and junior Devin Stanford won the weight throw. Four Gopher pole vaulters reached new career-best heights, led by junior Katie Murgic and sophomore Cami Gilson joining the 4.00m club.
Big Ten Honors Brooks
Senior Alena Brooks was named the Big Ten Conference women's track and field Indoor Track Athlete of the Week for her performance at the Northwest Open. The award marks Brooks' second weekly conference award of her career and Minnesota's first honor of the season. Brooks led the Gophers at the Northwest Open, posting first-place finishes in both the 600-meter run (1:29.65) and 4x400-meter relay (3:53.66). Her time in the 600m broke the Northwest Open meet record and is currently the fastest 600m time in the country this season.
USTFCCCA Releases Preseason National Poll
No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Georgia round out the top five in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason Division I National Team Computer Rankings. Two Big Ten Conference teams are ranked in the preseason top 25 in No. 13 Michigan and No. 17 Purdue. The next poll will be released Tuesday, Jan. 28.
2013 Jack Johnson Classic Rewind
Minnesota claimed seven event titles at the 2013 Jack Johnson Classic, including strong performances by several current Gophers. Alena Brooks won the 600m (1:31.49), and the Gophers earned the top four spots in the mile: Laura Docherty (4:53.08), Becca Dyson (4:53.93), Molly Kayfes (4:54.49) and Maggie Bollig (4:57.97). The Gophers' "A" 4x400m relay, which included Brooks, finished off the meet with a win (3:47.48) as well.
Minnesota won the meet with 203 points. North Dakota State (135) and Western Michigan (128) finished second and third, respectively.
Up Next: Bill Bergan Invitational
Next weekend, Minnesota travels to Ames, Iowa, for the Bill Bergan Invitational hosted by Iowa State. The two-day meet is set for Friday, Jan. 31 and Saturday, Feb. 1.