Minnesota Heads to Big Ten Indoor Championships
2012 BIG TEN INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Minnesota women’s track & field team travels to Lincoln, Neb., to compete in the 2012 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships, Feb. 24-25 at the Devaney Center Indoor Track. The action gets underway on Friday with the running of the men’s heptathlon 60-meter dash at 10 a.m. The first women’s event will be at 10:50 a.m. with the pentathlon 60m hurdles. On Sunday, the high jump will be the first event on the final day at 11 a.m.
UPDATES FROM THE B1G CHAMPIONSHIPS
Fans that can’t make it to Lincoln this weekend can follow along a few different ways. The Minnesota Women’s Track and Field Facebook page will be giving updates over the course of the weekend. If you don’t have access to Facebook then you can get updated results by clicking here.
FIRST TIME COMBINED
2012 marks a special moment in Big Ten Indoor Track and Field. This season Nebraska will be hosting the first combined men’s and women’s indoor championships and the first ever Big Ten Championship in Lincoln.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
Minnesota has won three Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Gophers had a three-peat performance from 2007-2009. Last season Minnesota finished in third (73 points) behind Penn State (86 points) and Ohio State (122.5) in West Lafayette, Ind.
GRASS TO TRACK
Minnesota’s NCAA cross country team is full of young energy and talent. The Gophers have a solid lineup in the long distance races this season that will be a key for the title. Redshirt freshman Molly Kayfes leads a 3,000m group that has some good depth. Kayfes has a season best time of 9:36.05. Ashlie Decker and Katie Moraczewski are two other key names in the 3,000m. Decker’s top time this season is 9:36.88, while Moraczewski ran a 9:38.37.
Laura Docherty leads the team in the 5,000m with a time of 16:46.11, while Decker has the top mile this season at 4:49.31. Docherty’s mile time is 4:49.81.
BIG THROWS FROM THE THROWING GROUP
The shot put and weight throw events for Minnesota this season have had a successful indoor season so far you can say. One key name that stands out this season is redshirt freshman Christina DeLakis. DeLakis has put her name on the map for the Golden Gophers. She currently ranks sixth all-time in the shot with a toss of 15.52m (50-11), which she accomplished at the Meyo Invitational earlier this month. The mark put her in third place in a competitive field.
DeAnne Hahn continues to lead the weight throwers this season. Hahn has a season best throw of 17.80m (58-4 ¾). Along with Hahn in the weight throw, senior Jeri-Johnson Chambers has also found herself in the mix of things. Johnson-Chambers hit a new personal best toss of 17.14m (56-2 ¾) at the Jack Johnson Classic last month. Her mark puts her at sixth on the all-time list.
DAVIS AND OKOROJI ARE LIGHTING
True freshman Sasha Davis has made an immediate impact for the Golden Gophers this season. The Minneapolis native has a season best time of 24.27 in the 200m, which is fourth on the all-time list. Davis has also been strong in the 60m with the 10th best time in Gopher history at 7.61.
Senior Chimerem Okoroji has had a strong opening to her senior campaign. She ran a 7.47 in the prelims at last weekends Parents Day Open in the 60m. Okoroji won the event with a time of 7.50 and will be looking to improve on that this weekend.
POLE VAULT CORE
The pole vault event should have a strong one-two punch with senior Becca Pilkerton and redshirt freshman Katie Murgic. Murgic hit a mark of 4.06m (13-3 ¾) at last weekend’s Parents Day Open. The height is good for eighth all-time and she has improved each week. Pilkerton’s season best is 3.72m (12-2 ½) this season and she has the experience to help her along the way.
THE GOLDEN GOPHER COACHING STAFF
Matt Bingle is in his sixth season as the Golden Gophers head women’s track & field coach. He was promoted to Director of Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country during the offseason. Bingle heads an extremely experienced coaching staff that includes assistants Gary Wilson (Distance) Lynne Anderson (Throwers), Sarah Hesser (Distance) and Caroline White (Pole Vault).