Two Gophers Set for NCAA Indoor Meet
March 12, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Senior Alena Brooks and junior Jess Herauf will represent the Golden Gopher women's track and field team at the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships this weekend. Brooks will run the 800-meter dash, and Herauf will compete in the pentathlon.
The NCAA indoor championship will be hosted by the University of New Mexico at the Albuquerque Convention Center, this Friday and Saturday. Action gets underway at 10 a.m. CT Friday and 12 p.m. CT Saturday.
Gopher Marks Entering NCAA Meet
Brooks enters the national meet with the eighth-best 800m time this season at 2:04.90. Oregon's Laura Roesler has the top time in 2:01.32. Brooks enters the national meet after winning the Big Ten 600-meter title and racing on the Gophers' school record-breaking, third-place 4x400m relay team (3:36.67) and fourth-place distance medley relay team at the Big Ten championships.
Herauf is seeded 15th in the pentathlon with 4,054 points. Top-seeded Erica Bougard, a junior from Mississippi State, comes in with 4,458 points. Herauf joins Big Ten foes Deanna Latham of Wisconsin (fifth with 4,176 points) and Brittney Howell of Penn State (14th with 4,061 points).
Herauf was the 2014 B1G runner-up in the pentathlon with a career-best 4,054 points. She won the shot put (season-best 43-09.25, 13.34m) and the 800-meter run (2:15.43). Herauf also posted a season-best in the high jump at 5-05.75 (1.67m) for fourth place en route to her runner-up pentathlon showing.
About the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships
The 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Championships will be held March 14-15 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 14 starting at 7:55 p.m. Eastern and March 15 starting at 7:50 p.m. Eastern. A tape delay of the championship will air Saturday, March 22 starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.
Gophers at the NCAA Championships
Last spring, Laura Docherty represented Minnesota with an 18th-place finish in the 5,000-meter run at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Minnesota’s last indoor NCAA qualifier was Samantha Sonnenberg, who earned her second career All-America honor by placing seventh in the pole vault at the NCAA indoor championships in 2011.
Fifty-five Gophers have competed in the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships since 1983. Minnesota’s highest indoor finish is 12th, a feat accomplished in 2006 and 2009 (tied for 12th). Outdoors, the Gophers’ best team finish is tying for 13th in 2008.
Last Time Out: Brooks Wins B1G 600m, Gophers Take Fourth
Minnesota posted a fourth-place team showing at the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships as the Gophers recorded 64.50 points. Penn State won the team title with 114.5 points, followed by Michigan (104) and Nebraska (92) ahead of the Gophers. Purdue (53) rounded out the top five. The Gophers improved three places from a seventh-place finish a year ago.
Brooks became Minnesota's first B1G indoor champion since 2011 with a first-place finish in the 600-meter dash with a career-best time of 1:26.73, while Herauf (second in the pentathlon) and junior Molly Kayfes (second in the 5,000-meter run) recorded runner-up finishes to lead the Gophers.
USTFCCCA National Rankings Update
No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Georgia and No. 5 Texas are the top five teams in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings entering the NCAA championships. Three Big Ten Conference teams are ranked in the top 25 in No. 12 Penn State, No. 19 Michigan State and No. 22 Purdue.
4x400m Relay Breaks Record Twice
The Golden Gophers' 4x400-meter relay team broke the Minnesota school record twice during the indoor season. First, seniors Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderly and Megan Geyen and freshman Titania Markland set a new Minnesota school record in 3:38.10 at the Bill Bergan Invitational. The Gophers went on to set a new all-time best 4x400m relay mark at the B1G championships as Markland, Brooks, junior Jessica Waldvogel and Geyen clocked in with a third-place time of 3:36.67. Prior to the 2014 season, Minnesota's school record was 3:40.77, ran by Katie Grundman, Heather Dorniden, Kadian Douglas and Mollie Hupp in 2006.
Up Next: 2014 Outdoor Season
The Gophers kick off the 2014 outdoor track and field season at the TSU Relays, March 21-22, 2014, in Houston, Texas.