Gophers Set for B1G Outdoor Test
May 13, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – The Golden Gopher women’s track and field team heads to the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships this week. Minnesota looks to build on its fourth-place showing at this year’s B1G indoor championship.
About the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
Purdue University will host the 2014 Big Ten Men's & Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday through Sunday, at Rankin Track & Field Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind.
Action gets underway with decathlon and heptathlon events on Friday. In addition, trials and finals for the men’s and women’s hammer throw and men’s pole vault and finals in the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter runs will be held on the first day of competition. The meet continues with a full day of competition on Saturday before wrapping up on Sunday.
2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships Rewind
Minnesota finished eighth at the 2013 Big Ten Outdoor Championships with 66.5 points. Penn State won the B1G title with 133 points. Megan Geyen and Laura Docherty led the Gophers with runner-up finishes and All-Big Ten Second Team recognition.
The Gophers return 10 individual scorers from last year’s Big Ten meet, including 2013 top-five finishers Laura Docherty (10,000m, second; 5,000m, fourth), Megan Geyen (400m, second), Devin Stanford (discus, third), Katie Loberg (high jump, tied for third) and Katie Moraczewski (3,000m steeplechase, fourth), along with three-quarters of the fourth-place 4x400m relay team in Geyen, Te’Shon Adderley and Jessica Waldvogel (Alena Brooks anchored the relay team).
Te'Shon Adderley (800m, sixth), Liz Berkholtz (10,000m, seventh), Jessica Waldvogel (400m, seventh), Alex Beckman (heptathlon, eighth) and Maggie Bollig (1,500m, eighth) also return to the B1G meet for the Gophers this season.
2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships Rewind
Penn State won the 2014 Big Ten Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 1 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The Nittany Lions posted three individual crowns and one relay title to claim the championship.
Minnesota finished in fourth place at the B1G indoor meet as the Gophers recorded 64.50 points. Penn State totaled 114.50 points en route to its team title, 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 at the indoor conference meet.
Alena 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 Jess Herauf (second in the pentathlon) and Molly Kayfes (second in the 5,000-meter run) recorded runner-up finishes to lead the Gophers.
Last Time Out: Stanford Leads Gophers with Two Titles
Devin Stanford led the way with titles in the discus and the hammer throw and Taylor Mikkalson posted the team's all-time 10th-best time to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Golden Gophers competed at the UW-La Crosse Eagle Open in their final test before the Big Ten championships.
Stanford won the discus with a throw of 165-03 (50.38m), her second title in the discus this season. She was just four inches off her career best in the hammer throw, winning the event at 196-03 (59.82m), as well. Mikkalson clocked a career-best 10:39.41 to win the 3,000m steeplechase and move into 10th in Gopher history. Mikkalson is the third Gopher to record a top-10 time in the steeplechase this season, joining Kelli Budd (fourth, 10:14.53) and Kaila Urick (sixth, 10:32.70) among the Gophers' all-time ranks.
In total, the Gophers came away with five individual event titles at the meet as Katie Murgic and Cami Gilson tied for first place in the pole vault (12-03.50, 3.75m), and Anne Ferguson clocked her second-fastest 800-meter time of the season to win the event in 2:13.02.
USTFCCCA National & Regional Rankings Update
No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 5 Georgia are the top five teams in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I National Team Rankings for the week of May 13. No. 15 Penn State is the lone Big Ten Conference team ranked in the top 25. The next USTFCCCA rankings are slated to be released Tuesday, May 20.
The Gophers rank No. 7 in the Midwest Region in this week’s USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Regional Index. No. 1 Kansas leads the Midwest Region, followed by No. 2 Nebraska and No. 3 Kansas State. Minnesota is the second-ranked Big Ten team in the region, behind second-ranked Nebraska but ahead of No. 8 Iowa and No. 9 Illinois.
Seven individual Gophers and two relay teams land among the best in the Midwest Region according to the USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Regional Index, led by Kelli Budd (first, 10:14.53) and Katie Moraczewski (fourth, 10:19.51) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Liz Berkholtz ranks fourth (34:12.67) in the 10,000-meter run, and Te’Shon Adderley ranks seventh in the 800-meter run (2:07.19).
Minnesota’s 4x400m team of Titania Markland, Adderley, Jessica Waldvogel and Megan Geyen is fifth (3:38.64), and the Gopher 4x100m team of Akuoma Omeoga, Geyen, Waldvogel and Erin Hawkins ranks sixth (45.29).
Three Gophers are ranked in field events, led by Jess Herauf at third in the heptathlon with 5,444 points. Nicolle Murphy is seventh in the javelin (161-9, 49.32m), and Devin Stanford ranks eighth in the hammer at 196-7 (59.92m).
Gophers Rank Among B1G, Nation’s Best
Several Golden Gophers rank among the top performers in the Big Ten Conference this season, including two relay teams and six individuals ranked in seven events among the B1G’s top five in their respective events.
2. Liz Berkholtz, 10,000m (34:12.67)
In the national rankings, senior Kelli Budd owns the 20th-best mark of the season in the 3,000-meter steeplechase; Budd’s time of 10:14.53 is sixth in the Big Ten. Herauf’s heptathlon score of 5,444 points also ranks 18th in the nation.
2014 Gophers Secure All-Time Bests
Fourteen Gophers have made their mark among Minnesota’s all-time top-10 performers so far this season. The 2014 Gophers already have six of the all-time top-10 relay performances as well.
2. Jess Herauf, heptathlon (5,444)
Gopher Track, Cross Country Rank 17th
Following the cross country and indoor track & field seasons, Minnesota ranked 17th in the nation for the 2013-14 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year award. The USTFCCCA Program of the Year Awards are awarded annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field programs. The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships.
Up Next: 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Outdoor Track & Field West Preliminary
The NCAA West Preliminary is set for Thursday, May 29 through Saturday, May 31 hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.
Qualification to the preliminary championships competition of the championships is based on the descending-order list for the season, segregated by east and west sites. For each individual event contested at each of the preliminary championships competition sites, the top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted into the competition. For each relay event contested at each of the preliminary championships competition sites, the top 24 declared relay teams will be accepted into the competition.
The list of student-athletes, by event, who have been accepted to compete in each preliminary championships competition, plus those who have been accepted to compete in the heptathlon or decathlon at the final championships competition, will be announced Thursday, May 22.