May 21, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – Three Golden Gophers earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors for their finishes at the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships in heptathlete runner-up Jess Herauf, javelin runner-up Nicolle Murphy and discus runner-up Devin Stanford. The Big Ten has also announced the conference's individual award winners.
Herauf recorded four personal-best marks en route her to B1G second-place heptathlon total of 5,490 points, which also was a career high and ranks second among Gophers all-time. Herauf, an indoor second-team All-American in the pentathlon, finished as the runner-up in the pentathlon at the B1G indoor meet this season as well.
Herauf won the heptathlon shot put (43-02.50, 13.17m) and javelin (152-8, 46.54m) with career-best marks; she won the javelin by over four meters. She also recorded personal bests in long jump at 18-05 (5.61m) for fourth place and high jump at 5-04.50 (1.64m) for fifth place. She came in second in the 800-meter run in 2:20.18 as well. Herauf finished eighth in the 200m (26.01) and ninth in the 100m hurdles (15.12) to round out her B1G runner-up showing.
Murphy secured her runner-up finish in the javelin with a career-best throw of 175-9 (53.58m), moving into fifth all-time in Gopher history. She edged third-place finisher Laura Loht of Penn State by 0.25 meters.
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. The Milwaukee, Wis., native recorded her second-best throw of the season at the conference championships and was 1.37 meters out of first place.
Senior Laura Docherty was recognized as Minnesota's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. The Big Ten presents this award to individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Michigan’s Erin Finn was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Year, Track Athlete of the Championships and Freshman of the Year, while Purdue’s Dani Bunch was tabbed Field Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships. Penn State head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan was named Coach of the Year by her peers.
Finn broke two B1G meet records en route to titles in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs. Her time of 32:41.65 in the 10,000-meter run broke a 31-year old Wolverine record and 28-year old meet standard, while her mark of 15:48.90 broke a mark that had stood since 2009.
Bunch was named Field Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Championships after helping Purdue to a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships last weekend. The senior posted second-place finishes in both the hammer throw and shot put.
Minnesota alumna Alford-Sullivan earned her second-consecutive Coach of the Year honor after leading the Nittany Lions to back-to-back Big Ten titles and the program’s fifth crown in the last seven years. The accolade is the fifth of her career.
The Gophers return to action at the NCAA West Prelims in Fayetteville, Ark., May 29-31.
2014 Big Ten Track & Field Award Recipients
Track Athlete of the Year: Erin Finn, Michigan
Field Athlete of the Year: Dani Bunch, Purdue
Freshman of the Year: Erin Finn, Michigan
Track Athlete of the Championships: Erin Finn, Michigan
Field Athlete of the Championships: Dani Bunch, Purdue
Coach of the Year: Beth Alford-Sullivan, Penn State
2014 Big Ten Track & Field Sportsmanship Honorees
Kandie Bloch-Jones, Illinois
Ari Nelson, Indiana
Zinnia Miller, Iowa
Amber Smith, Michigan
Melanie Brender, Michigan State
Laura Docherty, Minnesota
Annie Jackson, Nebraska
Aaliyah Barnes, Ohio State
Laura Loht, Penn State
BreAnna Smith, Purdue
Lizzie Wendt, Wisconsin
Gophers Welcome Two New Staff Members
Director of operations Lyndsey Thorpe and athletic trainer Sarah Wambheim have joined the Gopher Athletics staff.
Spotakova Earns Olympic Bronze in Javelin
Gophers All-American Barbora Spotakova threw 64.80m in to place third in the javelin at the Rio Olympic Games.
Gophers to Visit Minnesota State Fair
Golden Gopher teams and coaches are scheduled to appear at the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 29-31.