Last week, the women’s track and field team kicked off competition at its brand new stadium, sprinting out of the gates in a commanding fashion to win 10 titles at the Twilight Meet. On Wednesday, the men’s team held its own meet and brought in nine titles.
"Last week, we had the women’s meet and it was really nice weather, so [there] was a lot of energy with that," men's team sprint coach Ibrahim Kabia said. "The guys are out here, very excited to come out and be able to compete at the first home track meet since we got the new stadium. There’s a lot of excitement around here, and they’re looking forward to being able to compete here a lot more. It’s been a pretty awesome day."
The men's team took home nine titles Wednesday in several events. Nick Rink, Hunter Lucas and Mike Herauf set personal records in their events on the track. Rink won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:55.69. Lucas then won the 1,500-meter event with a time of 3:51.48. Herauf competed in the pole vault and scored his jump at 5.05 meters.
Kaleb Siekmeier won the discus throw with a distance of 52.68 meters, and Kieran McKeag got the title in the hammer throw with a distance of 65.79 meters.
"We’re not competing [with] a lot of our athletes that will be going to the Big Ten meet, so this is more of kind of a tune up for the people who are kind of on the bubble," Kabia said. "It’s typical Minnesota weather, so it's not great, but the Big Ten meet might be like this in a couple of weeks so we’ve got to be ready to go."
On April 24, the women’s team faced competition from St. Thomas, Concordia-St. Paul, Hamline, Macalester and other lower-level running groups, and the Gophers came away with a sweep of the throwing events.
Nayoka Clunis won in shot put by setting a new career best of 17.18 meters while competing unattached. Captain Kiley Sabin claimed the discus trophy while Candesha Scott took the javelin throw in her first outing of the outdoor season. Senior Temi Ogunrinde won the women's hammer throw.
The Gophers also got wins in the high jump and pole vault from Ashley Ramacher and Karlie Place, respectively.
In the oval, unattached Minnesota sprinter Lauren Hansen made a nice first impression by sweeping the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Ally Smith took first in the 1,500-meter race in a time of 4:42.54, and the 4x400-meter relay capped off the competition convincingly with another win on the night.
"It’s fun to be home – that’s the biggest thing. I competed here and we had one home meet in my five years of college," assistant coach Peter Miller. "It was a good day, we had a couple of personal records; no school records but some really solid performances."