A trio of men lingered around the University of Minnesota’s outdated Bierman Track and Field Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. To the untrained eye, they looked like three rather unassuming college students. But to the Gophers men’s track and field team, they might as well be the Holy Trinity. John Simons, the long and lean distance runner; Jon Lehman, the big and strong thrower; and Zach Siegmeier, the quick and stocky pole vaulter, have been Minnesota’s men’s track and field team’s most reliable performers all season.
A University alumnus may have been wearing green instead of the usual maroon and gold at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational over the weekend, but his experience with the Gophers helped propel him to the second-fastest time in the 5,000-meter run this year. As a professional with the Oregon Track Club Elite, Hassan Mead ran 13:02.80 in the 5,000-meter run in Palo Alto, Calif., six-hundredths of a second behind the first-place finisher. Mead finished more than five seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
With the Big Ten outdoor championships one weekend away, the Gophers track and field teams got a sneak peek at Big Ten competition Saturday at the Musco Twilight in Iowa City, Iowa. Minnesota’s women’s team took home five titles, finishing third in the team standings, while the men’s team set two meet records in its fourth-place team finish. Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois finished ahead of the men in the team standings, while the women finished behind Nebraska and Iowa but beat out Illinois.
Given the past few Minnesota winters, an uptick in seasonal depression around the Twin Cities is probably merited. In senior Megan Geyen’s case, though, distress in recent years hasn’t been about the cold, but rather her times on the track. Geyen, a sprinter on the women’s track and field team, couldn’t train outside in the bitter winters, and her times in the 400-meter dash suffered because of it. She was frustrated, but her outlook changed at the 2013 Big Ten outdoor championships.
Minnesota’s track and field teams have written a lot of program history at the Drake Relays. But there wasn’t much to add to the books after the 105th installment of the meet in Ames, Iowa, this weekend. The Gophers men’s 4x800-meter relay finished fifth in the event it won the previous three years, the women’s distance medley relay placed fourth after winning and setting the school record last year, and the women’s 4x1,600-meter relay also finished just off the podium.
There have been 104 Drake Relays in the history of the prestigious meet, but it’s hard to beat last year’s for the Gophers women’s track and field team. Minnesota’s distance medley relay team last year relied on current senior Laura Docherty to pull the team from fourth to first, which helped Minnesota claim its second title in the Drake Relays event and broke the school record set in 2007.
The Gophers men’s track and field team placed second at the Carleton Relays on Saturday in Northfield, Minn., even without its full roster. Carleton took home the meet title with 103 team points to Minnesota’s 90. The Gophers won five events en route to their silver finish. Minnesota senior Jacob Capek crossed first in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.72 seconds — barely a second ahead of teammate freshman Nate Roese, who finished second.
A fifth-grader tearing through a 400-meter dash, afro blowing in the wind as he leaves his competition in the dust, may sound like the epitome of fun. Rashawn Fountain didn’t think so at first. After his family moved from Detroit to Eden Prairie, Minn., his father began coaching a track and field team. He didn’t give his son much of a choice about participating.
PHILADELPHIA — Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei was the first Minnesota player to kneel on the ice before the clock had even run out, Union players already clearing the bench. Minnesota senior captain Nate Condon skated aimlessly around the goal that Adam Wilcox had vacated in favor of hunching over against the boards near his team’s bench.
PHILADELPHIA — Before the clock ran out, Gophers player Brady Skjei was kneeling on the ice and Union players were clearing the bench. Minnesota senior captain Nate Condon skated aimlessly around the goal that Adam Wilcox had vacated in favor of hunching over against the boards near his team’s bench.
Gophers men's track and field alumni Hassan Mead ...READ MORE
Senior outside hitter Ashley Wittman earned the Big ...READ MORE