Gophers claim second team title of season at Bill Bergan invite

The men’s team won the invitational by more than 50 points over second-place Wisconsin.

by Megan Ryan

The Gophers men’s track and field team continued its early-season success with its second team title of the year at the Bill Bergan Invitational in Ames, Iowa, this weekend.

Minnesota scored 123.25 points to take first place — more than 50 points ahead of second-place Wisconsin (70). Iowa and Kansas State tied for third with 64 points.

Head coach Steve Plasencia said the Gophers aren’t putting a lot of stock into their early results.

“You can’t read too much into who you beat or whatever at this point in the year,” Plasencia said.

While many teams, including the Gophers, weren’t competing at full strength, Plasencia said there were still many impressive performances. The Gophers won six events en route to their team trophy.

Senior Sean King won the 60-meter dash in 6.68 seconds, earning an NCAA provisional qualifying time.

Plasencia said now is the time for NCAA marks to start cropping up.

“The indoor season’s so short — you really don’t have that much time to do it,” Plasencia said.

King said he was just excited to be competing against Division I athletes and to have achieved a coveted NCAA provisional time.

“Personally I felt fresh and powerful, which is what you want to do in the 60 being that it is such a short race,” King said. “If you hit the provisional, that’s pretty good.”

The Gophers swept the podium in the mile run after taking the top-two spots last weekend at the Jack Johnson Classic. Senior Nick Hutton finished first at 4:07.35. Junior Bobby Nicolls and senior Travis Burkstrand followed in second and third, respectively.

Junior John Simons placed first in his main event, the 3,000-meter run, with a time of 8:11.18, after winning the mile run last weekend at the Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic.

The Minnesota ‘A’ team won the 4×400-meter relay. Junior Jacob Capek, senior Kevin Bradley, sophomore Goaner Deng and senior Cameron Boy ran the race in 3:10.60 to claim the title.

Bradley said, “Capek put the team far enough ahead to avoid traffic during exchanges.

“And then Cameron [Boy] had a great anchor leg … to hold off the Iowa and Kansas State runners who were coming in close to him.”

Last weekend at the Jack Johnson Minnesota Classic, when senior Harun Adba ran instead of Boy, the relay was disqualified for an exchange zone violation.

The Gophers earned another sweep in the field for pole vaulting. Junior Zach Siegmeier made a height of 5.05 meters and took first over teammate senior Jack Szmanda on a judges’ decision. Redshirt sophomore Logan Markuson placed third.

Senior Oladipo Fagbemi won the triple jump with a distance of 14.92 meters.

The throwers did not compete at the Bill Bergan Invitational this weekend. But sophomore Luke Johnson won the shot put at the St. Thomas Showcase in St. Paul, Minn., on Friday. As the only Gophers representative at the meet, Johnson threw 16.66 meters.

The men’s team will compete again next Friday and Saturday at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.

Women travel to Mankato

The Gophers women’s track and field team sent a small group to compete at the MSU Open in Mankato, Minn., on Friday and Saturday.

Senior Melissa Flucke won the high jump with a height of 1.61 meters after a judges’ decision.

Sophomore Nicole Murphey won the long jump with a distance of 5.45 meters.

Sophomore Tina DeLakis placed first in the shot put with a 15.11-meter throw.

The women’s team will compete next Friday and Saturday at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind.