Minnesota headed for warmer temperatures

The Gophers will have meets scattered throughout Arizona this weekend.

by Nate Hackney

Most of the Gophers men’s track team will set their sights on higher temperatures and higher finishes Friday and Saturday in Arizona.

The throwers will compete Friday in the Mesa Classic in Mesa, Ariz., and will then join the rest of the team in Tempe, Ariz., for the Sun Angel Classic.

Of those throwers, perhaps the busiest will be junior Andy Bastian and sophomore Aaron Studt, who will throw the hammer twice on Friday: once in Mesa and again in nearby Tempe. Studt will also throw the discus Friday.

“I think it’s going to be a long day,” Bastian said. “But they’re spaced out enough that we should be able to get some rest in between.”

The rest of the Gophers will join Bastian and Studt Saturday at the Sun Angel Classic, where they will compete against national powerhouses Arkansas, Auburn and Arizona State, as well as Big Ten rivals Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State and Ohio State.

The Gophers will have a chance to improve upon last week’s third place finish at a dreary Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational, where they were led by medal performances from juniors Ibrahim Kabia, sophomore Chris Rombough and freshmen Hassan Mead and Brock Spandl.

Kabia won the 100-meter dash with the fourth best time in school history and finished second in the 200-meter dash.

Mead and Rombough finished second and third in the 5,000-meter run, while clocking the respective seventh and ninth best times in school history.

Storvick finished second in the 800-meter run. Spandl finished second in the pole vault.

A few of the Gophers men will also compete in the Lee Krough Invitational in St. Peters.

Women head to Iowa

The Gophers women, coming off an exciting win in spite of the unfavorable conditions at the Oregon Pepsi Team Invitational, will also split time between two meets this weekend.

Several outstanding Gophers women will take the weekend off to prepare for next weekend’s Kansas Relays, including senior Ruby Radocaj who, last week, broke a 13-year-old school record javelin throw.

Radocaj, along with junior steeple chase runner Jamie Cheever, shared Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week honors. Cheever topped her personal best time by 10 seconds, claiming the No. 2 time in Gophers history.

Radocaj’s record-setting throw of 187 feet, 6 inches also qualified her for the Olympic trials, well surpassing its “A” Standard.

The rest of the Gophers womens squad will split between Saturday’s Lee Krough Invitational and the Jim Duncan Invitational on the Drake University campus in Des Moines, Iowa.