Ellenson, Yedoni both win titles in Arizona

The Gophers won four event crowns on the women’s side this weekend.

Minnesota high jumper Wally Ellenson practices at Bierman Field on April 30, 2013.

Image by Daily File Photo, Amanda Snyder

Minnesota high jumper Wally Ellenson practices at Bierman Field on April 30, 2013.

by Dane Mizutani

The Minnesota men’s track and field squad split up over the weekend, with some traveling to Tempe, Ariz., for the Sun Angel Track Classic, and others staying home to compete in the Holst Invitational in St. Paul.

The Gophers faced much stiffer competition in the Cactus State but managed to take home two event titles courtesy of sophomore Wally Ellenson in the high jump and sophomore Trevor Yedoni in the long jump.

Ellenson, a former Gophers basketball player known for his leaping ability on the hardwood, showed off similar skills on the track. He cleared a height of 2.20 meters to tie for the event victory in the high jump.

“We all know he’s a great high jumper, so it was good to see him to do that,” sophomore middle distance runner Goaner Deng said. “We all enjoy him, and I think he enjoys track and field a lot, too.”

Ellenson made the decision to leave the Gophers men’s basketball team in favor of a full-time track career a couple of months ago.

Yedoni — who specializes in leaping horizontally, not vertically — was not to be outdone by his teammate. He soared 7.02 meters in the long jump to take home the second event victory for Minnesota.

Yedoni has torn his ACL two years in a row, Deng said, so the team is happy to have him back at full strength.

“This year’s his first time being fully healthy, so it’s just great to see him come along,” Deng said.

The Gophers got some key contributions in other events, including second-place finishes in the 800-meter run, the discus and the hammer throw.

Zach Siegmeier, the senior pole vaulter who has looked impressive this season, placed fifth at 5.21 meters.

Minnesota kept a contingent of athletes near home over the weekend and took home four titles.

Gophers freshman Austin Salargo, sophomore Michael Bolland, sophomore Ben Holcomb and junior Danny Schiller won in the 400-meter run, the 800-meter run, the 110-meter hurdles and the high jump, respectively.

Gophers leave Georgia with four titles

The Minnesota women’s track and field team traveled to Athens, Ga., over the weekend and returned to the Twin Cities with four titles.

Seniors Akuoma Omeoga and Megan Geyen, junior Jessica Waldvogel and freshman Erin Hawkins finished the 4×100-meter relay with a season-best time of 45.29 seconds to win the event.

Gophers sophomore Frances Conlin followed suit with a victory in the 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Kate Bucknam won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and senior Kaitlin Mincke won the 1,500-meter run.

A group of Minnesota athletes also competed unattached at the Concordia St. Paul Invite over the weekend.