A chance to win big on the brightest of stages, is what all players want.
The Gophers main 4×400 team consists of Jonathan Webb, Matthew Baker, Ben Psicihulis and Jackson Wellenstein. Together they have ran for the 10th fastest time in the nation this year at 3:05.78 and ranks sixth in Minnesota history.
“With the 4 by 4 you’re not worried about just yourself,” Baker said. “You have to think about how your performance affects how everyone else can do.”
The sky is the limit in the future for the group as Webb and Baker are Redshirt Sophmores, Psicihulis is a freshman and Wellenstein is a junior. This is Webb, Baker and Psicihulis first time on the main 4×400 team, but for Wellenstein he has been through this with other teams and takes the role as a leader.
“At the Arkansas meet, it was kind of a lapse in performance,” Wellenstein said. “I told the guys we have the talent, we have the speed, but if we don’t have the consistency we’re not medal at nationals. Just keeping them grounded.”
Relay teams are a chance to do something together in track, a rare occurrence, but with being on a team it makes you hold yourselves and others accountable.
“It’s really easy to get motivated, there’s a whole different feel to running a 4×400 than there is to running an open,” Wellenstein said. “It’s the last event so you’re leaving it all out there, you run for each other.”
The first guy in the race is the lead, Webb, he sets the tone for everyone else putting the team in the best position to succeed. The second and third guys, Baker and Psicihulis, they run their best for the anchor, Wellenstein, who closes out the race.
In the Indoor Big Ten meet they were able to hit the second fastest in Gophers history at 3:05.52, they finished fourth in the meet and will look to improve on it when they compete at the Big Ten outdoor on May 11th.
“We know that we can run faster in Big Ten,” Wellenstein said. “We need to be confident too, like we’re obviously there for a reason and we’re just as good as any other team.”