Both men and women earn top-14 finishes

All-Americans led both the University of Minnesota womenâÄôs and menâÄôs track teams to top-14 finishes at the NCAA Indoor championships. The Minnesota womenâÄôs track and field team tied for 12th at College Station, Texas, on March 14, while the men ended the weekend in 14th place. The womenâÄôs finish matches the highest finish in school history from 2006. Tennessee won the team title with 42 points. The Gophers were led by junior Alicia Rue and senior Heather Dorniden. Both overcame rough starts to earn top-three finishes and All-American honors. This is RueâÄôs second All-American award and DornidenâÄôs eighth. Rue started the day a bit shaky at the pole vault. She missed her first attempt of the meet but went on to only miss once at her next three heights. Rue found her rhythm and cleared a height of 14-1 1/4 in the pole vault to finish second. âÄúOnce she got going, Alicia really vaulted well,âÄù coach Matt Bingle said. Dorniden was sick the week leading up to the meet, but Bingle said he thinks, âÄúShe just woke up and convinced herself she was healthy.âÄù She earned third place in the 800-meter race that featured past national champions. DornidenâÄôs time was the fourth-fastest of her collegiate career. With eight All-American honors, Dorniden is the most highly decorated womenâÄôs track athlete in Minnesota history. âÄúThis meet was a great way to cap off our indoor season,âÄù Bingle said. âÄúWeâÄôre excited to see what the outdoor season brings.âÄù The menâÄôs head coach Steve Plasencia felt similarly about his teamâÄôs performance as they finished in the top 15 in four of the last seven NCAA Indoor championships. âÄúIâÄôm happy with our team finish,âÄù Plasencia said. âÄúA team can do pretty well at nationals if you get a few guys performing well and scoring, and we did that.âÄù The Gophers had three members take home All-American honors. Sophomore Hassan Mead and juniors Chris Rombough and Aaron Studt led the team in their respective events. Mead broke his own school record in the 3000-meter run to take fourth in the event with a time of 7 minutes, 56.15 seconds. Rombough was four seconds behind Mead and took 7th.