“We’ll be back next year and we’ll be better,” freshman jumper Chris Dixon announced after the Gophers landed a solid second place finish behind Wisconsin at the 2000 Big Ten outdoor track championship.
Though Minnesota is losing several key team members — Big Ten champions Eric Pierce in the steeplechase and Glenn Lindqvist in the decathlon — Dixon’s prediction is far from unrealistic.
The proof lies in the impressive improvements made during the 2000 season in runners like recent NCAA participants, junior Andrew McKessock (mile) and senior sprinter Tom Gerding, who set a new school record in the 400m.
But coach Phil Lundin is too pragmatic to make predictions.
“We don’t have the big guns like Wisconsin does,” Lundin said at the Big Ten championships. “But I’m proud of everyone who has gotten results.”