Runners impress at TomCat Twilight and Mt. Sac relays

The women also had some strong performances at the LSU Alumni meet.

by Derek Wetmore

The Gophers menâÄôs track and field team competed in multiple competitions again this weekend, sending two distance runners to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., and others to the TomCat Twilight in St. Paul. Minnesota competed against a field of mostly Division III schools at the TomCat Twilight, hosted by St. Thomas, winning 10 events overall in what assistant coach Paul Thornton called a âÄútune-upâÄù meet. The Gophers swept the sprinting events with Sean King winning the 100-meter dash, Oladipo Fagbemi winning the 200 and Kevin Bradley capturing the title in the 400. King and Fagbemi also teamed up with Cameron Boy and Ryan Todhunter to win the 4-by-100 relay. âÄúThis weekend I thought we had our best handoffs yet,âÄù Fagbemi said of the relay teamâÄôs season-best mark. âÄú[Anchoring the relay] is a lot of pressure [because] youâÄôve got to make up ground, but itâÄôs awesome to get that adrenaline.âÄù Matt Volz and Logan Stroman rounded out the individual victories on the track with Volz winning the 1,500 and Stroman triumphing in the 400 hurdles. In the field events, Minnesota was equally strong, taking first place in the long jump, pole vault, triple jump and the javelin throw. The Gophers swept the podium in the pole vault competition with Brock Spandl, Ben Peterson and Jack Szmanda placing first, second and third, respectively. Addison Demer and Fagbemi finished first and second, respectively, in the long jump. âÄúI think our coaches were using this meet as a gauge for what guys can run,âÄù Fagbemi said. âÄúIâÄôm really focused on [the Drake Relays] and taking everything pretty intense at this point just to get ready.âÄù Minnesota will be competing in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning Wednesday. Some other Gophers travelled over the weekend, with Mike Torchia and redshirt freshman Pieter Gagnon competing in the 10-kilometer run in the Mt. SAC Relays . Torchia ran in the invitational section of the race, clocking a time of 29 minutes, 33.54 seconds and placing seventeenth. Gagnon finished 11th in the University Open section in his first career 10K. Throwers come up big for women The Gophers womenâÄôs track and field team competed in the Louisiana State Alumni Invitational hoping to see stiff competition for the groupâÄôs sprinters and throwers. The throwers managed to impress in Baton Rouge, La., winning the discus and taking second in the hammer throw. Freshman Jessica Cagle won the discus competition with a toss of 167 feet, one inch. CagleâÄôs victory was the only event title for Minnesota in the meet. Nikki Tzanakis also added a third-place finish for the Gophers in the event. Sophomore DeAnne Hahn earned a second-place finish in the hammer throw with a distance of 186-3. Though Hahn placed second in the event, she was the top collegiate competitor in an event that included unaffiliated participants. The sprinters struggled a little with the competitive field that included the Olympic talent of LSU alumni. The meet contained both open events and invitational events. Adrienne Thomas finished fourth in the open long jump. Kelly Stalpes ran a season-best time of 1:00.44 seconds, which was good for eighth place in the 400 hurdles. Stalpes also led off the 4-by-400 relay team consisting of Stalpes, Rikita Butler , Chioma Omeoga and Thomas, which also took eighth. âÄúWe had some nice performances today, especially in the throws,âÄù head coach Matt Bingle said in a statement released after the meet. âÄúOn the track we were challenged by some very talented athletes âĦ This was a chance to compete against a very competitive field to see where some of our runners stood.âÄù Bingle was unavailable for further comment. Junior Amy Laskowske finished third in the 10K on Thursday at the Mt. SAC Relays. Laskowske clocked in at 33:59.70.