Minnesota takes two titles in Arkansas

Obsa Ali and Sammie Houston both won event titles this weekend.

Redshirt sophomore Sammie Houston competes at the Field House.

Courtesy of Gopher Athletics

Redshirt sophomore Sammie Houston competes at the Field House.

Kaleb Medhanie

Sammie Houston said a victory in the national relays gives him confidence going forward. He’ll need that confidence as Minnesota heads to the postseason.

The Gophers competed in the National Relays Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday and Saturday, with just one meet until the Big Ten Outdoor championships. Minnesota left Arkansas with two first-place titles, including one from Houston when he won the triple jump at 49 feet, 3 inches Saturday.

On Friday, Obsa Ali won the 3,000 meter steeplechase on Friday at a time of 8:51.25. The time ranks second in the Big Ten this year. Alec Basten came in second at 8:57.32.

“The main goal was just go out there run a time that qualifies me and my teammate, [Basten], for a regional mark.” Ali said.

Mason Roomes finished second in the long jump at a mark of 24 feet, 11 inches, a personal record for Roomes who is now fifth all time in Gophers history.

In the 800 meters, Minnesota put four players in the top eight. Dawson LaRance finished third at a time of 1:50.05, Josh Tracy finished fifth at 1:51.13, Chris Trotter came in sixth at 1:51.15 and Lucas Trapp rounded out the group at eighth at 1:51.46.

Derek Wiebke and Shane Streich competed in the 1,500 meters. Wiebke ran for third at 3:45.03 and Streich finished fifth at 3:45.59.

Jonathan Tharaldsen threw for 60 feet, 10 inches in the shot put, coming in sixth. He broke a personal record, moved him into ninth all time in program history.

Minnesota made its mark in the relay competitions as they finished sixth out of 16 competing teams resulting in 13 points for them.

The relay team of Tracy, Trapp, Trotter and LaRance finished runner-up at 7:28.66 in the 4×800 meter relay race. In the 4×400 meter relay, Jonathan Webb, Matthew Baker, Ben Psicihulis and Jackson Wellenstein finished sixth at 3:07.80 receiving three points.

 Minnesota’s seventh place finish in the 4×1,500 meter relay race gave the Gophers the two points as Sam Carlson, Owen Hoeft, Jack Manderscheid and Jordan MacIntosh finished with a time of 15:47.57.

“Some of these events have some quality guys,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “You have to step up your game and we felt that we saw that in some areas.”