Men and women to host Minnesota Throws Meet at the Bierman track

It will be both teams’ final event before the Big Ten Championships.

by Nick Gerhardt

Minnesota’s track and field teams will compete tomorrow in one final tune-up event before the Big Ten Championships.

The Gophers will host the Minnesota Throws Meet at the Bierman Track. Running events will occur at Hamline University as part of the Meet of the Unsaintly.

“My hope is for continued improvement,” men’s coach Phil Lundin said.

A number of athletes will sit out the events as they prepare themselves for the Big Ten competition and heal from injuries.

The men’s team returns from a successful Drake meet last weekend where they won seven events. Sophomore Mike Linnemann won the 200-meter and 400-meter races.

Fellow sophomore Andy Bastian took first in the hammer throw while another sophomore, Jerry Netland, won the shot put event.

Lundin said the team has produced mixed results in competition this year, but added that the transition from indoor to outdoor track events takes longer to construct better results.

The Big Ten Championships will be held on May 11-13 in University Park, Penn., where indoor champion Wisconsin, a clear favorite, will provide tough competition for the Gophers.

“We’d have to have an unbelievable day to beat Wisconsin, but I’ve seen stranger things in my career,” Lundin said.

The women’s track team comes home after a record setting 4×800 relay run at Drake last weekend.

The team of Jamie Cheever, Gabriele Anderson, Julie Schwengler and Heather Dorniden finished the event in 8:27.42 to set the world’s best finish this season.

“It was really exciting,” Anderson said. “We were gunning for the Drake and school records, so everyone was surprised when we found out we set the record.”

Minnesota set other records during their weekend at Drake as the middle distance relay runners took home all three events, becoming only the third team in the 98-year history of the Drake Relays to win the “triple crown.”

“It was something special,” women’s coach Matt Bingle said. “It was good for the team and the university. It was really great watching 18,000 fans go crazy; the girls felt like rock stars out there.”

And heading into their final event before the conference championships, morale is riding high from last weekend’s stellar performance.

“We’re looking forward to it coming off a great weekend at Drake,” Bingle said. “It gives the whole team an opportunity to compete.”

Some members will rest on Friday while others will compete in their last meet of the year, Anderson said.

Bingle said the team is looking for more improvement tomorrow and to remain healthy before the Big Ten championships. There, Minnesota will square off against formidable opponents Michigan, Illinois and Penn State.

“Every Big Ten event is about getting as many points as you can,” Anderson said. “And it’s going to be tough because there are going to be a lot of regional qualifiers there.”