Minnesota finishes second at Big Tens, looks forward to NCAA Midwest Regional

The Gophers took a lead into the final day but couldn’t hold on to beat Wisconsin.

Dan Miller

After a close second-place finish at the Big Ten Championships, much of Minnesota’s men’s track team will compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships next weekend in College Station, Texas.

The Gophers were edged by Wisconsin 165-157 for the team title at the Big Ten meet last weekend in West Lafayette, Ind.

Despite the close finish, Minnesota managed to win only one event during the day.

The Gophers’ 4×400-meter relay team of Adam Steele, Robb Merritt, Aaron Buzard and Mitch Potter won the event in a time of 3 minutes, 6.46 seconds.

Individually, Potter finished second in the 400 meters with a time of 45.27 and Steele was third in 46.21.

Jason Swenson had one of the top performances of the weekend when he threw the javelin 213-1 to place second.

Mikael Jakobsson scored for the Gophers in the 400-meter hurdles with a fourth-place finish in a time of 50.89. Karl Erickson was on the board in the shot put with a fifth-place throw of 62-3 1/4.

The Gophers had tough competition in the middle-distance races, where the Badgers excel. Minnesota placed two runners in the 800-meter run with Trent Riter placing second with a time of 1:49.36 and Ben Hanson adding a seventh-place finish in 1:51.40.

Minnesota also had two runners place in the 1,500-meter run as Martin Robeck finished fourth with a time of 4:03.66 and Neil Hanson took fifth in 4:03.86.

The men’s team will travel to College Station to compete Friday and Saturday.

Women 8th at Big Tens

Melissa Steele placed second in the 400-meter hurdles to pace Minnesota’s women’s track team. But the Gophers finished eighth at last weekend’s Big Ten Championships.

Steele, a junior, ran a personal-best and NCAA regional qualifying time of 59.32 seconds. Her time was the fourth fastest in school history in the event.

The Gophers finished eighth with 63 team points. Michigan won the title with 148 points.

Some of the women have qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships May 28-29 in College Station.