Men and women both look to fill conference meet rosters

David McCoy

With the Big Ten Outdoor Championships just a week away, Minnesota women’s track and field coach Gary Wilson has just one more weekend to set his lineup.

Two competitions this weekend – the Meet of the Unsaintly at Hamline and the Minnesota Throws at the Bierman Track and Field Complex – will give him the means to do just that.

The 24th-ranked Gophers will send 34 athletes to next weekend’s championships in East Lansing, Mich.

Wilson said he’s set on about 30 of those athletes and will use this weekend’s competitions to base his decision on the rest.

“We’re going to take a look at some kids,” Wilson said. “If they’re ready, we’ll take them (to Big Tens). If they’re not ready, we’re not going to take them.”

A few of the athletes that are on the bubble are dealing with injuries, and Wilson said the events will help him gauge their readiness as well.

One of those athletes is senior Mollie Hupp, who is dealing with a hamstring injury.

“She seems to be coming around,” Wilson said. “But we have to test this to see if it’s OK.”

Wilson said the all Gophers throwers are expected to compete, but only a few runners and jumpers who will compete at Big Tens will compete this weekend.

Besides serving as a test for Big Tens, the meets will double as the last chance this season for those who won’t be going to Big Tens to impress the coaching staff.

“I was telling them,” Wilson said, “A lot of you sitting here are not going to Big Tens, but you’ve still got some tools. If you keep your head on this year, that’s a springboard for next fall and next year.”

Men to pick four to eight more

Minnesota’s men’s track and field team will be competing in the same two events this weekend.

Coach Phil Lundin said there are between four and eight athletes on the bubble right now whom he’ll be watching this weekend to decide whether he’ll send them to Big Tens.

“Some of these guys are looking to make the Big Ten roster, well then they’ve got to put up some better marks,” Lundin said. “So for them it’s very important. For others who’ve established themselves, it’s a matter of maybe stabilizing a performance or doing it as a manner of training and preparation for the Big Tens.”

Opposite of Wilson’s strategy, Lundin said only a few who will compete at Big Tens will rest this weekend.

“But most will do something,” Lundin said. “Got to keep it rolling.

“We’re going to have kind of a potpourri of individuals running in different events,” Lundin said. “It’s just doing what’s right to get the best result in the Big Ten meet, that’s what we’re all about right now.”