Four Minnesota athletes win big at Drake Relays meet

Now the track and field team will try to work out its kinks, ahead of its next competition at the Big Ten Championship meet in May.

Sophomore Hannah Arason performs the high jump at the Minnesota Track & Field Stadium in Minneapolis for the Gopher womens Twilight Meet on Wednesday, April 24.

Tony Saunders

Sophomore Hannah Arason performs the high jump at the Minnesota Track & Field Stadium in Minneapolis for the Gopher women’s Twilight Meet on Wednesday, April 24.

by Babatunde Jinadu

The Minnesota track and field team faced competition from all over the country at the Drake Relays in Iowa over the weekend. While the team competition was not scored, the Gophers came away with four individual titles. 

Two of those victories came from freshman sprinter Amira Young in the 100-meter and 200-meter races.

“She had two lifetime personal records this weekend, so it was good. She’s got things that she has to work on, but she continues to get better each week,” director Matt Bingle said. “She’s a freshman, so there’s a lot of little things that you learn with age. She is continuing to improve, so it’s exciting. She’s improved a lot in a year and she has been fun to work with.”

Middle distance runner Kelli Schmidt won the 800-meter race as well.

“[Schmidt] is doing a good job, she continues to get better each year,” Bingle said. “It was exciting to see her win because it was pretty cold and super windy, so it was kind of a technical race instead of a regular race.”

Conditions at the meet were ideal at first, but things worsened by Saturday.

“The weather was great on Thursday and Friday, and then today was not good,” Bingle said. “It was anywhere from 30- to 40-mile-an-hour winds, and it was raining off and on.”

On the men’s side, Kieran McKeag brought home the lone title for his team in the hammer throw competition. The men claimed nine other top-10 finishes on the weekend.

“The big thing from the meet was that there was a lot of great performances, within the relays and with individual events, especially with the conditions being super windy. The kids did an awesome job of competing and reacting to the weather in the right way,” Bingle said. “We came out of here with a lot of personal records and a lot of improvements. I feel like we’re in a good spot right before the Big Ten meet.”

This year’s Big Ten Outdoor Championship will take place from May 10 to 12. The women’s team look to repeat as champions, while the men aim to rebound from last year’s seventh-place finish.

“We had a good April, and I think both teams have the ability to make a nice push in Iowa City in a couple of weeks. We just have to stay healthy, get some rest, and clean some things up, and I think we’ll be able to do what we need to do,” Bingle said.