Track teams enjoy solid mid-season performances

by Brian Hall

The Minnesota women’s track and field team got a late start to its weekend in southern California, but jetlag didn’t affect solid performances in three meets over the weekend.

Minnesota arrived in California at about 3:00 am on Friday morning and didn’t get to sleep until 5:00 am, central time.

“For the first couple of races it did bother us,” coach Gary Wilson said. “But afterward it didn’t really affect anyone. They really have done well.”

The Gophers participated in the Mt. SAC Relays, the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, and the Long Beach Invitational and once again sophomore Tahesia Harrigan made headlines.

The sprinter ran a new school record 11.48 in the 100-meter dash on Sunday at Mt. SAC while also running the anchor leg of the 4×100-meter relay team which once again broke its own school record.

The team of Shani Marks, Shannaine Osbourne, Melissa Woltman, and Harrigan ran a 45.84 to best the record they set just two weeks earlier by two seconds.

The Gophers also posted two NCAA provisional qualifiers over the weekend.

Freshman Barbora Spotokova earned the nod in the javelin and Victoria Moses qualified in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

At the beginning of the season Wilson pointed to Mt. SAC as a benchmark to his team’s outdoor proficiency. By the end of the weekend the coach was pleased with his team’s overall performance.

“The team is really starting to come around,” Wilson said. “We will be okay. They are all coming along really well.”

Men’s track

Minnesota’s men’s track and field sent a small contingent of athletes to Baton Rouge for the Louisiana State University Invitational over the weekend while another small group took part in the Carleton Relays.

“Coming off of the SEA Relays and heading into Drake next weekend,” coach Phil Lundin said, “Sometimes its not good travel-wise for the guys sometimes to travel so much.”

Split amongst the two meets, the Gophers managed seven first-place finishes.

Senior Bob Quade won the 400-meter hurdles was one of three first-place finishers as freshman Kevin Netzer won the high jump, and freshman Karl Erickson won the shot put.

Lynden Reder placed second in the hammer throw.

Meanwhile at Carleton the Gophers totaled four top finishers among ten Minnesota competitors at the meet.

Sophomore Mitch Potter won the 200-meter dash, Vince Donahue won the 400-meter hurdles, Chris Dixon won the long jump and Joronne Williamson won the 110-meter hurdles.

“You can see things headed in the right direction,” Lundin said. “Every year, as Drake rolls around things start turning around for so many athletes.”