Wieland highlights weekend for Minnesota men’s track and field

Luca Wieland scored 8,201 points in the decathlon to set a Gophers program record.

Luca Wieland competes in the men's hurdles at the Fieldhouse for the second annual Minnesota-Wisconsin Dual on Jan. 23.

Daily File Photo

Luca Wieland competes in the men’s hurdles at the Fieldhouse for the second annual Minnesota-Wisconsin Dual on Jan. 23.

Dominic Davis

The decathlon record wasn’t safe at Mt. SAC Multi-Events and Relays. A record that was previously set in 2012 by Jack Szmanda was eclipsed by Luca Wieland over the weekend.

Wieland scored 8,201 points to claim Szmanda’s record, when he scored 7,862.

The senior captain’s total also earned him first in the event in California, but he had other things on his mind.

“I wasn’t really concerned with winning the [decathlon] at Mt. SAC,” Wieland said. “It was more to focus on qualifying for nationals.”

After he picked up an injury during the indoor season, Wieland said it was good to prove to himself he could perform at a high level to regain confidence, and he improved his score on a few events as well.

“I was a little surprised to what extent I improved my marks, especially in the 400-meter and then the 1,500-meter,” Wieland said.

He hit two of his six personal records at the meet in those events. Wieland ran in 48.88 time in the 400-meter and 4:38.54 in the 1,500-meter.

Minnesota director of track and field Steve Plasencia said he isn’t surprised by Wieland’s showings anymore.

“We’ve come to expect big performances from Luca in big situations, and he certainly answered the bell this week,” Plasencia told the media. “He’s had an incredibly successful career as a national champion, an All-American, and a Big Ten champion, and he has a chance to do even more to close out his college career.”

In the 1,500-meter, Shane Streich and Derek Wiebke registered the fastest times for Minnesota this season, which were also personal records.

They both finished top-30 in an event which consisted of more than 275 runners. Streich finished 23rd with a 3:42.81 time, and Wiebke placed 30th with a time of 3:43.45.

Their times rank second and third in the Big Ten this season. Jesse Reiser of Illinois finished in 19th at the event in 3:42.37.

At the Tomcat Twilight meet hosted by the University of St. Thomas, Minnesota won 11 individual titles. Three runners had personal best times at the meet.

Luke May hit 59.72 meters in the javelin. It was his first win for Minnesota, and his performance moved him to ninth all-time on Minnesota’s top performers list.

Brad Neumann took first in the 100-meter with a 10.44 time, and Jon Tollefson ran the 110-meter hurdles in 14.27 for first place and a personal record.

With a few meets left before conference, Wieland said the team is improving and will be ready for the competition.

“I think our team is making improvements,” Wieland said, “We had a bunch of people putting up [personal records] at the local meet.”