Fleet feet pace strong showing for men’s track

by Brian Hall

Minnesota’s runners led a solid showing for the Gophers men’s track and field at the Sea Ray Relays over the weekend.

Minnesota’s distance runners earned three top-five performances while the 4×800-meter relay team and the 4×400-meter relay team earned second and fourth place finishes, respectively, at the meet hosted by the University of Tennessee.

“The transition from the indoor season to the outdoor season is tough,” coach Phil Lundin said. “Sometimes you will look ugly before you look good. Things are not perfect, but it was good in terms of where we are at.”

On Friday, sophomore Luke Mullranin won the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Junior Will McComb placed second in the 5,000-meter run and junior Andrew McKessock added a third-place finish in the 1,500-meter run.

With senior Bob Quade stepping in for a hobbled Andy Steele, and freshman Robb Merritt replacing Mikael Jakobsson, the team ran an NCAA provisional time of 3:05.78. All-Americans Mitch Potter and Andy Wohlin comprised the remainder of the 4×400 team.

Steele is suffering from a sore hamstring.

“When you’re five weeks out,” Lundin said, “You take any injury complaint into consideration. You don’t want to make anything worse. I like to play the conservative role at this point.”

Meanwhile, the Gophers claimed three of the top five finishes in the high jump led by first-place Josh Paulson.

Also, sophomore Lynden Reder placed second in the hammer throw and fifth in the discus.

“Lynden Reder had a good performance,” Lundin said. “He is in the top 10 of the Big Ten in the
hammer throw and he is really moving his way up in the discus.”

The Gophers travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, next weekend to take part in the Louisiana State Invitational.

Potter trying football

According to Lundin, sophomore sprinter Mitch Potter is participating in football’s spring practice and will try to earn a spot on the Gophers squad as a wide receiver.

Women dominate in Iowa

Minnesota’s women’s track and field team won seven of 18 events at the Jim Duncan Invitational in Des Moines, Iowa over the weekend.

Sprinter Tahesia Harrigan won the 100- and 200-meter dashes while also anchoring the 4×100-meter relay team of Amber Day, Shannaine Osbourne and Melissa Woltman, to a first place finish.

Sophomore Monica Stearns won the pole vault, freshman Zoe Nagell won the 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Amy Sas won the 3,000-meter run and junior Saree Zweifel placed first in the triple jump.

The Gophers throwers competed at the Lee Krough Invitational hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College. Sophomore Megan Johnson placed second in the hammer throw and fifth in the shot put while junior Heidi Crabtree finished second in the discus.

DaLee Wilkinson and Jessica Mitchell earned second and sixth place finishes, respectively, in the javelin.

Next up for Minnesota is the Mt. SAC Relays in California.

Brian Hall covers track and field and
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