Donnelly wins second title in a row

Both the women’s and men’s track and field teams won two titles at their meets.

by Ryan Falk

The Gophers men’s 4×400-meter relay team and senior Sean Donnelly won two event titles for the Gophers at the Stanford Invitational, which concluded on Saturday
Donnelly, who has the top hammer throw distance in the NCAA this year, threw for 69.68 meters in Palo Alto, Calif. He threw over a meter farther than the next closest competitor to win his second title in a row.
“[Winning back-to-back titles] feels good,” Donnelly said. “It builds my confidence.” 
The Gophers 4×400-meter relay team, which consisted of senior Goaner Deng, freshman Jack Wellenstein, redshirt junior Nate Roese and redshirt sophomore Brad Neumann posted a time of 3:07.54 to win the title. The time is the second-best in the Big Ten this year.
Deng also had a strong individual performance in the 800 meters, finishing second in a time of 1:49.37. He was under a second behind the first-place runner.
“Goaner is a veteran,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “[Stanford] is a great venue to go to. Goaner is comfortable there. He took a workmanlike approach.
Senior Luke Johnson came in third in the shot put, throwing for a distance of 18.03 meters.
Redshirt sophomore Jordan Charles also gave the Gophers a top-three finish in the triple jump, coming in third with a distance of 14.74 meters.
Golding breaks hurdles record
The women’s team won two titles at the UCLA Legends Invitational over the weekend and saw a school record fall.
Junior Kimberly Golding broke the program record in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 13.46 seconds in her outdoor season debut. Sophomore Emma Spagnola, also making her outdoor debut, finished right behind Golding at 13.53 seconds.
“I wasn’t even thinking about [breaking the record],” Golding said. “When my coach told me I was like, ‘Oh wow.’ I felt like I was running fast. I’m grateful but didn’t know [I had broken the record].”
The two hurdlers finished second and third in the event, and now own the top two times in Minnesota history.
“[Golding and I] train together. We were shocked we were in the same heat,” Spagnola said. “We were right next to each other [in the lanes]. We’re grateful and happy.”
Junior Titania Markland won one of two event titles for the Gophers after taking first in the 800-meter run with a career-best time of 2:09.84.
The team’s other event title came from sophomore Agnes Esser, whose 59.55-meter toss in the hammer throw was a career best. The throw also ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Minnesota also had six runner-up finishes at the meet and 12 top-three finishes.