Two Gophers athletes qualify for NCAA track over weekend

The men’s track team was divided this weekend, with some athletes in California, and others competing at the University of Arkansas.
In Arkansas, freshman Jason Owen ran a personal-best time of 1:48.92 in the 800 meters, the fastest time in the Big Ten this season. Rick Obelman took fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with personal best time of 8:51.78. Both athletes provisionally qualified for NCAAs.
Sami Valtonen also had a quality outing in the 3,000 meters, finishing third.
In California, Benjamin Jensen pulled out of the decathlon after injuring his hamstring. Jensen, last year’s Big Ten champion in that event, is expected to recover in time for next month’s Big Ten Championships.
The Gophers’ next home meet will be in two weeks.
White leads women’s track
Minnesota’s women’s track athletes were in nearby Northfield, Minn., over the weekend to sharpen their skills against a variety of Division II and III teams.
The Gophers won the team competition 97-78 over St. Thomas.
Yvette White picked up individual titles in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles to lead Minnesota. Alissa Bruss (high jump), and Minna Haronoja (800 meters) were the other event winners for the Gophers.
Most of the Minnesota contingency will be in Des Moines, Iowa, next weekend for the Drake Relays.
— Jim Schortemeyer
Women’s golf ties for 5th
Minnesota’s women’s golf team tied for fifth with host Iowa this weekend at the Hawkeye Invitational.
The Gophers finished 40 strokes behind Invitational champion Indiana. The Hoosiers shot two consecutive sub-300 rounds en route to the title. Wisconsin finished in second place, 17 strokes off the pace.
Donna Boom led the Gophers by shooting a 75-81-79 (235) and finishing 14th overall.
Other Gophers finishers were Amy Dahle in 28th place with a 240, Melanie Lepp and Michelle Ballou in 41st at 245 and Keri Sawvell and Jenny Bruun in 44th position at 246.
This tournament ended the Gophers’ regular season. The next stop for Minnesota is University Park, Pa., and the Big Ten Championships on May 1-3.
— Tim Nichols