Track: Abda, Burkstrand sneak into 800 meters final

by Charlie Armitz

Gophers seniors Harun Abda and Travis Burkstrand advanced Wednesday to the 800 meters final at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships in Eugene, Ore.

Abda and Burkstrand placed third and fourth in their heat, respectively. The two fastest runners from each heat qualified for the final automatically, and Abda and Burkstrand qualified by running the two fastest times of the remaining runners.

Abda's time of 1:47.78 was the third-fastest overall Wednesday and his fastest 800 of the season. Burkstrand's time of 1:48.84 was the fifth-fastest in the semifinals.

The 800 final will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the third day of the June 5-8 championships.

Seven Gophers athletes will compete Thursday: John Simons (1,500 meters semifinals); Abda, Jacob Capek, Goaner Deng and Cameron Boy (4×400 relay semifinals); and Quentin Mege and Micah Hegerle (hammer throw finals).