It was a hectic sight as dozens of athletes competed for space and placing while music played in the background at the Jack Johnson Invitational.
The Gophers did well amidst the noise and the other eight teams, taking first in eight events, including a career performance by Gopher freshman Teddy Frid.
“I think that [Frid’s] score in that event is like sixth in the nation right now, currently,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “He won’t stay there, but I still think it’s a mark that should get him into the national meet, potentially.”
Frid took first in four of the seven heptathlon events, finishing first overall with a score of 5,581, which is a career best for him. Second in the heptathlon was teammate John Uchytil with 5,048.
“It was so unexpected,” Frid said. “I mean I had expectations to be at this score … this season, but it wasn’t until the end of the season. So to hit it now and know that there’s room to build, I’m really excited for Big Tens and the next hep that I do.”
Jonathan Webb finished first in the 60-meter dash, Lucas Trapp finished first in the 800-meter run, Zach Nelson finished first in the 200-meter dash, Ryan Lockard got first in the high jump and Sammie Houston finished on top in the triple jump.
The Gophers 4-X-400 meter relay team won their race to conclude the meet.
In the weight throw, three Gophers finished in the top four, led by sophomore Kieran McKeag with a personal record throw of 19.76 meters, which was good for second place. Connor Rousemiller got third with a throw 19.63 meters — a personal record — and Jon Nerdal received fourth with a toss of 18.95 meters — also a personal record. McKeag beat his old personal record by over six feet.
“I guess sometimes it just randomly happens,” McKeag said. “I feel great about it. I wasn’t expecting it but sometimes you just have those throws … everything goes right and [you] surprise yourself a little bit.”
Sophomore Eric Walker finished first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.17 seconds. He said one of his goals is breaking eight seconds this year.
“The level of competition gets stepped up a lot for that, and we sat a lot of guys today,” Plasencia said. “A lot of our runners will perform the next two weeks in pretty big meets.”