4×100 relay team wins title in Arizona

Sean Donnelly won the hammer throw for the third meet in a row in Tempe.

Goaner Deng crosses the finish line of the men's 400-meter relay race at the University of Minnesota Field House on Jan. 23.

Sam Harper, Daily File Photo

Goaner Deng crosses the finish line of the men’s 400-meter relay race at the University of Minnesota Field House on Jan. 23.

Ryan Falk

The Gophers men’s track and field team won two titles at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., over the weekend, with senior Sean Donnelly winning the hammer throw for the third meet in a row.
 
 
Minnesota’s 4×100 meter relay team also won its event with a time of 40.29 seconds, the fifth-best in program history. The time is 0.34 seconds off the school record set in 2000.
 
 
“It was a nice performance,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “We haven’t quite known what to expect [from the 4×100 team]. To have those guys come out and make an improvement is a credit to those guys. [The performance was] a nice addition.” 
 
 
Donnelly recorded a distance of 71.22 meters in the hammer throw to win the event, which is the second-best throw in program history and the second-best in the NCAA this season.
 
 
His throw of 74.35 meters at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe on March 18 is first in both categories.
 
 
“[The performance] was closer to my expectations,” Donnelly said. “It’s good to know I can still put it out there after a hard week of training.”
 
 
The Gophers had another strong performance from senior Goaner Deng, who finished second in the 800-meter with a time of 1:46.81.
 
 
The time is a personal best for Deng and ranks third all-time in Minnesota history.
 
 
Women’s 4×100 relay wins title
 
 
The women’s track and field 4×100 meter relay team won one of the Gophers’ two titles at the Sun Angel Classic with a time of 45.69 seconds. The team won the race by less than a second.
 
 
Junior Kimberley Golding, one of the relay runners, also finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.48 seconds. Her time was just 0.02 seconds off her program record of 13.46 seconds, set at the UCLA Legends Invitational.
 
 
Minnesota’s other event title came in the high jump from sophomore Heta Tuuri.
 
 
Tuuri, competing in her first outdoor event of the season, jumped 1.75 meters, which ranks seventh in program history.
 
 
“[I] thought it was a good opener for her,” head coach Matt Bingle said. “She did a good job of mentally approaching [the high jump].”
 
 
Senior Titania Markland also performed well, coming in fourth in the 400-meter dash in 53.53 seconds.