Gophers split up in three different meets this week

Track and Field

Ashley Goetz

Track and Field

After three weekends of traveling, most of the Minnesota menâÄôs track and field team is staying close to home this weekend. Once again, Minnesota will be busy and are split up among three meets this weekend. The Gophers will compete in the St. Thomas Twilight meet in St. Paul and the Carleton Relays in Northfield. Decathlete sophomores Joey Schwecke and Garrett Wankel will travel the farthest to Lawrence, Kans., for the Kansas Relays. Schwecke was the Big Ten indoor runner-up in the pentathlon. Schwecke and Wankel went to Gustavus last weekend and now have a short turnaround before competing today. MenâÄôs coach Steve Plasencia said those athletes havenâÄôt competed much during the outdoor season thus far. âÄúItâÄôs a grueling event,âÄù he said. âÄúWe want to make sure theyâÄôre rested.âÄù The rest of the team will stay local before traveling next weekend for the Drake Relays in Iowa. At St. Thomas, the team will face good competition without having to travel. The traveling can wear on the team even though itâÄôs nice to go to warmer weather, Plasencia said. âÄúPeople look forward to the guarantee of warm weather but it can get tiring,âÄù he said. However, not all top Gophers athletes compete this weekend, Plasencia said. Nine Gophers have NCAA regional qualifiers at this point in the season. Last weekend, senior Andy Bastian, junior Aaron Studt, sophomore Ben Blankenship and redshirt freshman Trey Davis added their names to the list. Big Ten champion junior R.J. McGinnis will sit out of the Kansas Relays because of a slight back injury but is expected to compete next weekend. Even though some of the Gophers are taking the weekend off, Minnesota will still have a strong team. Junior Matt Fisher will compete in the high jump. His high jump of 7-4 1/2, cleared on April 4, remains as the top leap in the nation this season. Four Gophers with NCAA regional qualifying marks, Bastian, Studt, Davis and redshirted freshman Tyler Kleinhuizen will throw this weekend. The Gophers may also put their 4×100-meter relay on the track.