Teams return from Ariz. with 5 titles

The men and women have made Ariz. their home for the last month and have had solid performances in the Cactus State.

by Dane Mizutani

Over the past month, the Minnesota menâÄôs track and field team has traveled to Arizona three times, and this weekend the Gophers felt right at home.

Minnesota opened up the weekend competing in the Mesa Classic in Mesa, Ariz., in a meet highlighted by the throwers.

Sophomore Micah Hegerle won the hammer throw in Mesa with a toss of 207 feet, 1 inch. Teammate Quentin Mege finished fourth in the same event recording a distance of 199 feet, 6 inches.

Trey Davis added to the GophersâÄô supremacy in Mesa with his performance in the shot put. Davis registered a distance of 56 feet, 11.5 inches to capture the title.

Jake Malm finished second in the javelin with a throw of 173 feet, 3 inches.

Minnesota took the momentum gained at the Mesa Classic right into the Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State.

Hegerle continued his career weekend, winning the hammer throw at the Sun Angel Classic with a distance of 209 feet, 4 inches. Quentin Mege finished fourth for the second time in as many days with a career-best throw of 203 feet, 5 inches.

Though Hegerle dominated the weekend, the most promising event may have been turned in by the 4×400-meter relay team.

Competing in a meet with top-tier talent, the team of Kevin Bradley, John Holton, Oladipo Fagbemi and Harun Abda won the 4×400-meter with a season-best time of 3 minutes, 10.05 seconds.

But Fagbemi and Abda werenâÄôt finished.

Fagbemi recorded a personal best in the long jump with a bound of 23 feet, 11.5 inches. This distance was good for fourth place. Abda also excelled in his individual event, finishing the 800-meter with a career-best time of 1 minute, 48.54 seconds.

While a majority of the Gophers competed in Arizona over the weekend, other athletes made a much shorter trek to UW-River Falls for the Falcon Invitational on Saturday.

Sean Duling won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.56 seconds, Jacob Capek finished first in the 400-meter in a time of 48.49 seconds and Matt Clauer took home title in the high jump clearing a height of 6 feet, 6.75 inches.

Women collect pair of titles in Mesa, battle in Tempe

Participating in two meets in the two days over the weekend, the womenâÄôs track and field team collected a pair of titles in Mesa, Ariz., on Friday.

Minnesota junior Sharyn Dahl helped kick off the weekend with a win in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1 minute, 0.80 seconds. Her teammate Kelly Staples finished third, clocking a time of 1 minute, 2.06 seconds.

Kim Hovey impressed many with her showing in the shot put. Her throw of 47 feet, 3.75 inches earned the Gophers their second title at the Mesa Classic.

Nikki Tzanakis placed fourth in the discus with a career-best throw of 180 feet, 1 inch.

Todea-Kay Willis finished second in the triple jump with a distance of 38 feet, 7.75 inches.

Saturday at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., Dahl picked up right where she left off the day before.

She placed third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.20 seconds, the first sub-one minute time of her career.

The GophersâÄô 4×100-meter relay, which has performed well to this point in the season, finished sixth at the Sun Angel Classic, clocking a time of 45.92 seconds.

Todea-Kay Willis finished third in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, 10.75 inches.

Like the menâÄôs team, the women sent several athletes compete at the River Falls Falcon Invitational.

Jamie Vandenberg won the 1,500-meters with a time of 4 minutes, 40.78 seconds, Rachel Drake placed first in the 3,000-meter crossing the finish line at 10 minutes, 25.42 seconds, and Samantha Sonnenberg cleared a height of 13 feet, 9.25 inches, to win the pole vault in River Falls.