Gophers earn nine titles

Minnesota senior Zach Siegmeier won the pole vault over the weekend.

Megan Ryan

Minnesota’s women’s track and field head coach, Matt Bingle, said before the second meet of the outdoor season that his team wanted to shake off the rust.

It did much more than that.

The Gophers tallied 205 points and nine event titles over the weekend to blow past Kennesaw State (192), South Florida (159.5) and Cincinnati (113.5) at the South Florida Collegiate in Tampa, Fla.

Even better, Minnesota did it without its distance runners, who competed at the Stanford Invitational.

Bingle said he wasn’t surprised by his team’s results.

“I was expecting to win,” he said, “but I thought it was pretty solid efforts for this first real meet of the year.”

Minnesota redshirt freshman Erin Hawkins won the 100-meter dash in 11.78 seconds, and senior Te’Shon Adderley won the 800-meter run in 2:10.19. Not to be outdone, sophomore Frances Conlin won the 400-meter hurdles at 1:00.76.

Then the three, along with junior Lauren Domski, claimed the 4×400-meter relay in 3:45.00.

“I think coming out to the outdoor [season], everyone’s very competitive and ready to go,” Adderley said. “So I had my faith that they were just going to get the baton around and do what they had to do.”

In the field, the throwers had the most successful meet of all the event groups. Redshirt freshman Kailee Kamps won the shot put at 14.94 meters, and redshirt freshman Angie Guenther won the discus at 48.98 meters.

Minnesota junior Devin Stanford followed suit and threw 56.09 meters to win the hammer throw, while freshman Nicolle Murphy threw 46.73 meters to win the javelin.

The Gophers rounded out the field events with a pole vault victory from junior Katie Murgic at 3.81 meters.

Siegmeier continues run

While most of the Gophers men’s track and field team performed passably, one member couldn’t help but stand out.

Minnesota senior Zach Siegmeier continued his pole vault dominance with another victory at the Stanford Invitational at 5.11 meters.

Gophers head coach Steve Plasencia said Siegmeier is “as steady as can be” and encourages the whole team to perform better.

“Especially young guys, what they need are role models of guys who compete successfully,” Plasencia said. “It makes you think, ‘Hey, why can’t that be me?’”

Plasencia said though Siegmeier was obviously the front-runner in terms of results, the young team showed improvement — including some personal-best marks that he said he hopes will create a snowball effect for the Gophers.

Minnesota sophomore Aaron Bartnik beat his personal record by 30 seconds by winning his section of the 5,000-meter run in 14:13.02. And freshman Brad Neumann finished fourth in the 200-meter dash in 21.65 seconds, despite a competitive sprint field.

Plasencia said all of these performances will help his team rise to the Big Ten level.