Freshman shine as men take 2nd place in Tucson

The women’s team also finished second with two individual champs.

by Derek Wetmore

The Gophers menâÄôs track and field team used strong performances by freshmen to secure a second-place finish over the weekend at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz . Minnesota scored 130 team points . Nebraska ran away with the competition, collecting 227 team points. Leading the charge for Minnesota was freshman Harun Abda, who won the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 49.34 seconds. The mark establishes a new freshman record in the event for Minnesota. âÄúHarun is a true freshman, and we have a lot of hope for his future,âÄù head coach Steve Plasencia said. âÄúHeâÄôs a very talented true freshman, and he started to show that in the indoor season and now the outdoor season that heâÄôs a guy to be reckoned with in the 800 meters.âÄù Abda also ran the fourth leg of the 400-meter relay, a role that Plasencia said could suit Abda very well going forward. The relay team finished in first place with a season-best time of 3:10.14. Other freshmen who contributed to the second-place effort were Oladipo Fagbemi and Micah Hegerle. Fagbemi won the triple jump with a distance of 49 feet, 2 and 1/4 inches. He also finished fourth in the long jump with a jump of 23-10. Hegerle finished second in the hammer throw, becoming just the third Minnesota athlete in history to break 200 feet, recording a distance of 202 feet. Hegerle also finished fourth in the discus competition with a throw of 162-2. Women also finish second The Gophers womenâÄôs track and field team also made the trip to Arizona, placing second over the weekend after securing two individual champions and 136 points at the Jim Click. Junior Nikki Tzanakis won the discus throw with a career-best toss of 166-8. Fellow junior Amy Laskowske won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:43.98. Laskowske stood atop the podium for the event and was joined by teammates Elizabeth Yetzer and Mallory Van Ness, who finished second and third, respectively. Kylie Peterson placed second in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes, scoring points for Minnesota in both events. Senior Alicia R ue received a second-place finish in the pole-vault competition by clearing a height of 13-7 3/4. Teammate Samantha Sonnenberg , who earned All-American honors in pole vault three weeks ago at the NCAA indoor championships, finished third. The womenâÄôs team will head back to Arizona on Friday to compete in Tempe at the Sun Angel meet.