Nobody is more excited for school to start than Minnesota men’s track coach Phil Lundin.
His team kicked off its indoor season Saturday in the Northwest Open at the Fieldhouse, although only about half of the squad competed.
“The transition to semesters has us all up in the air,” Lundin said. “The start to the indoor season has not been as smooth as usual.”
Despite the low turnout, he was impressed with several individuals who competed in the unscored meet consisting of mostly Division II and III squads. Individuals like sophomore Ben Meyer, who broke his own school record in the weight throw with a heave of 55-feet, 4 3/4-inches. He placed second in the event.
Sophomore Robert Quade won the 600-meter dash (1:20.37), and senior Nate Clay took second in the Bjorkland 3,000-meter run (8:31.77).
“I thought (Quade) finished with a pretty solid time,” Lundin said.
Minnesota also won the 4×400-meter relay.
Lundin is optimistic, now that all of his team is back from break, and will concentrate on preparing them for the Big Ten meet at Indiana in late February.
The Gophers lost All-Americans Ben Jenson and Stefan Strand to graduation, but return senior Glenn Lindqvist, who took second in the heptathalon at the NCAA indoor meet last season in Boise, Id.
Lindqvist also qualified for the NCAA outdoor meet in the decathalon last spring, but was unable to finish because of a sprained finger he suffered in his sixth event, when his hand struck a hurdle.
“(The injury) kept me from competing in the pole vault,” he said. “Otherwise I probably would have been able to finish the competition.”
Lindqvist hopes to finish in the top three at this year’s NCAA meet later this spring.
Sophomore Lyndon McDowell, who took third Saturday in the long jump (22-feet, 3 1/2-inches), will also compete in the decathalon for the Gophers.
Two Fieldhouse records were set Saturday as Iowa State’s Justin Hyde won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.98 seconds and Performance Athletics Team’s Tyrone Minor won the 60-meter dash with a time 6.71 seconds.
The Gophers will host another meet this Saturday at the Fieldhouse, including tougher competition from Iowa, Wisconsin, and South Dakota.