Men’s track and field finishes ninth at Big Ten Indoor Championship

Junior Jackson Wellenstein led the Gophers with 11 points in three different events.

Gophers Jackson Wellenstein, Ben Psicihulis, and Matthew Baker compete in the 4x400-meter relay during the Border Battle on Jan. 13, 2018.

Maddy Fox, Daily File Photo

Gophers Jackson Wellenstein, Ben Psicihulis, and Matthew Baker compete in the 4×400-meter relay during the Border Battle on Jan. 13, 2018.

Kaleb Medhanie

Junior Jackson Wellenstein led the Gophers with 11 points in three different events at the Big Ten Indoor Championship on Friday and Saturday.

Wellenstein finished eighth in the distance medley relay in Geneva, Ohio. He beat his personal record in the 400-meters with a time of 46.83, moving him to sixth all time in program history.

Wellenstein, redshirt sophomore Jonathan Webb, redshirt sophomore Matthew Baker and freshman Ben Psicihulis finished fourth in the 4-x-400 meter relay at a time of 3:05.52 that puts them at second all-time in Minnesota history.

“Last year I struggled with a lot of injuries,” Wellenstein said. “One thing coach [Paul] Thornton reminded me of multiple times was that it’s gonna feel worse not making the final again than it will to suck it up and try as hard as I can. That was kind of the mentality.”

Redshirt freshman Kieran McKeag threw a career best of 20.40 meters in the weight throw to finish ninth. Redshirt junior Obsa Ali finished sixth in the 3,000-meter with a time of 8:16.91.

As the Gophers start the transition to moving outdoors, they look for improvement. The first tournament of the outdoor season will be in Tempe, Arizona at the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Friday, March 16.

“We’re a pretty young team, on this roster of 31, we only took two seniors,” head coach Steve Plasencia said. “We’re working towards improvement, we showed improvement in some areas here. But we still have a lot of work to do.”