Seven track athletes set personal records

David La

Track and field coach Phil Lundin has a role similar to that of an orchestra conductor, keeping his group in tune and playing together, though their sections differ in many ways.
Bringing it all together for the Big Ten championships in three weeks remains the goal, which is why the seven athletes who turned in career-high marks this weekend have Lundin nodding his head in approval, but not standing up and cheering.
“You get personal bests and you’re very happy, but the fact is they have to be able to … improve upon those performances when it counts,” Lundin said. “But it’s important to get to that personal-best point. I feel that the majority of the guys are headed in the right direction.”
The Gophers competed at the Twilight Invitational in Iowa City, Iowa, as well as the Minnesota Classic at the Bierman Track Stadium on Saturday.
Sophomore Marc Johannsen took on only his teammate Wil Kurth in the high jump and won with a jump of 7-0 1/2 at the Classic.
Seniors Ben Jensen and Jon Anderson finished atop the field in the javelin and pole vault, respectively.
Freshman Andy Hopko finished second in the 1,500-meter event.
While the Gophers contingent at Bierman hosted Division II and III opponents, their teammates got a chance to gauge themselves against host Iowa, as well as Marquette.
Sophomore Tom Gerding set a personal and school record with his winning time of 46.10 seconds in the 400-meter dash. Gerding provisionally qualified for the NCAAs with that time.
The 1,500-meter run included freshman Andrew McKessock and junior Nate Clay set three personal records while finishing first and second, respectively.
Bob Quade was victorious in the 400-meter hurdles, and Steve Burkholder tied for first in the 100-meter dash.
Though the rash of high marks from his athletes allowed them to finish near the top of the field this weekend, Lundin is not one to encourage resting on laurels.
And so the band plays on, hosting the Maroon and Gold Open on Saturday, May 8th.
“I would say by next week, after that competition, we’ll be able to tell whether or not our training is getting us to the point where we need to be for Big Tens,” Lundin said.