Minnesota rests in final weekend

A few Gophers athletes will try and earn a spot on the Big Ten roster.

by Jack Satzinger

After weeks of competing on the road, the Gophers men’s and women’s track and field teams will return to the familiar confines of the University Fieldhouse this weekend.

The men’s team will compete Friday in the Snowshoe Open, and the women’s team will finish competition Saturday at the Parents’ Day Invite.

A bulk of Minnesota’s athletes will not compete over the weekend and instead will rest up for next week’s Big Ten indoor championships.

“There’s an off-weekend for a lot of people,” head women’s coach Matt Bingle said. “Some people are going to compete and kind of fine-tune things.”

A number of the athletes competing this weekend will be doing more than just fine-tuning, though.

“Some people will try to earn a spot to the Big Ten,” Bingle said.

That scenario stretches to the men’s side, too. Head coach Steve Plasencia said he’ll be looking for additional athletes who can make an impact next weekend.

“This is the last chance to make the Big Ten [meet] for a lot of guys,” he said.

Megan Geyen has already snared a spot for the Big Ten indoor championships and will not compete this weekend.

She posted a career-best time in the 400-meter run at 54.41 seconds last weekend. She was just .06 seconds off the program record.

She said she thinks she can beat that time at the Big Ten meet.

“I definitely think that [the record] is a reachable goal for me in the next two weeks,” Geyen said. “It was probably one of the best races I’ve felt this season so far.”

While Geyen and some of her peers will be in the stands instead of on the track this weekend, the team is looking forward to being together again.

In the past month, different groups of the men’s and women’s teams have competed in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota and Washington.

“When everyone’s together, I feel like we feed off each other’s energy and want to do well,” Geyen said.

In early January, the Gophers women’s team had a meeting at which Bingle forecasted where he thought the team should be at various stages of the season.

He said they’re currently in a good position.

“We are where we wanted to be,” he said. “We’re not done with what we’re going to do.”