In his first decathlon of the outdoor season, sophomore Benjamin Jensen tallied 7,669 points to break the Minnesota all-time decathlon record and finish first at the Mount SAC Relays at Azusa Pacific University in Walnut, Calif.
Jensen broke the old record of 7,590, which he set on April 13th last year at the Sea Rays Relays in Knoxville, Tenn. Jensen’s top-ranking score holds a 1,239-point advantage over Seth Mischke, who set the current second-place mark in 1995.
Jensen’s solid performance in the 10 events also automatically qualified him for the NCAA championships in June. He won two individual events en route to a first place finish.
Jensen won the pole vault with a vault of 16 feet, 3/4 inches, and the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:29.38. He also took second in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.65.
Friday marked Jensen’s first meet since undergoing knee surgery following the indoor season.
Minnesota also sent a group of 20 athletes to Iowa City, Iowa, to compete in the Hawkeye Invitational on Saturday. Freshman Chris Anderson led the Gophers, placing second in the 3,000. Anderson clocked a time of 8:41.5 to clinch the runner-up finish.
The Gophers also placed second in the final event of the day, the 4×400 relay, with a time of 3:18.23.
Four Gophers notched several third place finishes at the Hawkeye Invitational. Sophomore Todd Landgraff placed third in the 3,000 behind Anderson with a time of 8:43.6. Senior Adam Wheatcraft took third in the 110 hurdles in 14.90, and freshman Sam Severin clinched third in the 800 with a time of 1:58.41.
Minnesota claimed two third- place winners in the field events. Freshman Adam Reed threw 54 feet, 7 1/2 inches to take third in the shot put, and sophomore Tyler McCormick high jumped 6-4 to place third.
Freshman Justin Asher (shot put) and senior Tony Ritter (3,000) finished fifth in their events, and senior Scott Beadle placed sixth in the 100 and 200.
The Gophers will compete at the Drake Relays next weekend in Des Moines, Iowa. The meet is one of the most prestigious events of the outdoor season for Minnesota.
Women’s Track and Field
Freshman standout Natalie Smith proved herself among the best long jumpers in the nation at the Mount SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., this weekend. Smith’s jump of 18 feet, 7 1/4 inches was good enough for a fourth place finish and a higher spot in the Gophers record books.
Smith made Minnesota’s top-10 list last weekend at the Tom Botts Invitational in Columbia, Mo., with a jump of 18-3. The extra 4 1/4 inches improved her position from seventh to fourth among the Gopher’s jumpers.
Another Gophers freshman, Minna Haronoja, set a personal record in the 1,500-meters. Her time of 4:34.63 bettered her old mark by eight seconds. Andrea Lentz and Karen Kleindl also set personal best times in the 1,500.
Also at the meet, freshman Nicole Chimko placed second in the javelin with a throw of 152-7, and senior Dani Parkos placed ninth in the discus with a toss of 157-6.