Reder breaks his own throw record

Minnesota’s Lynden Reder threw over 67 feet, provisionally qualifying for the NCAA meet.

Dan Miller

Minnesota men’s track senior Lynden Reder decimated his own school record in the weight throw at the Gold Country Classic at the University Field House on Saturday.

Reder, a co-captain, bettered his own record by more than 3 feet with a throw of 67 feet, 2 1/4 inches (20.48 m).

Reder’s throw was also good enough to be an NCAA provisional qualifier.

“It’s a culmination of five years of hard work,” coach Phil Lundin said. “He is an inspiration to me.”

Sophomore Rob Merritt won the 200-meter race with a time of 21.62 seconds and also started the Gophers’ winning 4×400-meter relay team.

Mitch Potter, Aaron Buzard and Vince Donahoe joined Merritt to post a time of 3:12.70.

The Gophers are currently No. 6 in the Trackwise national poll.

The Gophers had a one-two finish in the 3,000-meter race with Josh DoBell and Luke Mullranin coming in at 8:22.76 and 8:23.33 respectively.

Lundin said he was pleased with the performances of his athletes at this point in the season.

“Overall it was a good showing,” Lundin said. “But we also have a long way to go.”

The Gophers travel to the Northern Iowa Panther Classic on Friday and Saturday.

Stearns soars to meet high

On the women’s side of the docket, junior Monica Stearns flew to a meet record in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 7 inches.

Stearns’ jump was the second best in school history. Only her jump of 12 feet, 10 inches in the 2003 Big Ten indoor championships was better.

The Gophers, who have 44 freshmen and sophomores, are a young and inexperienced team, but coach Gary Wilson has been pleased with their progress.

“Everything at this point of the season is a stepping stone,” Wilson said. “I am pleased with what we did (Saturday). The energy has been very positive.”

Senior Rachel Schutz won the 600-meter dash in 34.51 seconds while freshman Kadian Douglas won the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.06 seconds.

Schutz and Douglas were also part of the Gophers’ winning 4×400-meter relay team that also featured Melissa Steele and Mollie Hupp. The team won with a time of 3:48.45.

Three other Gophers finished the day with titles. Vanessa Nelson won the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 8.75 seconds, Liz Alabi placed first in the shot put with a throw of 48-8 3/4 and Vanessa Schwanke won the high jump clearing 5-6 1/2.

The Gophers’ next meet is also at the Northern Iowa Panther Classic on Friday and Saturday.

However, Wilson is looking even further ahead to the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., on Feb. 7.

“At the Nebraska meet we will find a great track and great competition,” Wilson said. “We have a crucial 10 days of training coming up.”