Women’s pole vaulters take top spots

by Michael Dougherty

Gophers women’s track and field assistant coach Lynne Anderson summed up the squad’s lethargic meet at the Iowa State Classic very simply.
“It was not a stellar performance,” she said. “There’s not much to write about.”
The only highlights of the meet were provided by Minnesota’s groundbreaking pole vaulting duo of Christine Gulbrandsen and Stacie Blaskowski.
The two placed first and second respectively, with Gulbrandsen clearing 10 feet, 2 inches and Blaskowski vaulting 9-8. This is the first season that pole vaulting is an official event in women’s track and field.
Freshman Aubrey Schmitt provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships by taking fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 47-10 1/2.
Head coach Gary Wilson said he was impressed by Corrine Nimtz’s ninth-place finish in the 5,000 meter run. Her time of 17:42.72 represents a career high, which Wilson thinks should qualify her for the Big Ten Championships.
Meanwhile, the men’s team fared a little better at the meet as the Gophers continued their pole vaulting dominance.
Senior Tye Harvey provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships, winning the event with a vault of 17-8 1/2. The win represented the only title the men captured at the meet.
Sophomore Staffan Strand, who last week was named the Big Ten Co-Athlete of the Month for January, took fourth in the high jump.
Gophers assistant track and field coach and head cross country coach Steve Plasencia took second in the 5,000-meter race. Plasencia, running unattached, finished with a time of 14:07.17.