Cheever takes second in steeplechase

Both track and field squads were once again on the road this weekend.

Krista Theis

The Minnesota women’s track and field team is taking full advantage of warm climate away meets to reach its outdoor season goals.

The Gophers posted 16 NCAA Regional Qualifying marks over the weekend at the Spec Towns Invitational at the University of Georgia and at Gustavus Adolphus’ Lee Krough Invitational in St. Peter.

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Iowa Twilight Meet
when: Saturday, April 21
where: Iowa City, Iowa

The most impressive performance might have been from sophomore Jamie Cheever, who cleared the regional qualifying time by 30 seconds when she ran the steeplechase in 10 minutes and 21.57 seconds.

Being that it was her first attempt at the event, Cheever’s teammates were blown away at her finish.

“It’s kind of a hard race to pick up right away,” said seasoned steeplechase teammate senior Emily Brown. “It usually takes a year, but she picked it up quick. I think she could go a lot further and the more she works on it the better she is going to be.”

Brown held the nation’s top time of 10:03.77 in the event until this weekend, and said she enjoys having Cheever as a workout buddy.

“It’s nice to have a training partner that can keep up with you,” Brown said.

Cheever said she feels the same way about training with Brown and appreciates the insight she has given her on the event.

“She did a really good job of training me,” Cheever said. “She knows a lot about the race so she helped me a lot.”

Brown won the 1,500-meter run in 4:21.16 this weekend, qualifying herself for the NCAA meet.

However, she had her teammates in mind over her own success, hoping others could also qualify for regionals.

Brown said that one of the things she likes about the team is that every time it races, the focus is all about what the Gophers can do to get the team stronger for the conference meet.

Coach Matt Bingle agreed that the team chemistry and cohesiveness has been a big factor in the women’s performances.

“It was good to have everyone in one spot and let everybody watch and cheer for each other,” Bingle said. “It was nice to get in that kind of a team environment.”

Men also compete

The men’s track and field team split up between numerous meets this weekend to specify on certain events.

The Arizona sun brought out a couple of top-notch performances from men’s runners at Sun Angel Classic, including a second-place finish by sophomore Ibrahim Kabia in the 100-meter dash. His regional qualifying mark of 10.47 was a great way to start off his outdoor season.

Coach Phil Lundin said it was good to see Kabia running and feels he is looking strong.

Another highlight Lundin mentioned of the weekend was the three-peat regional qualifying performance of senior Derek Gearman.

Gearman posted his third qualifier in three weeks, winning the high jump at 7 feet 1/2 inches.

Lundin said that although he is satisfied with some of the weekend performances, he is not seeing the results he had hoped for at this time in the season.

“I’m not pushing the panic button yet,” Lundin said. “We just need luck with the weather and they need to push a little.”