Men go to Louisiana for meet

The Gophers will be able to compete outdoors in a warmer climate.

David McCoy

It’s time for Minnesota’s men’s track and field team to take its outdoor season outdoors.

With neither the Minnesota weather nor the indoor facilities conducive to great practice for outdoor events like javelin and discus, the Gophers are taking 10 athletes south to Baton Rouge, La., this weekend for the Tiger Classic.

“We’re just giving people the chance to practice the events that are hard to practice up here this time of year with transitional weather,” coach Phil Lundin said. “Long throws and 400 (meter) hurdles and stuff like that; it’s difficult to do that indoors. You can’t.”

Heading into better weather are Adewole Adebayo(200, 400), Derek Gearman (200, long jump), Todd Johnson (1,500), Jesse Kovash (javelin), Mike Linnemann (400 hurdles), Jerry Netland (shot put, discus), Seijen Takamura (5,000), Luke Walker (5,000), Karl Erickson (shot put, discus) and Adam Schnaible (shot put, hammer).

With the outdoor season just kicking off after Minnesota’s indoor season ended in a 25th place finish at NCAA Indoors on March 11, getting ahead of the weather is a big goal.

But it’s not the only one. Six of the 10 heading to Baton Rouge are freshmen. So the meet also serves as a chance for them to gain experience.

“I’m hoping it’s one where it can give some people some opportunity,” Lundin said.

A former Minnesota NCAA outdoor champion also will make the trip with the team.

Adam Steele won the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championship in the 400 meters and now serves as an administrative assistant in the team’s office while he continues training.

Steele will compete in the 800 Saturday.

“He doesn’t travel all that often,” Lundin said. “This time it worked out. He hasn’t competed a lot and it’s just an opportunity for him to get going making that transition from the floor to the ace. So that’s basically what he’s doing.”

Lundin said having Steele around this weekend isn’t a big deal. But his everyday contributions to the team make a difference.

“Just going on one trip, that’s not a big deal,” Lundin said. “But being here every day and having people able to see his work ethic and what he’s done, that’s the important thing – the everyday stuff.”

Women go from one Cali meet to another

Just as three members of Minnesota’s women’s track and field team finished at one California meet, the rest will be at another, starting today.

Liz Roehrig and Jacenta Spandl took first and eighth, respectively, in the heptathlon Wednesday and Thursday at the Cal Multi-Event meet in Berkeley, Calif.

And starting tonight, Minnesota will compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif.

The meet is one of the premier events in the country, featuring an expectation of more than 4,000 high school and college competitors.

But that’s not all it’s known for. The Distance Carnival kicks off the event tonight, and Stanford’s Cobb Track and Angell Field is known for yielding some of the fastest times every year.

Emily Brown highlights Minnesota’s distance events this weekend, competing in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.