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Gophers track and field seeing early success in outdoor season

In addition to their upperclassmen, Minnesota had top performances from new student-athletes Charles Godfred, Angelos Mantzouranis and Diarra Sow.
Image by University of Minnesota Athletics (courtesy)
Freshman Charles Godfred recorded the best long jump by a Gopher in 29 years to win the event at the Clyde Hart Classic last weekend.

In their first two outdoor meets of the season, several Gophers track and field athletes finished at the top of their events while some had history-making performances.

Starting in Miami, Florida for the Miami Hurricanes Invitational, Minnesota saw successful performances from freshmen Charles Godfred, Angelos Mantzouranis and Diarra Sow. 

In the long jump, Godfred recorded a distance of 7.74m, earning second place in the event. Last weekend at the Clyde Hart Classic in Waco, Texas, Godfred jumped 7.96m to win the event, the best long jump for a Gopher in 29 years.

Godfred, who joined the Gophers in January, said his life changed during his transition from Nigeria to Minnesota and the encouragement from his coach is helping him succeed.

Godfred added that seeing such an accomplishment early into the outdoor season is an indication “something big is coming.”

“My dream is to represent my country in the Olympics and become a record holder,” Godfred said. 

Gophers assistant coach Ibrahim Kabia said Godfred is handling the quick transition well. Kabia said in their short time together, the two were able to work together and build trust.

“He’s very outgoing, he’s super respectful and he’s a hard worker,” Kabia said. “He’s able to galvanize people.”

Kabia said he could not predict a limit of Godfred’s potential but added he knows has not reached it.

Sow, a redshirt freshman, finished second in the women’s triple jump at the Miami meet after recording a mark of 12.88m. In Waco, Sow finished at the top of the event with 13.10m, placing her fourth in Gophers history.

Sow said the season has gone well for her, but she knows she can do more. She said not being able to qualify for nationals for the indoor season has motivated her to qualify for the outdoor season.

“In these two competitions we had, I know that my mark can be higher,” Sow said.

Competing against professional athletes in Miami, junior Devin Augustine managed to finish third in the men’s 100m dash with a time of 10.16 seconds. Augustine’s time was a personal best and is second in the Gophers’ history.

A familiar face in the Gophers’ record books, senior Shelby Frank threw a record-setting discus toss in Waco at 59.69m. The throw sits atop the Gophers’ all-time leaders in the discus category.

Mantzouranis won both the Miami and Waco men’s hammer throw events. His winning throw in Miami was 70.27m but he went further a week later in Waco, recording a distance of 73.85m and placing him third in Gophers history.

Mantzouranis and Frank both won the Big Ten’s Field Athlete of the Week honor on Thursday after their performances in Waco.

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