Saturday, February 24, 2007

Big Ten Indoor: Women Lead, Men a Close 6th

The Gopher women lead the Big Ten Indoor Championships in Champaign, Illinois with 59 first-day points. Favorite Michigan is second with 36 points. Victories by Liz Alabi (shot) and Liz Roehrig (heptathlon) paced Minnesota.

Two names to watch closely as results get posted on Sunday are Gopher star Heather Dorniden in the mile and 600 meters and Michigan speedster Tiffany Ofili in the 60 dash and 60 hurdles. Two events to scrutinize are the 600 and 800 where Gophers and Wolverines pack both fields. Overall, the Gophers have seven remaining finalists ranked in the top-4 on the seasonal performance lists and seven more ranked 5th-8th; the Wolverines have eight and six, respectively.

At the men's meet in Bloomington, Indiana, the Gophers sit 6th, but are only 13 points behind defending champs Wisconsin. The Badgers have eleven second-day athletes seeded in the top-4 and another six ranked 5th-8th ; the Gopher's will need to close the gap -- and hold all the other bunched contenders off -- with only seven top-4 seeds and four 5th-8th guys.

“We got solid performances from our veterans, guys who we knew would perform well,” coach Phil Lundin said. “We needed a few more pleasant surprises from guy stepping up. It was an okay day for us. Tomorrow we’ll try to make up some ground.”

It should be a wild day of track and field!

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