Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gophers Name Two Tracksters to Hall of Fame

The Minnesota Golden Gopher "M" Club will honor two former maroon-and-gold track and field stars at the annual Hall of Fame banquet on September 27. High Jumper Tim Heikkila and distance runner Eileen Donaghy were named to this year's 13-inductee class, that includes former Gopher and North Stars hockey coach Glen Sonmor and former Gopher women's athletic director Chris Voelz.

Heikkila, who competed for the Gophers from 1967 to 1971, was the first Gopher to clear seven feet in the high jump. By winning the 1969 Big Ten Outdoor title in the event, he became the first Gopher high jump champ since 1950. In 1971, the Gopher captain finished second in the NCAA Outdoor Championships to earn all-American distinction. Heikkila’s top performances in the high jump -- 7-1 indoors, 7-2 outdoors -- rank him ninth and eighth and ninth on Minnesota’s outdoor and indoor performance lists, respectively.

Donaghy, who competed in cross country and track for Minnesota from 1985 to 1989, was the surprise Big Ten Cross Country champion in 1987 when she led the Gophers to a program-best third place team finish in the meet. The St. Paul Highland Park alum was also a two-time all-district harrier. On the track, Donaghy was a 10,000 meter specialist. She still holds the U of M record for the event at 33:31.96. She was an all-American at 10,000, finishing 8th at the NCAA meet in 1988.

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