Friday, January 23, 2009

Jack Johnson Classic: Lots to Enjoy

This weekend's Jack Johnson Classic at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse offers lots to enjoy for all sorts of track and field fans, be they sprint fanatics, endurance aficionados, mutli-event mavens, vault freaks, or Jacks and Jills with a jones for the jumps.

The meet, which opens at 3:00 p.m. today with multi-event competition, gets going full-bore on Saturday afternoon when open competition gets underway.

The official time schedule for the meet can be found HERE.

Some events of special interest include:

Women's Pentathlon -- Although Golden Gopher star Liz Roehrig is out of indoor eligibility, she's competing unnattached in her home building today and tomorrow. Roehrig, a four-time Big Ten heptathlon champ, will compete outdoors for the Gophers.

Multi-event heat sheets are HERE.

Men's Pole Vault -- Defending Big Ten indoor champ Ben Peterson will take to the air again. At the Northwest Open two weeks ago, Peterson won the vault with an indoor-PR of 17-4 1/2. (There's video of that vault HERE, on the Gopher men's track blog.)

Women's Pole Vault -- Gopher star Alicia Rue hopes to ride her pole to another PR on her home runway. Last week, the former Robbinsdale Armstrong star cleared 14-4 to establish a personal, school, and fieldhouse record.

Women's Triple Jump -- Olympian Shani Marks and Olympic Trials 5th-placer Amanda Thieschafer will compete as part of their preparations for the upcoming USA Indoor Championships. Marks told DtB earlier this week that she and training partner Thieshafer will jump off short approaches on Saturday.

Men's 60 Meter Dash -- Reigning Big Ten Athlete of the Week Ibrahim Kabia will take another shot at his school record of 6.63. He ran 6.64 last week.

Women's Mile -- Olympic Trials finalists Janelle Deatherage (1500m) and Laura Hermanson (800m) will tangle over the classic distance. Hermanson, a Burnsville High School alum competing for North Dakota State moves up to face Deatherage, a professional who competed for the University of Wisconsin as a collegiate.

Women's 800m -- Gopher half-mile stars Heather Dorniden and Julie Schwengler run their first 800s of the season on Saturday. Dorniden was the NCAA runner-up at 800m indoors last year; Schwengler was the Big Ten runner-up in the event in 2008.

Men's 200m -- The newest edition to the state's elite track and field population, quarter-miler Andrew Rock, comes down in distance along with training partner Aaron Buzard, a Gopher alum. Rock won a silver medal in the 400 meters at the 2005 IAAF World Championships.

Men's 3000m -- Gopher distance stars Chris Rombough and Hassan Mead hope to push one-another to fast times. Rombough opened his season last week with a ripping 4:05 mile while Mead clocked 4:10.

Complete heat sheets for the meet can be found HERE.

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