Saturday, May 25, 2013

Eight More Gophers--Seven Men and Laura Docherty for the Women--Qualify for NCAA Championships in Eugene

The Big Ten’s top two hammer throwers – Gophers Micah Hegerle and Quentin Mege– 1,500 meter runner John Simons, triple jumper Oladipo Fagbemi, and the 4 by 400 relay team qualified for the NCAA Championships next month in Eugene, OR on Saturday at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field West Region Championships.They joined Wally Ellenson(high jump), OladipoHarun Abda (800 meters) and Travis Burkstrand (800 meters), who qualified earlier. Laura Docherty is the only Gopher woman to qualify for nationals as she made it in the 5K.

After the hammer throw was rained out on Friday, the Gophers duo had to wait through another brief rain delay on Saturday morning before competition got underway. Despite the inclement weather as well as the lingering effects of a broken hand that has sidelined Mege for much of the outdoor season, the senior hit 217'7" (66.33 meters) for the second longest throw of the event behind only Oklahoma State’s Nick Miller (234'11"/71.60 meters).  Hegerle followed up his Big Ten title performance two weeks ago with a mark of 211'11"(64.60 meters) on Saturday to claim the eighth longest throw of the day.

The Gophers duo has pushed each other throughout the outdoor season with Mege and Hegerle sharing some impressive career accomplishments including the last four Big Ten outdoor hammer throw championships, six combined All-America honors including four in the outdoor hammer throw, and Mege’s school record of 221-\'5"(67.49 meters) set earlier this season.  Fagbemi hop, skip, and jumped 51' 5.5"(15.68m) to finish tenth in the triple jump.  Simons ran 3:45.54 to finish sixth in his heat of the 1,500 and 11th fastest on the day.  The 4 by 400 relay of Jacob Capek, Goaner Deng, Cameron Boy, and Abda ran 3:06.1 to place eighth.

Those who did not advance to NCAAs: Logan Connors threw177'5"(54.09 meters) to finish 44th in the javelin and  Boy finished 20th in the 200 in 21:43.  Big Ten pole vault champion Zach Siegmeier cleared 17'4.5"(5.30 meters) for 19th in the prelims while Jack Szmanda vaulted  16'6.75"(5.05 meters) to finish 33rd. 

Minnesota Men’s NCAA Qualifiers
Harun Abda (800 meters – 3rd, 1:48.18)
Travis Burkstrand (800 meters – 6th, 1:48.46)
Wally Ellenson (high jump – T-7th, 7-01 ft., 2.16 meters)
Oladipo Fagbemi (triple jump – 10th, 51-05.50 ft., 15.68 meters)
Micah Hegerle (hammer throw – 8th, 211-11 ft., 64.60 meters)
Quentin Mege (hammer throw – 2nd, 217-07 ft., 66.33 meters)
John Simons (1,500 meters – 11th, 3:45.54)
Jacob Capek, Harun Abda, Goaner Deng, Cameron Boy (4x400 meter relay – 8th, 3:06.12)

For the women, Laura Docherty ran a personal-record time of 16:10 to finish fifth in her section and ninth overall in the 5K. Emily Betz finished 36th in the women's javelin(136'5"/41.57m), but did not advance to the NCAA Championships in Eugene.    Full results by event are HERE

On a lighter note, former Gopher and current Olympic champion in the javelin, Barbora Špotáková, 
 now has a new title, mom.  The story is HERE

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