Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Big Ten Athletes of the Week

The weekly Big Ten awards keep rolling in! This week, Chris Rombough and RJ McGinnis were honored after their performances at the Jack Johnson at home this weekend. Rombough broke the 3k school record, and RJ had a huge PR in the hep. Both marks are currently the top in the nation!

The Gophers have some impressive marks on the NCAA list at this early stage in the season. Here are the current Gophers on the list:

Chris Rombough - ranked #1 in the 3,000m

RJ McGinnis - ranked #1 in the heptathlon

Ibes Kabia - ranked #2 in the 60m

Hassan Mead - ranked #4 in the 3,000m

Ben Peterson - ranked #4 in the pole vault

Brock Spandl - ranked #4 in the heptathlon

Aaron Studt - ranked #18 in the weight throw

Monday, January 26, 2009

Five NCAA Provo's and a New School Record!

Congrats to Chris Rombough! Chris ran 8:00.66 for 3k this weekend, breaking Will McComb's recrord of 8:00.46 (which Will ran on an oversized track). With the conversion Chris gets the nod for the new school record and an NCAA provo-time. Also hitting the provo-mark was Hassan Mead, who was just off Chris's pace, finishing in 8:04.80.

Other NCAA provisional performances included RJ and Brock in the multi-event. Both hit PR's and both topped the NCAA standard of 5,300... Brock with his 5,319 and RJ with his 5,511. Joey also had a nice showing with a big PR of 5,139.

Studt is rounding into form with his 64'3 toss in the weight. The mark is an NCAA provo and just below Aaron's best toss from last years Big Ten Championship meet. Trey Davis and Andy Bastian both had solid openers in the weight... Tyler Kleinhuizen had an indoor PR in the shot.

The team will be heading to Nebraska for the Adidas Classic, a scored meet against some very solid teams this weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Ten Athlete of the Week

For the second week in a row a Gopher was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week.

Ibes Kabia was given the honor after his 6.64 performance (video posted below). The race was his first of the season and just 0.o1 off the NCAA auto and his lifetime best of 6.63. Pretty good start to the season! Congrats Ibes!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Minnesota Open

The Gophers were back at it on Saturday with some very exciting early season performances. The most notable performances came in the 60-meter, the mile, and the high jump.

'Ibes' Kabia opened up his senior campaign in fine style with a smooth 6.64 in his final of the 60-meter. The time is an NCAA provisional mark, and just 0.01 shy of the automatic 6.63.

The mile crew of Rombough, Hassan and Hans all looked strong, with Rombough hiting a new indoor PR with his 4:05.61 for the win. That mark is only 0.8 shy of the NCAA provisional standard.

For the second week in a row our high jumpers are looking solid. Fisher hit a new PR of 7'1 for the win, making this his second week over 7'.

Brad Parent and the multi-event crew of RJ, Joey and Jack all cleared 6-4.75. All the mult-eventers are looking ready to open up big in the first 'hep' of the year next weekend. In other high jump news, RJ has bid farewell to the scissor-kick, successfully laying out for his new PR.

Other wins on the day included Addison and Ray in the long and triple... Stroman in the 400m... Puhl in the 3k, Plencner in the vault, the 4x4, and Kevin Bradley in the 600m competing unattached.

A few 'bigger' schools will join us next week for the Jack Johnson Classic. Iowa, NDSU, SDSU and Augustana are all on tap for a good early season test at the fieldhouse.

Joe's Vault Awards

Joe Plencner took the win in the vault Saturday with a jump of 16'5. That is only part of the story. After his performance, I have decided to award Joe with two new awards.

Award #1:
'Scariest Moment'

Award #2:
'Highest Pole Rocket'

To explain, here is video of his attempt at 16'9.

... in case you're wondering, the pole did hit the ceiling. We'll have to check with Roy on the complete history of the fieldhouse, but this is believed to be a first!

The pole hit hard, but luckily remained in the building. Good thing. A hole in the roof would have been costly to repair and made for quite a draft. In case you are more worried about Joe than the ceiling, the most recent reports say he took a major 'smack' on the elbow, but appears to be ok.

Also included in the crazy day over in the vault was Alicia Rue's clearance of 14'4 - currently the top women's vault in the NCAA. Sorry - don't have a video, but if anyone does I'd be happy to post it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Big Ten Athlete of the Week

After his stellar performance in the vault this past Saturday, the Big Ten has named Ben Peterson the Field Event Athlete of the Week. He shares the award with high jumper Ryan Fritz of Penn State, who cleared 7-1.75.
Congrats Ben!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Kicking off the Rust

Welcome to the new University of Minnesota Men's Track and Field Blog!

The 2009 season got underway on Saturday at the fieldhouse with the Northwest open. The guys have been back at it for a week now, with their normal early return for 'break' training. So most opened their season in a limited fashion, if they even opened at all.

The first week back for training went well... the main focus in all event groups was to burn off some of the excess pie consumption that took place over the holiday. Life is pretty good for a Gopher track athlete training over break... team meals, per-diem, naps, and no homework.

Some major highlights from the meet included Ben Peterson opening his season in the vault in a major way. His 5.30m jump (17-4.50) was good enough for the win and a NCAA provisional performance. Ben went on to take a very good attempt at 17-8 just brushing it off. The video of his 17-4 jump is below. According to the NCAA ranking - his mark is one of only 3 NCAA provo-marks so far this year, and ranks as the second highest jump in the nation at this early stage of the season.

Matt Fisher (competing unattached) opened up strong with a 2.14m jump (7-0.25). Logan Stroman snagged a win in the 400m for a solid opener and the multi-event and hurdles crew had strong openers with many PR's in the prelims and finals of the 60m hurdles.

In the mid-distance and distance events, the 800m crew of Andy Richardson, Ben Blankenship and Travis Burkstrand pounded out a good opener with Richardson taking it down with a solid 1:53.65. Nick Hutton gets the honorable mention, looking very strong through 750 meters before catching a foot on the rail.

Joe Macfarland and Rick Furseth each took down their respective mile and 3k races.

Its good to be able to point to some solid openers this early in the season... we'll keep it rolling with the Minnesota Open this Saturday again at the Fieldhouse.