Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Four Bigten Champs for the Gophers

The Gophers highlight the weekend with four Big ten champs. To start things off on Friday night Chris Rombough won the 10,000 meters out kicking two Badgers over the last 300 meters. Ibrahim Kibia ran a PR of 10.29 to take the 100m title and claim a school record in the event. Hans Storvick lead wire to wire on a windy day to take the 800 title in a time of 1:50.06. To finish off the gophers scoring Hassan Mead ran away from the field with a 50 meter victory in the 5,000 meters. There were many notable performances, but two others that stand out are RJ McGinnis's 7290 points scored in the Decathlon good enough for 3rd place and a 26th nationally ranked performance. The other notable performance comes from the entire pole vaulting crew who scored 20 points highlighted by Ben Peterson and Joe Plencner’s 17' 3” vaults which placed then 2nd and 3rd respectively. With all but two points of the Gophers 84 returning next season the Gophers are setting them selves up for a team title hunt in the years to come.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gophers Represent well at Stanford and Iowa

As the Gophers near the championship portion of the season the Minnesota distance guys start to turn up the heat. Hassan Mead and Chris Rombough went one, two in the second heat of the 5000m at the Cardinal Invite. After a less than optimal pace through two miles Hassan went to the lead and broke away from the field with only his teammate Chris Rombough able to follow. With a strong last three laps Hassan ran the 3rd fastest 5k in school history with a time of 13:49.35, and Chris Rombough the 5th fastest with a 13:51.71. In the 3rd section of the 5000m Mike Torchia ran with similar tactics. After a less than ideal pace in the first two miles he broke away from the pack, but wasn't able to maintain the pace over the last 200m and finished less than a second out of first place with a time of 14:09.88, which is good enough for a regional qualifier. Other notable finishes were Ben Puhl in the steeple and Forrest Tahdooahnippah in the 5000 who set season bests with times of 9:02.53 and 14:21.03. At the Iowa Twilight a number of Gophers claimed first place honors. Aaron Studt kept his winning streak going in the shot put, Brock Spandl cleared 16'6 3/4 for a regional mark in the pole vault, Eddie Kibira took the title in the 1500, Ben Kampf ran a personal best in the steeple with a 9:21 in windy conditions and unattached gopher freshmen Sean Olson won the 5000 with a time of 14:41. Next for the squad is a tune up meet at home on May 9th and then the Big Tem Championships the following week.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ibs and Studt Victorious at Drake

Both Ibrahim Kibia and Aaron Studt left Drake relays with a winning Drake relay flag in hand. Neither set personal records but with cool conditions both had respectable marks with Studt's 60'8" winning put and Ibrahim's 10.44 100 dash time. Other notable performances came from the 4x1600m team of David VanOrsdel, Hassan Mead, Eddie Kibira and Chris Rombough. The team placed 3rd overall with Rombough and Mead having the fastest splits of the meet with times of 4:08 and 4:09 in blustery conditions. Next for the Gophers is the Iowa Twilight and the Cardinal Invite at Stanford for a number of the distance runners.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Studt and Storvick set Personal Bests as Gophers Prepare for Big Meets Ahead

On a cool wet Friday evening at St. Thomas sophomore Aaorn Studt tossed a huge personal best in the shot put with a mark of 62'7 1/2. His throw puts him 3rd on the all time gopher list, gives him a top 10 national performance and gives him a strong Olympic Trials B qualifying mark. Going back a week to the Sun Angel meet in Tempe Arizona, Hans Storvick ran a personal best and a regional qualifying time of 1:49.92 in the 800m dash. The Sun Angel saw first place finishes among college runners from Gophers Ibrahim Kabia in the 100m dash and Mike Torchia and Forrest Tahdooahnippah who went one, two in the 5000 meters. Next up for the gophers are the Drake Relays starting on April 24th.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gophers Make Progress at Pepsi Invite

Despite cooler than normal conditions at the Oregon Pepsi Invite the Gophers still managed to make progress and had a number of personal bests and regional qualifying marks. In the 100 dash Ibrahim Kabia took the win and ran a personal best of 10.39. In the 5000 Hassan Mead pushed the pace and broke the pack down to just he and AJ Acosta from Oregon. With 100 meters to go the two were neck and neck and the lean went to AJ. Hassan still managed a 60 second last quarter and a time of 13:57.8. Chris Rombough also ran a very strong race and managed 3rd place with a pr and regional qualifying time of 14:07.3. Ibrahim, Hassan and Chris all made the Gopher top 10 lists in their events. Other notable performances came in the 800 where Hans Storvick just missed a regional mark, but managed a 2nd place finish. The race was tactical as the pack went through the 400 in just over 55 seconds. Hans came back in a negative split and ran 1:50.52 with freshmen David Pachuta running a personal best of 1:52.24. In the field events wet surfaces took a bit off the marks, but Raymond Blackledge managed 3rd place in the triple jump with a leap of 48’ 6 inches. Up next for the squad is the Sun Angel Invite at Arizona State on April 12th.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hoplin makes top 10 list on first throw as a Gopher!

On just his first javelin throw of his college career Paul Hoplin puts himself 5th on the all time Gopher performance list. His throw of 214'9 gives Paul a regional qualifying mark and chance to qualify for the national meet come May.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gophers Enjoy Sunny South Carolina and Score 5 Regional Qualifiers in the Field Events

The University of Minnesota Track and Field team spent spring break in sunny South Carolina at Clemson University. The weather was great and the team got in some great training. Best of all there were 5 regional qualifying marks in the field events by the Gophers. Andy Bastian threw 192’ 2 in the Hammer, Freshmen David Gierut vaulted 16’ 6.75, Freshmen Paul Hoplin threw 214’ 9 in the Javelin and Sophomore Aaron Studt qualified in both the Hammer (189’ 4) and the Shot with a throw of 56’ 5.75. The next stop for the team is Eugene Oregon for the Pepsi Invite on April 5th.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ibrahim Kabia Punches His Ticket for Nationals

Junior Ibrahim Kabia qualified for the NCAA Indoor national meet with his season best of 6.67 in the 60 dash, which he ran at the Big 10 Championships on March 2. Kabia finished 5th at last years indoor NCAA Championships and will be looking to improve his place from a year ago this coming weekend in Fayetteville Arkansas.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Young Talent Shines at Big 10 Indoor Championships

The future looks bright for the Gopher track and field team as they had numerous outstanding performances from their underclassmen. Out of the 13 gopher athletes who scored in individual events, 3 were freshmen and 9 were sophomores. Ben Peterson lead the way with a pr and a 1st place finish, vaulting 17'1.75. Freshmen Hassan Mead had double duty and more than lived up to expectations. In two loaded fields Hassan placed 3rd in the 3k with a time of 8:11.7 just one second out of first place, then came back in the 5k on Sunday in a tactical contest and took 2nd place with a time of 14.26. Freshmen Brock Spandl had a sensational weekend, with perhaps the top field event double of the meet. On Saturday Brock managed a 3rd place finish in the pole vault just after completing day one in the heptathlon. On day two the young gopher moved up in the heptathlon scores and finished with 5283 points good enough for 4th place honors.
Other notable performances came from Ibrahim Kabia who finished 2nd in the 60 dash with a time of 6.67. In the throwing circle second year man Aaron Studt placed 6th in the shot put and 5th in the weight throw. Finally to round out the scoring a trio of sophomores Matt Fisher, Logan Stroman and Joe Plencner placed 6th, 7th and 8th in the high jump, 600m dash and pole vault.

Distance Squad Scores Three in 5k

Hassan lead a youthful distance squad, sophomore Chris Rombough anchored the 2nd place DMR, and then came back in the 5k to place 6th. Teammate Mike Torchia was right on Chris’s heals to place 7th and Forrest Tahdooahnippah took 11th. Freshmen half miler David Pachuta helped the DMR place 2nd and finished 7th in the open 800m.

Gophers Show Depth in Heptathlon

Although Brock placed 4th in the Heptathlon he was definitely not alone. Sophomores RJ McGinnis and David Meissner both scored points for the Gophers placing 5th and 8th with Freshmen Joey Schwecke just missing the podium with an 11th place finish.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Getting to Know Hassan Mead

Hassan Mead is only a freshmen at the University of Minnesota, but has already established himself as one of the top distance runners in the Big 10. This past fall Hassan took runner up honors in both the Big 10 Conference and MW Regional cross country championships and earned himself All-American honors at the NCAA Championships. On the track he is just getting started but posted an 8:01 3k at Washington to shatter the Freshmen record by more than 12 seconds.

Question: Your best performance thus far in your career?
Answer: It’s a tie between Regional Cross Country Championships and Big Ten Cross Country Championships.

Question: Is there a particular performance or moment that you consider a turning point in your running?
Answer: When I beat Elliot Heath at Fairbault Invite, breaking 15:00 for the first time and the Foot Locker Midwest Regional.

Question: If you could change one thing about your collegiate career up until this point what would it be?
Answer: No, everything always seems to work out some how. I wouldn’t change anything.

Question: The best looking girl in the sport of track and field?
Answer: There’s a couple of em. Kara Goucher, Mel Lawrence, Marian Jones (before steroids).

Question: Who do you think would win in an arm wrestling contest Hassan or Coach Plasencia?
Answer: Coach would win because he’s been on the arm crank for the last few weeks.

Question: In your short yet lustrous career in running is there any specific race that you feel was your best effort?
Answer: Big Ten Cross Country meet. I gave so much that I died in the end.

Question: Is there anything specific that you feel has helped you perform well year in and year out?
Answer: Ladies! Just kidding, just training and staying healthy.

Question: Have you ever had a nickname? If so what is it?
Answer: Yes, I’ve had a couple. The first one was Hassy. One time I had a shirt that said “Big Daddy” on it so some people call me that.

Question: If you could travel to any place in the world where would it be?
Answer: Mecca, in Saudi Arabia or Dubai.

Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
Answer: Hands down, Angelina!!!!!!

Question: Chocolate vs Vanilla ice cream?
Answer: Vanilla

Question: What is your favorite food?
Answer: My favorite food is some lamb meat with beef and pasta.

Question: What is the biggest difference between college and high school?
Answer: More freedom, more school work, more responsibilities and your parents aren’t there to make you do stuff.

Question: What are you planning on majoring in?
Answer: Kinesiology

Question: When did you start running? What made you make that choice?
Answer: 6th grade, just to hang out with people after school. I started seriously training when I was a junior in high school.

Question: Did you play any other sports in high school? What were they?
Answer: I grew up playing soccer. I played basketball until I was a junior until I realized my dreams of going to NBA were crushed because I wasn’t going to get any bigger.

Question: What was your favorite tv show growing up?
Answer: I didn’t have a tv until I was 12 but once I did, I watched Dragon Tails with my younger sister everyday. I love that theme song! That’s how I learned English. I also watched Sister

Question: If you could improve in one area of your running, what would it be?
Answer: Starting, I’m so slow out of the start.

Question: What is your favorite movie?
Answer: Remember The Titans

Question: If you could meet any person who would it be and why?
Answer: If I could meet anyone I would meet Mohammad Ali because he is the greatest athlete to ever exist and he is a great person.

Question: Have you ever gotten stitches? How and how many?
Answer: Yeah 8 stitches in my head, from falling down a mountain, I flipped like 10 times. I was trying to go down a trail but I walked off of it and fell.

Question: Do you have any advice for upcoming runners?
Answer: Have patience.
(Interviewer- Sean Olson)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gophers prepare for Big 10 competition at Snowshoe

The Snowshoe Invite was highlighted by a number of excellent performances. Ibrahim Kabia put down a solid time in the 60m with a season best of 6.73. Chris Rombough and Eddie Kibira ran 4:06.8 and 4:09.3 respectively in the mile for a one, two finish. Pole vaulter Ben Peterson set a PR and a national provisional mark at 17 feet(5.20m). Finally in the throws circle Aaron Studt, Jerry Netland and Peter Miller had season best marks in the shot put with throws of 17.34m, 17.04m and 16.42m. Check the featured video sidebar for performance clips.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cross Country Team Places 8th at 2007 NCAA Championships

The Golden Gophers placed 8th at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute Indiana on November 19th. The University of Minnesota had three All-Americans; Junior Chris Rombough, Freshmen Hassan Mead and Senior Forrest Tahdooahnippah.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Joe Plencner's 16'10 Vault

Torchia and Mead Set School Records

On February 16th, 2008 Sophomore Mike Torchia broke the school record for the indoor 5000 meters with a time of 14:06.64. Hassan Mead added a record setting time at the Husky Classic with a freshmen record time of 8:01.08 in the 3000 meters. Hassan's time was less than a second off the overall school record. Other top 10 all time performances came from Sophomore Chris Rombough who's 3000m time of 8:14.62 puts him 9th on the all time list, and Forrest Tahdooahnippah's 5000m time of 14:29.27 puts him 8th on the all time indoor list.