Fourteen members of the Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s track and field team and three members of the men’s team will be competing in the NCAA Championships this weekend at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. The Gopher women will try and improve on their best finish in program history—12th place in 2006. Individually the women will be looking for their first ever outdoor individual champion, while the men will be looking for their first outdoor individual champion since Adam Steele won the 400 meters in 2003.
The Gopher men will begin their quest on Wednesday night. Redshirt freshman Kieran McKeag will complete in the Hammer Throw Final beginning at 4PM central. He has the 22nd best throw in the nation this season.
The Gopher men’s best chance at a NCAA title also begins Wednesday night as redshirt junior Obsa Ali will run in the 3000m Steeplechase semifinals at 7:02PM Central. Ali earned Second Team All-America honors last year by finishing 14th in the event. He has improved this season and ran the fastest time in the NCAA this season at the West Preliminaries setting the school record in the process. Assuming he makes it to the final, it will be ran at 7:54PM on Friday.
Also on Friday redshirt senior Ryan Lockhard will be competing in the high jump final at 7:00PM. He finished in a 13-way tie for the top qualifying height at the West preliminaries.
The Gopher women had fourteen athletes advance to the NCAA Championships. They are:
Emma Spagnola, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles
Temi Ogunrinde, hammer throw
Nicolle Murphy, javelin
Madeline Strandemo, 3,000m steeplechase
Emerald Egwim, 400m
Kiley Sabin, shot put
Heta Tuuri, high jump
Agnes Esser, discus
Titania Markland, 400m
Ashley Ramacher, high jump
Nayoka Clunis, hammer throw
Ayesha Champagnie, heptathlon
The women will begin their quest on Thursday. The schedule of the events that Minnesota will participate is below:
6:30 p.m. CT - Hammer Throw final (Clunis, Ogunrinde)
6:32 p.m. CT - 3,000m Steeplechase semifinal (Strandemo)
7:02 p.m. CT - 100m Hurdles semifinal (Spagnola)
7:15 p.m. CT - Javelin final (Murphy)
7:30 p.m. CT - 400m semifinal (Egwim, Markland)
8:00 p.m. CT - 400m Hurdles semifinal (Spagnola)
8:10 p.m. CT - Shot Put final (Sabin)
9:18 p.m. CT - 4x400m relay semifinal (Egwim, Schow, Markland, Larson)
2:30 p.m. CT - Heptathlon 100m Hurdles (Champagnie)
3:30 p.m. CT - Heptathlon High Jump (Champagnie)
5:30 p.m. CT - Heptathlon Shot Put (Champagnie)
9:13 p.m. CT - Heptathlon 200m (Champagnie)
1:30 p.m. CT - Heptathlon Long Jump (Champagnie)
2:45 p.m. CT - Heptathlon Javelin (Champagnie)
5:00 p.m. CT - High Jump final (Ramacher, Tuuri)
5:05 p.m. CT - Discus final (Esser)
5:54 p.m. CT - 3,000m Steeplechase final (Strandemo - TBD)
6:12 p.m. CT - 100m Hurdles final (Spagnola - TBD)
6:32 p.m. CT - 400m final (Egwim, Markland - TBD)
6:57 p.m. CT - 400m Hurdles final (Spagnola - TBD)
7:13 p.m. CT - Heptathlon 800m (Champagnie)
7:57 p.m. CT - 4x400m relay final (Egwim, Schow, Markland, Larson - TBD)
All of the events can be streamed individually on ESPN3. Additionally ESPN2 will have coverage of the championships beginning at 6PM on Thursday. ESPN will have coverage beginning at 7:30 PM Friday and 5:30 on Saturday.
Good luck to the Gophers in their attempts to bring home some hardware to Dinkytown!