The Minnesota Golden Gophers track and field teams will be in Iowa City this weekend for the 2019 Big Ten Championships. The Gopher women will try and defend their 2018 Big Ten Championship which was the third outdoor and seventh overall in program history. The Gopher men will look to improve upon their seventh place finish a year ago.
The Gopher women’s toughest competition will come from Ohio State Buckeyes. They currently have the highest team score in the conference this season with the Gophers in second place. Redshirt senior Temi Ogunrinde returns to attempt to defend her Big Ten Championship in the hammer throw. Minnesota also returns two other second place finishers from 2018 in Kiley Sabin in the shot put and Ashley Ramacher in the high jump.
Minnesota will look to have a few athletes try and break through in 2019 as well. Freshman Amira Young has the second fastest time in the conference in the 100 meters this season. Bethany Hasz has the fastest time in the 5000 meters in the conference this season, with her sister Megan posting the third fastest time in the conference. Megan also has the third fastest 10,000 meter time as well. Rachel Schow has the third fastest 400 meter hurdles time, Hannah Morris has the second longest long jump, and Lorean Murray has the longest triple jump thus far.
The Gopher men will look to finish in the middle of the conference. They currently are ranked with the seventh best team score this season. Minnesota returns all of its great performers from 2018. Obsa Ali will try and defend his 3,000-meter steeplechase Big Ten Championship, and put him in a good place to try and defend is NCAA Championship in the same event in a few weeks. He so far has the second best time in the nation in the event this spring. Ali also finished in third place in the 5,000 meters last spring. Jonathan Webb returns to try and improve on his third place finish in the 400 meters. Teddy Frid will also try and improve on a third place finish in the decathalon.
The Gophers will try and pick up some points in the throwing events. Jonathan Tharaldsen qualified for the NCAA indoor championships in the shot put, and will try and improve on his mark this weekend. Additionally The Gophers have two of the top throwers in the hammer throw with Kieran McKeag and Jon Nerdal.
The events will begin on Friday at Noon with the Men’s Hammer throw and the initial events of the decathalon and heptathalon. All of the Big Ten Championships can be streamed on FloTrack.com for a fee, and a condensed broadcast of the Championships will air on BTN at 6 PM on Wednesday.