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Gopher Sports: Gophers in the US Track and Field Olympic Trials

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Nine current or former Gophers will try and earn a spot to Toyko

Track & Field: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue to near closer to the 2021 Olympic Games in Toyko which are just over a month away, we continue to see more and more US Olympic trials to determine who will wear the red, white, and blue in Japan. We know Gable Steveson is in, and we think that former Minnesota Gophers swimmer Bowe Becker is in as well on a US relay team:

Now we turn our attention to the track and head west to Tracktown USA, Eugene Oregon for the start of the US Track and Field Trials that kick off Friday. The trails will run for 10 days ending a week from Sunday, and in those 10 days there will be nine current or former Gophers who will try and earn a spot in Toyko.

Minnesota has had success in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in recent years and it shows with four Gophers trying to earn a spot on the US team. On the men’s side the event will feature Gopher senior Alec Basten who earned his spot in the trials just over a week ago with a second place finish at the NCAA Championships with a time of 8:29:03, ahead of the required 8:30 cut time. Joining Basten will be Minnesota record holder and 2018 NCAA Champion Obsa Ali.

On the women’s side Gopher senior Abby-Kohut Jackson earned a trials berth with her 9:41:20 time that set s Gophers record in the NCAA Semifinals in May. Kohut-Jackson would go on and finish in 11th place at the NCAA Championships. Joining her is former Gopher Madeline Strandemo who’s record Kohut-Jackson broke this season.

A pair of older Gopher alums will compete in the 1,500 meter events. Ben Blankenship set the Gopher record in the event as a senior in 2010. Heather Kamf set the Gopher record in the 1,500 meters way back in 2007—a record that has now been broken twice, and she will compete in the 1,500 meters in Eugene. A third Gopher alum, Hassan Mead will run in the 5,000 meters next week. Mead still holds Gopher program records in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters that he set in 2009 and 2012.

Minnesota alum Sean Donnelly will compete in the hammer throw. He set the Gopher record in 2016 at 74.35 meters, a record Minnesota freshman Kostas Zaltos nearly broke en route to finishing third in the NCAA Championships this spring.

Finally, 2020 Gopher grad Sane Streich who grad transfered and competed for Lipscomb in 2021 will run in the men’s 800 meters.

Streich will be one of three athletes with Gophers connections who will begin their trials on Friday. A full schedule of the events with Gophers represented is below via gophersports.com :

Friday, June 18

2:05 p.m. CT - Men’s hammer throw (Qualifying): Sean Donnelly

6:03 p.m. CT - Women’s 1,500 meters (First Round): Heather Kampf

7:26 p.m. CT - Men’s 800 meters (First Round): Shane Streich

Saturday, June 19

8:40 p.m. CT - Women’s 1,500 meters (Semifinals): TBD

9:04 p.m. CT - Men’s 800 meters (Semifinals): TBD

Sunday, June 20

6:25 p.m. CT - Men’s hammer throw (Final): TBD

8:35 p.m. CT - Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (First Round): Abby Kohut-Jackson, Madeline Strandemo

Monday, June 21

6:29 p.m. CT - Men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (First Round): Alec Basten, Obsa Ali

7:05 p.m. CT - Women’s 1,500 meters (Final): TBD

7:28 p.m. CT - Men’s 800 meters (Final): TBD

Thursday, June 24

8:04 p.m. CT - Men’s 1,500 meters (First Round): Ben Blankenship

10:04 p.m. CT - Men’s 5,000 meters (First Round): Hassan Mead

10:47 p.m. CT - Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (Final): TBD

Friday, June 25

6:05 p.m. CT - Men’s 1,500 meters (Semifinals): TBD

6:42 p.m. CT - Men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase (Final): TBD

Sunday, June 27

6:30 p.m. CT - Men’s 5,000 meters (Final): TBD

7:10 p.m. CT - Men’s 1,500 meters (Final): TBD

Evening coverage of the trials will air live either on NBCSN or NBC.