For the first time ever in program history, the Minnesota Gophers men’s track and field team is the #1 ranked team in the nation by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). It’s the first time the Gophers have ever been in the Top-10 of the rankings, much less #1 in the nation.
Minnesota was given the #1 ranking as they currently have four athletes who are ranked #1 in the country in their events, and two more ranked second or third.
Kion Benjamin is ranked #1 in the nation in the 100 meters. He ran a time of 10.13 seconds at the Clyde Hart Classic in Waco, Texas last weekend to win the event, set a new collegiate personal best time, and tie for the best time in the country this season. He previously ran a 10.07 lifetime best in his native Trinadad & Tabago this summer. Benjamin is also ranked #9 in the nation in the 200-meter dash, at 20.70 seconds.
Devin Augustine is ranked #1 in the nation in the 200 meters. On Friday, Augustine broke his own 200-meter school record with a time of 20.49 seconds in Waco.
Mathew Wilkinson is ranked #1 in the nation in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He finished as the runner up at the Raleigh Relays last Thursday in a time of 8:29:35, but he was the top collegiate finisher and set the fastest time in the nation this season by a college runner.
Isaiah Schafer is ranked #1 in the nation in the shot put. He won the meet in Waco with a throe of 18.91 meters, but that was nearly a full meter short of his best throw this season. He opened the 2023 season at the Longhorn Invitational in Austin with the nation’s longest toss, a 19.79 meter launch.
Kostas Zaltos is ranked #2 in the country in the hammer throw. he won the meet in Waco last weekend with a career best throw of 73.36 meters. Not only is that the #2 throw in the country this season, but it also ranks as the #15 longest throw in the world in 2023.
Jak Urlacher rounds out the Gophers highly ranked athletes with a third place ranking in the pole vault. Urlacher’s vault of 18’ 0.5” came at the Longhorn Invitational early in March. He is just short of eight inches short of the highest vault in the nation this spring.
Minnesota also has top 20 times/distances in six other events so far this season.
The Gophers will send some athletes to the Hamline Invite this weekend in St. Paul with most of the squad taking a week off until the Jim Click Invite hosted by the University of Arizona on April 8th.