Gophers destroy records in Tempe, Raleigh

Athletics | 26/03/2022 13:33:00

MINNEAPOLIS– The University of Minnesota athletics program saw 12 different programs place in the top 10 and scores were posted at the Raleigh Relays and ASU Invitational, with the weekend highlight being a school record beaten by the men’s 4x100m relay. The squad of Jaydon Antoine, Kion Benjamin, Finn Schirmer and Aaron Westmoreland broke the record that stood for five years.

several of his student-athletes opened their outdoor campaigns at the Black and Gold Invite in Orlando, Florida at the University of Central Florida. Minnesota saw four individuals pick up wins during the two-day encounter with at Shelby Frank with the discus throw being the highlight of the weekend, it became the No. 1 mark in the Big Ten and the No. 2 mark in the NCAA.

The weekend started with Owen Hoft setting a new life best in the 1500m at 3:42.32 Thursday at the Raleigh Relays. The time shaved a tenth of a second off his previous time, making him the seventh fastest Gopher to ever run the event.

The next day Kostas Zaltos had fun with a mark of 70.96m (232-9) in the hammer throw. Zaltos’ mark was quite good for an ASU Invitational finalist and was the highest mark by a collegiate athlete. The brand is Zaltos’ best of the season and currently ranks it second in the country and among the top 40 brands in the world in 2022. Behind Zaltos was Jake Kubiatowicz who threw a lifetime best 64.99m (213-2) to finish third while Kaleb Siekmeier achieved a personal best in the event at 62.75m (205-10).

Later Nyalaam Jok and Tess Keyzers posted solid ratings in their respective events. Jok was second in the high jump with a leap of 1.76m (5-9 1/4) while Keyzers was fourth in the hammer throw with a mark of 60.26m (197-8).

Back in Raleigh, the Gophers continued to push the program’s top-10 list, this time coming from Matt WIlkinson in the 3,000m steeplechase. The freshman Gopher clocked the fourth fastest time in school history to win the Raleigh relays, clocking 8:39.70, the best time in the nation. Alec Bastien finished just behind Wilkinson, as runner-up with a time of 8:40.90.

Anastasia Korzenowski had fun in Raleigh with a time of 4:20.92 in the 1500m to place in the top 10 of the program of the event. Korzenowski’s time ties her to Andrea Grove (1996) on the list.

In Tempe, the Golden Gophers were able to get another great performance from Shelby Franck in the disc. The runner-up threw 57.31m (188-0) to win the event and placed second in the nation in the event and first among Big Ten pitchers. Frank’s mark also becomes the best of his life and brings it closer to the school record held by Agness Esser (57.98m, 190-3) which was released in 2018.

Friday’s track action ended with Amira Young claiming another 200m victory. Competing against a field of 19 Power 5 student-athletes, Young finished on top with a winning time of 23.42. The final event in the campaign was the women’s pole vault, an event that saw Lexy Shepherd broke a new outdoor personal best of 4.10m (13-5 1/4) to finish second in the event.

Saturday saw the Gophers continue their assault on the athletics record books. Tiera Robinson Jones landed a pair of top 10 program marks in the triple jump and 4x100m relay. Her 12.77m (41-10 3/4) is in the top 10 in the country and propelled her to fifth in program history. The team of Odell FrieRobinson Jones, Lauren Hansen and Amira Young started the track action in style with a 44.58, the No. 4 time in school history and a top-15 time in the nation so far this season.

Minutes later, the Golden Gophers saw their only school record broken in the men’s 4x100m relay. The team of Jaydon Antoine, Kion Benjamin, Finn Schirmer and Aaron Westmoreland clocked 39.62 to finish second in Tempe and are one of 11 teams nationwide this season to complete the event in under 40 seconds this season.

Later Saturday, the Minnesota 400m crew saw three different top 10s fall. The women had Janielle Josephs and Jayla Campbell finished first and second in the meet with Josephs’ time the third fastest in program history while Campbell is Minnesota’s seventh fastest. Colby Jennings tied the women with a stellar performance in the 400m clocking 46.54, placing him 9th in the Gophers’ all-time top 10 in his first outdoor action this season.

Minnesota saw more wins come out of the 100m event. Odell Frie posted the third-fastest time in program history to win the event in 11.43, edging out his teammate Amira Young who finished second overall at 11.50. Kion Benjamin won on the men’s side in 10.38, edging Arizona’s Travion White-Austin by 0.01 with Westmoreland finishing in 10.55.

Other victories on Saturday included the 4x400m relay (Campbell, Josephs, Larson, Schaaffe, 3:35.01), Mike Herauf (Pole Vault – 5.20m), Jaydon Antoine (long jump, 7.40 m) and Hannah Morris (Long jump, 5.93m).

Next week, the Golden Gophers return to Minnesota for action at the Hamline Invite in St. Paul. This match will be played on April 2.

For more information on Gophers, keep checking out Follow the University of Minnesota Cross Country and Track and Field team on Twitter and Instagram (@GopherCCTF) and on Facebook, so you don’t miss any content during the season.

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