Gophers battle through the elements at Tennessee Relays


Athletics | 09/04/2022 20:41:00

MINNEAPOLIS– The University of Minnesota track team battled the elements in the 54th annual Tennessee Relays, earning a total of seven wins while setting up a pair of top 10s in the program.

The three-day competition began Thursday with the Gophers competing in the hammer throw. Kostas Zaltos finished as the competition’s top collegiate finisher with a mark of 69.31m (227-4) to edge competitors from southeast Missouri, Tennessee, eastern Michigan and Georgia who had all marks beyond 60 yards. Jake Kubiatowicz and Kaleb Siekmeier also reached the final of the event with marks over 62 meters.

Friday’s action in Knoxville saw rough weather with high winds, cold temperatures and a mix of precipitation. The Volunteers organized his meeting with a “Power Hour” as the main attraction. The events each had a round of the competition’s top competitors in various events.

Minnesota saw 13 in Power Hour events, picking up three wins across the hour and a half of action. Amira Young managed to sweep his two events, the 100m and 200m with times of 11.35 (+4.5 wind) and 23.76 (+2.6 wind), respectively. Abigail Schaaffe clocked 59.75 for the Gophers’ third victory with Val Larson finishing second just 0.12 seconds behind Schaaffe.

Other notable performances during Power Hour included Kion Benjamin in the men’s 100m, finishing second at 10.62 (+2.9 wind). Devia Brown was third in the shot put at 16.27 (53-4 1/2), Odell Frie finished fourth in the 100m at 11.50 (+4.5 wind), Jayla Campbell finished third in the 400m at 55.27 and Erin Reydy finished fourth in the 1500m in 4:26.36.

Outside of Power Hour, the Golden Gophers have won two other events at Rocky Top. Shelby Franck crushed the discus field by throwing a mark of 56.35m (184-10), almost eight meters further than the runner-up from Louisville. In its outdoor season opening Taylor Kreitinger won the 3000m steeplechase in 11:01.36.

Putting their names in Minnesota’s top 10 was Lauren Hansen and Akilah Lewis at 100m. Hansen clocked 11.70 to push her name to No.9 while Lewis’ time of 11.74 tied it with the previous No.10. Maja Maunsbach clocked a top 10 in the 100m hurdles at 13.81, but blistering 5.6 mph winds kept him out of the official record books.

Minnesota’s Saturday ended with a pair of relay victories in the 4x100m and 4x400m. Campbell, Janielle JosephsLarson and Schaaffe took care of business in the mile relay in a time of 3:38.64 while Frye’s 4x100m team, Akilah Lewis, Lauren Hansen and Young finished in 45.63.

The brown and gold will be split next week between the Tomcat Twilight meet in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Mt. Sac relays in Torrance, California. These meetings will take place from April 13 to 16.

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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