Two Gophers field athletes, men's pole vaulter Zach Siegmeier and women's hammer thrower Devin Stanford, turned in All-America performances on the first day of the NCAA Division I outdoor track and field championships on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.
Siegmeier, the Big Ten pole vault champion the past two years, finished in a tie for fifth place with a mark of 18 feet, ½ inch to earn first-team honors. The senior from Lakewood, Ill., is the first Gophers outdoor All-America in the pole vault since 1998, and he had the best finish by a Gopher in the pole vault since 1993.
"Zach certainly got us off to a great start at the NCAA championships today, and we couldn't be happier to see him close out his career at Minnesota with such a prestigious honor as a first-team All-American," coach Steve Plasencia said. "There were a lot of great competitors in the pole vault, and like he's done all season for us, Zach really stepped up and set the tone for us for the rest of the weekend."
Stanford, a junior from Milwaukee, finished 15th to earn second-team honors. On her first attempt of the day, she threw 198 feet, 3 inches, setting a personal best by nearly 2 feet. It's also the second-best mark in Gophers history.
Stanford was the first Gophers hammer thrower to compete on the national stage since 2007.