Another disappointing weekend carded by men’s golf

Brett Angel

Another week gone by, another tournament, and another finish in the middle of the pack for Minnesota’s men’s golf team.

The defending national champion Gophers, currently ranked 14th in the nation, finished eighth out of 15 teams at The Intercollegiate in Raleigh, N.C., last weekend.

It was the third consecutive tournament Minnesota has finished in the bottom half of the field after beginning the spring season with an impressive second-place showing in Puerto Rico.

Seniors Simon Nash and Will Schauman each finished tied for 15th with three-round totals of 214 (one over par) at the 6,782-yard Raleigh Country Club to lead Minnesota.

The Gophers finished 14 strokes behind tournament champion Southern Methodist but did get solid play across the board as all five Minnesota golfers shot no worse than 74 in three rounds.

“We were disappointed with the eighth-place finish, but felt pretty good about the consistency of the scores,” assistant coach Andrew Tank said. “It’s a sign that guys are on the doorstep – ready to break through and play well.”

Minnesota will next compete in the Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., on April 26-27.

The Fossum will be the Gophers’ final competition before the Big Ten championships on May 2-4 in Bloomington, Ind.

Steidl earns honor

Minnesota junior centerfielder Sam Steidl was named co-Big Ten baseball player of the week Monday. Steidl helped lead Minnesota to a four-game sweep of Penn State last weekend, which moved Minnesota to 10-0 in Big Ten play.

Steidl batted .533 with five runs and five RBIs during the four-game series against Penn State. He had the game-winning RBI in both games of the doubleheader sweep against the Lions on Saturday.

In the first game, Steidl had an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to break a 3-3 tie to give Minnesota a 4-3 victory. With the Gophers trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh of the second game, Steidl delivered a two-out double down the left field line that brought home two runs to give Minnesota a 2-1 win.

On the season, Steidl is batting .361 with 25 runs and 22 RBIs. Steidl is also second on the team in batting average in Big Ten play at .421 with 11 runs and 10 RBI. He is one of four Minnesota players batting over .400 in conference play. The team collectively has a .385 average in conference play.

The Gophers will be back in action tonight at 6 p.m. when they take on St. Cloud State at Siebert Field. Minnesota will also play UW-Milwaukee in a midweek game at Siebert Field on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Following the two midweek games, Minnesota will travel to Champaign, Ill., to take on Illinois in a four-game series. The Gophers will play Illinois on Friday at 6:35 p.m., Saturday at 4:35 p.m. in a doubleheader, and Sunday at 1 p.m.

ï Minnesota’s baseball team made its first appearance of the season in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top-30 at No. 24 on Monday. Minnesota moved to 20-11 overall and 10-0 in the Big Ten after a four-game sweep of Penn State last weekend at Siebert Field.

With the 10-0 record in conference play, the Gophers are off to their best start since 1993 when they jumped out to an 11-0 record in conference play. The 10-0 start is the second-best start in Big Ten play in school history.

Minnesota also got into the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Top-30 on the strength of five wins against teams ranked in the poll. The Gophers have won single games from No. 13 Notre Dame, No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Arizona, while claiming two of three in a series played March 7-9 against No. 3 Cal State Fullerton.

Men’s gymnastics

Minnesota senior gymnast Clay Strother finished fourth on pommel horse and fifth on floor exercise in the individual event finals at the 2003 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships, held at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia.

It was the first time since 2000 that a gymnast other than Strother won either the pommel horse or floor exercise title at the national championships. Strother was the two-time defending champion in both events. University of Oklahoma senior Josh Landis captured the floor exercise title with a 9.675 and was the pommel horse champion, posting a score of 9.687.

Strother, who placed sixth in the all-around finals Saturday with a score of 54.150, earned at least three All-America citations for the third straight year by finishing in the top six in the all-around, pommel horse and floor exercise finals. Strother closes out his career at Minnesota as an 11-time All-American. He was a three-time All-American in 2001 and 2003, and was a five-time All-American in 2002.

Women’s gymnastics

Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics team placed fifth at the 2003 North Central Regional Championships, which was hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The hometown Utes won the regional with a score of 196.975, followed by Stanford (196.125), Denver (195.350), California (194.300), Minnesota (193.125) and Brigham Young (192.400). The top two teams from the regional advance to the national championships in Lincoln, Neb., held April 24-26.

Junior Alicia Opsahl had the highest finish for the Gophers individually, placing second on floor exercise with a score of 9.875. Minnesota had two other competitors place in the top 10 on floor as sophomore Carolyn Yernberg finished fifth with a score of 9.875 and sophomore Nicole Yunker took seventh by posting a score of 9.850.

Senior Jenny Alf led the team on vault by finishing fifth with a mark of 9.850, while senior Kelly Watson tied for ninth on beam with a score 9.850.

Football

The University of Minnesota has moved the site of the Gophers’ annual spring football game from the Metrodome to the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex on Saturday at 10 a.m.

The spring game is free of charge and open to the public.

ï The University of Minnesota Alumni Association in conjunction with area service clubs will host three football luncheons with University football coach Glen Mason, beginning on Monday in the Johnson Room of the Mankato Holiday Inn Downtown from noon-1 p.m. The cost of the Mankato luncheon is $9.25, and tickets must be purchased by 9 p.m. Friday.

Mason will also appear in Stillwater, Minn., April 22, at Joseph’s Restaurant from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and will make another stop in Red Wing, Minn., at the St. James Hotel on April 24 from noon-1 p.m. The Red Wing luncheon is $10.

For more information on the luncheons, contact Betsi Sherman at (612) 624-7028.

ï The University will be handing out football yard signs to promote the 2003 Golden Gopher football season.

The yard signs can be picked up at any of the following locations: the Gophers’ spring football game Saturday at 10 a.m., at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex; the Gold Country Run on May 3, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; at the Mall of America’s “Gameday with the Gophers” on July 26 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; at the Minnesota State Fair at the University Display Building, Aug. 21-Sept. 1; at any University golf events or at the University Sports Marketing Office located at 159 Mariucci Arena, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., beginning Friday.

For more information or for additional pick-up locations of Gophers football yard signs, call the University Sports Marketing Office at 612-625-4879.