Dienhart’s assistant to interview at Texas Tech

Tim Klobuchar

Jeff Schemmel, associate men’s athletics director, is one of two finalists for the Texas Tech athletics director job.
Schemmel said he will travel to Lubbock, Texas, within the next two weeks for an interview. He said Texas Tech expects to name a new athletics director a week or two after that.
“I’m not anxious to leave Minnesota,” Schemmel said. “I’ve got the best No. 2 job in the country with the best boss (men’s athletics director Mark Dienhart). But I owe it to my family and my career to check it out.”
The other finalist is Gerald Myers, former Tech men’s basketball coach and current interim athletics director.
Tennis
The Gophers men’s and women’s tennis teams begin their respective spring seasons this weekend after a two-month break.
The women’s team, coming off it’s highest-ever finish in the Big Ten (a tie for third), hosts Vanderbilt tonight at the 98th Street Racquet Club in Bloomington.
Minnesota, No. 37 in the preseason Rolex Collegiate Rankings, is led by freshman Nora Sauska. The Budapest, Hungary, native went 10-1 during the fall season and won three tournament titles. Sauska’s 10 consecutive wins put her three behind Lisa Martin’s school record, set in 1983-84.
Helen Wang, a freshman from Eagan, and sophomore Alice Rangsithienchai each had seven wins in the fall season.
The men’s team opens with two home matches this weekend. The No. 42 Gophers play Marquette tonight at the Burnsville Racquet Club, and move to 98th Street on Sunday afternoon to host No. 50 Arizona State.
Minnesota had its run of four consecutive Big Ten championships snapped by Michigan last spring, but the Gophers still had a successful postseason. They won the Region IV championship, advancing to the 16-team NCAA tournament.
Sophomore Tom Chicoine led Minnesota in singles victories during the fall season, going 10-2. Senior captain Ben Gabler went 8-5.
Track and Field
The Gophers men’s track and field team travels to Madison, Wis., on Saturday for the Badger Track Classic. The women’s team is idle.
Both teams are in action at the University Fieldhouse on Jan. 25. The men host the Minnesota Invite; the women host the Nike Invitational.
Baseball
The Gophers baseball team begins practice for the 1997 season Sunday morning.
Minnesota has two weeks of practice before its annual pro-alumni game on Feb. 3 at the Metrodome. The Gophers’ first regular season game is Feb. 14 at No. 28 South Alabama.
The Gophers also host the annual Hormel Foods Baseball Classic on Feb. 28-March 2. The Classic, which includes No. 2 UCLA, No. 31 Washington, and Nebraska, marks the beginning of 17 straight home games.
Minnesota, 30-26 overall and 15-12 in the Big Ten last year, finished fifth in the conference and missed the Big Ten tournament for the first time since 1989.
Swimming and Diving
The No. 9 Gophers women’s swimming and diving team and the No. 10 Gophers men’s team will compete on Saturday against Northwestern at the Norris Aquatic Center in Evanston, Ill.
Both Minnesota squads are undefeated on the season. The women are 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten, and the men are 6-0 and 4-0.
The No. 14 Wildcats women are 5-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten and have 15 swimmers with top 10 conference times in the 14 individual events.
“We have never beat Northwestern at Northwestern,” Coach Jean Freeman said. “That’s one thing we want to do. We should be able to (win), but it’s just never been done.”
Five of the 15 losses that the Gophers have suffered in the past 12 years have come at the hands of Northwestern in Evanston.
The Gophers men should have a much easier task this weekend at unranked Northwestern.
“I think everyone’s really looking forward to the last two months of the season,” junior swimmer Jeremy Rients said. “This is when everything starts to come together and where everything counts. We’re ready.”
— Ryan Schuster