NCAA update: Kerr 95th in first round, Rantanen 10th

Kristian Pope

Firing a 6-over-par 78, Minnesota’s Rob Kerr was in a tie for 95th place on Wednesday after the first round of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championships in Chattanooga, Tenn.
“The scores are kind of high, so I’m not out of it,” said Kerr, the only Gopher to qualify for NCAA finals. “(My score) didn’t really show how well I played.”
Kerr said he started slow on Wednesday but parred the second through eighth holes.
Arizona State’s Pat Perez led the field of 156 golfers with a course record, 4-under-par 68. Tiger Woods, the standout from Stanford, was second after day-one with a 69.
Kerr said the nine lowest individuals after today’s round qualify for the third round on Friday.
U pole vaulter ties for 10th at NCAAs
Vesa Rantanen, who is a freshman on the Gophers track team, tied for 10th place with two other athletes in the NCAA pole vaulting competition at Eugene, Ore., on Wednesday night.
Rantanen vaulted 17 feet, three-fourths inches. Tennessee’s Larry Johnson, who was the favorite going into the contest, cleared a meet record 19-1 to win the event.
The NCAAs continue through June 1 and will include Gophers throwers Jason Schlueter and Tanya Simonsen, and middle distance runners Paul Michalek and Andrea Grove.
Signings to be announced
The Big Ten champion Minnesota men’s swimming team will announce five signings today including distance swimmer Oscar Godoi and breaststroker Alexander Massura-Meto, members of the Brazilian Olympic team.
Godoi is a South American and Brazilian national champion, and Massura-Meto is a South American championships finalist.
Also procured by the Gophers is Brian Howard, a distance swimmer from Kansas City, Mo., and Yoav Mimeirie, a butterfly and individual medley specialist from Israel.
“This is the strongest freshman class at Minnesota of all-time,” said head coach Dennis Dale. “We’ve put ourselves in a strong position to defend our Big Ten title next year.”
Zeruhn given highest honor
Big Ten swimming champion Bernie Zeruhn was awarded the Minnesota Conference Medal of Honor on Wednesday, given annually to a University athlete who demonstrates a high degree of proficiency in both scholastics and athletics.
“This award is probably the University’s most prestigious award for athletes,” Dale said. “He’s very deserving, and we’re proud of him.”
Zeruhn is a nine-time All-American and acquired a 3.93 GPA this year.
U wrestling inks three stars
North Dakota high school stars Josh Krebs and Kenny Howard, and junior college transfer Shelton Benjamin have signed with the Gophers wrestling team, Coach J Robinson announced Wednesday.
Benjamin is expected to take the place of heavyweight Billy Pierce, whose eligibility ran out last season. Robinson said Krebs and Howard will help the team in the future.