Russell not enrolled for spring semester

Minnesota’s football team was dealt a blow Friday when it was announced that sophomore running back Gary Russell is ineligible for the spring semester. Russell is not currently enrolled at the University.

Russell was expected to be the Gophers featured back next season. He ran for 1,045 yards and 18 touchdowns last year as Laurence Maroney’s understudy.

“While this is disappointing for everyone involved, we want what is best for Gary and will help him in any way allowable,” coach Glen Mason said in a statement. “Gary has been a part of our family, and we will continue to support him.”

It is unclear whether Russell will rejoin the team in time to play the 2006 season. If Russell does not play, the role of top running back would likely fall to junior Amir Pinnix. Pinnix ran for 206 of his season-total 467 yards in a Nov. 12 win over Michigan State.

Irmen wins award

Minnesota’s men’s hockey forward Danny Irmen was named the College Sports Television-Hockey Commissioners’ Association Division I Player of the Month for January on Friday.

The junior scored seven goals and tallied seven assists in January to go along with a plus-5 rating. One goal, on Jan. 27 against Wisconsin, was a game-winner. Irmen also scored a hat trick in the Jan. 27 game against the Badgers.

In the month of January, the Gophers went 7-1-0. Irmen, who separated his shoulder Jan. 28 against Wisconsin, likely will miss two to three weeks with the injury.

Buzard wins 400

Minnesota’s men’s track and field junior Aaron Buzard won the 400-meter dash title at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday.

The Rochester native finished in a time of 46.59 seconds, the second best time in the nation this year for the 400. Buzard lowered his National Collegiate Athletic Association provisional qualifying time by 0.36 seconds.

Buzard was also part of the Gophers’ first place 4-by-400 relay team. The team of Buzard, Sayfe Jassim, Walter Langkau and Robb Merritt finished in 3:13.45.

Senior Karl Erickson placed third in the shot put at the Husker Invitational with a throw of 60 feet and a half inch.

Minnesota’s next competition comes Friday and Saturday in Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Classic.

Records set in Indiana

Minnesota’s women’s track and field team set three school-records at last weekend’s Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind.

On Saturday, freshman Heather Dorniden set the school record in the 800, finishing in 2:04.30, taking second in the race and automatically qualifying her for the NCAA Championships.

Also on Saturday, junior Emily Brown set the school record in the 3,000 with a time of 9:28.18. That time provisionally qualifies Brown for the NCAA meet.

The Gophers started the school-record run Friday with the distance medley relay. The team of Dorniden, Brown, Jamie Cheever and Kadian Douglas recorded a time of 11:10.40, which is an NCAA provisional qualifying time.

Minnesota will compete next weekend at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa.

Men’s tennis split

Minnesota’s 36th-ranked men’s tennis team split a pair of dual meets in Seattle on Saturday.

The Gophers fell to No. 14 Washington 5-2 before defeating Portland 5-2. Against Washington, Minnesota’s points came from D.J. Geatz, who defeated 32nd-ranked Alex Slovic in three sets, and 71st-ranked Raoul Schwark, who beat Daniel Chu in straight sets.

Next weekend, the Gophers take to the South Atlantic for dual meets against Wake Forest and Virginia Commonwealth.

Women in Rockies

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team won a match and lost a match in its weekend road trip through Colorado.

On Saturday, the Gophers fell 7-0 to 49th-ranked Denver. Nischella Reddy, ranked 87th, was upset by the Pioneers’ Suzana Maksovic in straight sets. Minnesota lost three key tiebreakers in singles competition.

Against Colorado State on Sunday, Minnesota won 4-3. The Gophers won the doubles point, and Mariana Spilca, Danielle Mosseau and Marina Bugaenco won their singles matches.

Gymnasts take second

Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics team finished second at the Foxrun Invitational in Durham, N.H., this weekend.

The Gophers totaled 193.875 team points, less than a point behind champions New Hampshire. The Wildcats had 194.375 team points.

Sophomore Ashley Mutchler won the all-around competition with a score of 39.750. Senior Laura Johnson took third in the all-around with a score of 38.550.

Minnesota also took the top three places in the uneven bars. Johnson was first, while sophomore Andy Cornelius and junior Stephanie Funk were second and third, respectively.

The Gophers host the Best of Minnesota meet Saturday at the Sports Pavilion. Gustavus, Winona State and Hamline will compete against Minnesota at the meet.