Sports briefs: Anderson top collegiate finisher at USA championships

Gabe Anderson, in her last race affiliated with the Gophers, was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500-meter race Saturday at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Derek Wetmore

Anderson top collegiate finisher at USA championships Gabe Anderson, in her last race affiliated with the Gophers, was the top collegiate finisher in the 1,500-meter race Saturday at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Anderson finished seventh in a field that included collegiate runners and unattached professional runners, clocking a time of 4 minutes, 17.52 seconds After gaining approval from the NCAA to come back and compete in a sixth year this season, Anderson took second in both the Big Ten and NCAA championships, earning All-American honors. She plans to run professionally for a team based in Iowa now that her Gophers track career has concluded. Ben Blankenship was the only male Gophers runner at the USA Championships, also in the 1,500, and didnâÄôt qualify for the finals, finishing 19th of 30 competitors in the preliminary round. Duwell and Dorniden win Academic All-America Gophers womenâÄôs track runners Heather Dorniden and Megan Duwell were named to ESPN The MagazineâÄôs Academic All-American team Thursday. Dorniden was named to the First Team, composed of 15 members who collectively averaged a 3.82 grade point average. Dorniden graduated in December 2009 with a 3.95 GPA. Duwell earned Second Team honors after graduating in May with a 3.86 GPA. Duwell also earned All-America honors in cross country and indoor track in her senior year. Puga, Sommers compete in Amateur Championship Teresa Puga and Samantha Sommers each qualified for and played in the 2010 U.S. WomenâÄôs Amateur Public Links Championship over the weekend in South Bend, Ind. Sommers finished 90th and Puga tied for 101st. Several other Gophers golfers competed in the Western National Amateur held in Rochester, Minn. Michele Edlin , Chelsey Falk , Jackie Shepherd and Mary Narzisi played in the six-day event that consisted of two rounds of qualifying stroke play and four days of match play. Narzisi advanced to the field of 16 in match play action before falling to Dottie Ardina of the Philippines, 4-3. Hockey Day Minnesota set The schedule is set for the fifth-annual Hockey Day Minnesota, a daylong event in which Fox Sports North televises an outdoor high school hockey game, Gophers game and Minnesota Wild game. The Gophers will host Denver at Mariucci Arena on Feb. 12, 2011, a game typically sandwiched between the high school games and the Wild. There will be two high school games this season âÄî Wayzata vs. Roseau and Moorhead vs. Hill-Murray âÄî both taking place in Moorhead. The Wild will host former Gophers player and Bloomington native Erik Johnson and the St. Louis Blues. The Gophers open their season with an exhibition against British Columbia at Mariucci Arena on Oct. 3. The regular season will begin with six home games, the first of which will be held Oct. 8 against Massachusetts.