Borton signs landmark class

The Minnesota Daily

Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton announced the signing of three Minnesotans – Eastview’s Jamie Broback, Lakeville’s Liz Podominick and Fosston’s Kelly Roysland – to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. The trio will begin their Gopher careers in the 2003-04 season.

Borton was elated with her first recruiting class as the head coach of the No. 15 Gophers. The 2003-04 class will likely go down as the highest ranked Gopher recruiting class in Minnesota history. A number of recruiting experts have already included Minnesota in their lists of the nation’s top 10 recruiting classes.

“I can not think of three better individuals to sign to our first recruiting class. I am very proud of these home-grown Minnesota athletes,” said Borton in a release. “In addition to being great basketball players, Liz, Kelly and Jamie are great students and great people. The caliber of our recruits reflects the goals and focus of our entire program. “

Topping the list of new Gophers is 6-foot-2 post players Podominick, a top 10 national recruit, an AAU high school All-American and the 2002 Associated Press Minnesota Player of the Year. Podominick has led her Lakeville High School team to the last two Minnesota 4A state titles, a record of 97-10 and 40 consecutive wins heading into her senior season.

“We are very excited to have Liz become a Gopher, especially considering what she has meant to girls high school basketball in the state of Minnesota,” said Borton. “She is a dominant post player with an unbelievable work ethic and a competitive attitude that will help us build a winning tradition at Minnesota.”

Podominick has been dominating throughout her high school career. In 107 career games, she has scored 1,784 points and pulled down 1,110 rebounds. Since joining the varsity team as an eighth-grader, Podominick has averaged a scoring/rebounding double-double at 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, respectively.

In guiding the Panthers to a perfect 29-0 season a year ago, Podominick scored 20.4 points per game, shooting 64.2 percent from the field. She was honored as the Minnesota 4A Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002 and a second- team AP all-state selection as a sophomore. Podominick has also collected All-Lake Conference honors four times.

Podominick, an elite high school thrower, will also compete as a member of the Gophers track and field team. She won the 2002 state title in the shot put with a state record of 51 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Podominick has broken the state record nine different times, including four times in a single meet. She went on to place second at the national high school championships in the event. The reigning state discus champion as well, Podominick has a career best of 155-9 in the event.

“I can’t say enough about Liz,” said Gophers assistant women’s track coach Lynne Anderson. “It’s going to be a great honor to work with her for the next five years and help her to obtain her goals as a collegiate thrower.”

Roysland, a 5-foot-9 guard and a top 75 recruit, led the Greyhounds of Fosston High School to the 2000 and 2002 Minnesota Class A titles. Along the way, she helped Fosston capture a state record 78 consecutive wins. Roysland was named the Minnesota Class A Player of the Year in 2002 and an AP second-team all-state selection, after averaging 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game as a junior.

“Kelly is an extremely versatile player who could play a number of positions for us,” said Borton. “She’s a great scorer with outstanding ball-handling skills. She also has the competitiveness and drive to be a great defensive player. Overall, look at her high school career, Kelly is a proven winner.”

Roysland enters her senior campaign with 1,969 career points. A varsity team member since seventh grade, Roysland has averaged 16.1 points in 122 career games. She has also tallied 562 rebounds and 484 assists.

Roysland leaves behind a stellar volleyball career at Fosston. Roysland was named the 2002 Ms. Volleyball in the state of Minnesota after leading Fosston to the state titles in 2001 and 2002. A three-time all-state volleyball player, Roysland finished her career with 2,079 kills. She also stars on the Fosston golf team, where she placed second in last year’s Minnesota Class A state championship.

Broback, an Apple Valley, Minn., native, is a 6-foot-2 post player from Eastview High School. Broback led the Lightning to a 22-6 record in 2001-02, while averaging 20.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.2 blocks per game. She was selected to the AP all-state honorable mention team.

Broback also played goalkeeper on Eastview’s girls soccer team that advanced to the state tournament quarterfinals.

“Jamie is probably the most versatile of our three recruits,” said Borton. “She can score in so many ways, capitalizing on her ability to play with her back to the basket or facing it. Jamie loves the game, loves to win and is willing to work extremely hard to accomplish success. She’s a great addition to our team.”

Men’s golf

minnesota men’s golf program announced Wednesday the signing of Mike Fiedler to a National Letter of Intent. Fiedler will be eligible to play for the Gophers for the 2003-04 season.

Fiedler, a native of Faribault, recorded five national top four finishes in the past year and was voted the 2001 Minnesota Junior Player of the Year. He also won the 2001 Minnesota Junior Match Play Championship.

“Mike is one of the best young players in the state of Minnesota and we are very excited to welcome him to our program,” said head coach Brad James in a release. “His attitude and work ethic will be a great addition to our team. It is our hope that Mike can continue the great success of Minnesota-born players who have become Gopher All-Americans.”

Men’s tennis

minnesota will host the Big Ten Men’s Tennis Singles Championship this weekend at the Baseline Tennis Center. The tournament runs from Saturday through Monday.

In the 64-player main draw, eight Gophers will take part led by the tournaments second seed, Aleksey Zharinov, and third-seed Thomas Haug.

Zharinov will face Michigan’s Chris Shaya on Saturday at noon. Haug will play Indiana’s Zach Held at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Also competing for Minnesota will be Manuel Lievano, Chris Wettengel, Steve Solberg, Eric Robertson, Nate McLain and Clay Estes.

Five of the nation’s top 100 players will compete. Including Zharinov (51st) and Haug (64th), the tournament’s top seed, Stuart Waters of Iowa is ranked 66th, followed by Tommy Hanus of Northwestern at 76 and Chris Martin at 88.

Quarterfinals will be held on Sunday afternoon beginning at approximately 3:30 p.m. The semifinals and finals will be played on Monday starting at 9 a.m.

Admission is free to the public.