CC women backups to take part in Rocky’s

Minnesota's top nine runner will rest in preparation for NCAA regionals.

Ben Goessling

Minnesota women’s cross country coach Gary Wilson said he will rest his top nine runners at Saturday’s Rocky’s Run in St. Paul, saving them for next weekend’s NCAA Midwest Region Championships and loading up the 5K race with younger athletes.

“The reason we have this race is to keep that whole second group active as late in the season as possible,” Wilson said. “Some of those kids will be in the top seven next year, and we’re trying to keep them sharp mentally and physically.”

The race, run primarily as a scholarship fund-raiser, will include 8K and 5K individual races for men and women, respectively.

After placing fourth at last weekend’s Big Ten Championships – their highest finish since 2001 – the Gophers stand a good chance to reach the NCAA meet for the first time since that same season.

Wilson said he has a “fairly significant workout” planned for his top runners today, but plans to taper them off for the region meet after that.

“All we’re doing at this point is a little sharpening,” Wilson said.

Edlefsen, Ticer advance

Minnesota men’s tennis players Nick Edlefsen and Avery Ticer qualified for the quarterfinals of the Milwaukee Tennis Classic on Thursday in Milwaukee.

Ticer, the tournament’s top seed, dropped Arizona State’s Nick Hegarty in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-1.

Edlefsen, co-seeded ninth, eliminated third-seeded Jonathan Kinsella, also of Arizona State, in straight sets. He prevailed 6-4, 7-5.

Two of the Gophers’ three doubles teams also advanced to the round of eight.

Ticer and Adrien Debreyne topped Marquette’s Brett Binkley and Ian Kawas 8-1. Edlefsen and Chi Pham were 8-3 winners over Nebraska’s fourth-seeded team of Gerhard Posch and Adrian Szatmary.

The Gophers’ Mikey Kantar and Sion Wilkins lost 8-6 to Northern Illinois’ Alex Friesen and Willy Gali-Solanas.

The tournament continues Saturday and runs through Monday.

Women’s tennis in N.C.

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend for the UNC-Kitty Harrison Invitational.

The tournament – Minnesota’s last of the fall season – features two 2004 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, the Tar Heels and Miami (Fla.), which reached the championship’s quarterfinals.

The tournament is held in a hidden-dual format, meaning each team will play six dual matches of either singles or doubles. However, no team scores will be kept, and all results will be contributed to the players’ Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.

Neary honored

Kaitlin Neary, a midfielder for Minnesota’s women’s soccer team, has been named to the 2004 Academic All-District V first team.

Neary, a junior, is now eligible to be named an Academic All-American. That team will be announced Nov. 23.

The Tacoma, Wash., native started 17 of 18 matches for the Gophers this season and finished fourth on the team in scoring. She was tabbed an academic all-Big Ten selection last year.