Gophers women win a pair of team titles

The Minnesota womenâÄôs cross country team picked up not one but two team titles this weekend as the Gophers prepare for pre-nationals later this month. MinnesotaâÄôs top nine runners posted a first-place finish on Saturday at the South Dakota State Invitational while the rest of the roster matched their performance on Friday in the Blugold Open in Eau Claire, Wis. The Gophers recorded 24 points and placed six racers in the top 10 in both races. Junior Megan Duwell again placed Minnesota with a second-place individual finish in Brookings âÄî two seconds behind Nebraska sophomore Lara CroffordâÄôs time of 17:31. Duwell has placed second or better in all five of her competitions so far this season, while Minnesota remains unbeaten as a team through four intercollegiate races. Gophers coach Gary Wilson traveled back and forth across the state in order to watch all of his runners this weekend. Wilson said he was particularly watching the Blugold Open racers to see which Gophers would fill out the teamâÄôs roster for the upcoming pre-nationals. According to Wilson, graduate student Meghan Mason and junior Sally Paulson will likely round out the field for Minnesota while junior Kelly Wilson will serve as first alternate. The trio finished second, third and fourth, respectively, this weekend in Eau Claire. Rowers win on the river The Minnesota womenâÄôs rowing team successfully began its season Sunday, sweeping the competition at the Head of the Mississippi. The Gophers posted first and second finishes in the Open Fours, as well as both the Varsity and Novice Eights. In the Novice race, MinnesotaâÄôs four competing boats all clocked times in the top five making the University BoathouseâÄôs first Head of the Mississippi one for the record books. âÄúWe had a really fun weekend and weâÄôre glad that we were able to pull everything off despite the rain and wind we faced early this morning,âÄù Minnesota coach Wendy Davis said in a statement. âÄúGoing into the Head of the Miss., we wanted our focus to be on the Fours, and it was, by far, the best Fours showing we have had during the fall season and this early in our program. Overall, it was a great weekendâÄù Gophers hockey With the 2008-2009 menâÄôs hockey season beginning this weekend, College Hockey News has released its preseason honors including a pair of Gophers. Sophomore goaltender Alex Kangas and freshman forward Jordan Schroeder were named Players to Watch. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the Preseason All-CHN First Team came from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. St. Cloud State junior forward Ryan Lasch, Wisconsin junior defenseman Jamie McBain and Colorado CollegeâÄôs senior forward Chad Rau and sophomore goalie Richard Bachman all earned top honors. Denver sophomore forward Tyler Bozak was named to the All-CHN Second Team while a total of seven WCHA players were tipped as Players to Watch.