Last-chance meet helps women’s track

Michael Dougherty

Carpe Diem is a Latin phrase which means “Seize the Day”, and that is what the abbreviated Gophers women’s track and field team set out to do at the Iowa State Last Chance meet in Ames, Iowa.
Freshman Aubrey Schmitt set a personal best in the shot put with a throw of 52 feet, 5 inches, as she won the meet on Saturday. That throw is the second best in school history, five inches short of former Gopher Rachel Lewis’ school record.
Schmitt’s throw provisionally qualifies her for next weekend’s NCAA Indoor Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., and head coach Gary Wilson said he thinks she has a chance to surprise some people there.
“She’s pretty close to hitting the big one,” Wilson said. “She could be an All-American.”
Teammate Nicole Chimko also provisionally qualified in the shot put, with a throw of 50-0, good enough for fourth place.
Men’s track and field
Coming off their first Big Ten indoor championship ever, coach Phil Lundin’s squad sent only a few members to Ames for the Iowa State Last Chance meet.
As expected from a squad coming off a big win, the scaled-down squad did not perform too well.
“They were flatter than pancakes,” Lundin said. “The Big Tens took a lot out of us.”
The official announcements for both the men and women’s NCAAs come out today.
Women’s softball
The Gophers women’s softball team went 6-0 in capturing the title at the Texas A&M Aggie Invitational. Minnesota improved its record to 20-7 on the season, as it beat the host Aggies 7-1 on Sunday for the title.
Earlier in the day, the Gophers needed extra innings to defeat Bowling Green 5-3. Minnesota scored three in the top of the eighth as Bowling Green committed three errors in the inning. Steph Klaviter pitched the final two innings to run her record to 5-4.
Klaviter came back to pitch a complete game three-hitter against the Aggies to improve to 6-4. The Gophers took advantage of four Aggies errors in the victory.
On Saturday, Minnesota blew past Bowling Green 12-1, and Illinois State 8-2, as they outhit their opponents 26-8.
Women’s gymnastics
On Friday night, the 13th-ranked Gophers women’s gymnastics team traveled to Tucson for a dual meet with No. 25 Arizona and were sent home on the next available R.V.
Despite scoring the second highest score in team history on the balance beam, the women could have used some of the retiree’s walkers as they stumbled through their floor exercise en route to a 194.950-193.825 loss at the McKale Memorial Center.
The Wildcats took advantage of an emotional senior night and a retirement ceremony for head coach Jim Gualt. Gualt has coached Arizona for 18 years, and his squad rode the emotions to a season-high team score.
“They did a good job for some reason, and I would probably attribute it to that,” Gophers co-head coach Jim Stephenson said of Arizona’s season-high score.
Women’s tennis
The Gophers women’s tennis team won a pair of matches over the weekend, downing Ohio State and Indian to improve to 7-4 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten.
Junior Alice Rangsithienchai improved her record against Big Ten opponents to 5-0 with a three-set win at No. 2 singles on Sunday against the Buckeyes.