Women’s basketball takes two wins out east

Aaron Blake

Minnesota’s women’s basketball team wrapped up an arduous stretch of five straight road games with a victory that left coach Pam Borton completely pleased for the first time this season.

The 12th-ranked Gophers handled Harvard – their toughest competition to date – 92-68 Sunday and beat Providence 67-55 Friday.

The two wins over the weekend give Minnesota (7-0) its best start in program history.

“I have nothing to complain about,” Borton said of Sunday’s game. “This is the first time we’ve put a full game together this season. We looked unbelievable today.”

After the Crimson hung around for 11 minutes, the Gophers closed the first half with a 25-6 run that put the game out of reach for good.

Big Ten Player of the Year Lindsay Whalen led all scorers with 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting and six steals. Sophomore Janel McCarville added 14 points, seven rebounds and six steals off the bench.

“(McCarville) makes us a different team with her consistency,” Borton said. “Nobody can play with her when Janel decides to play.”

Minnesota shot 57.1 percent from the field and out-rebounded Harvard 32-26. The Gophers also forced 27 turnovers, including 17 steals.

The game wasn’t as flawless Friday versus the Friars, but Minnesota still came out with the desired result.

Holding a 33-32 lead at halftime, the Gophers clamped down defensively on Providence in the second stanza. The Friars managed only seven baskets and 23 points after the break.

Whalen led Minnesota with 19 points Friday. Senior captain Corrin Von Wald shot 10-for-10 from the foul line and fouled out with 16 points.

The Providence victory was the first contest this season in which the Gophers failed to shoot 50 percent from the field. Minnesota also got beat on the boards, with the Friars grabbing the rebounding edge 37-27, including 16 on the offensive end.

The Gophers will return to their home floor for the first time in nearly three weeks Friday to play host to Missouri-Kansas City.

Men’s swimming

minnesota’s men’s swimmers captured the US Open Swimming Championship Saturday at the Aquatic Center. The Gophers achieved a team score of 552 to Florida’s 378 and placed two teams in the top three of the 400-meter freestyle relay to earn the victory.

In the 400-meter freestyle relay, the team of Matt Taylor, Allen Ong, Todd Smolinski and Terry Silkaitis took the second place spot with a National Cut qualifying time of 3:27.55.

The team of Adam Mitchell, Neil Osten, Sean McCaffrey and Anders Bo Pedersen also achieved a National Cut qualifying time and placed third (3:30.38).

In the 200-meter butterfly, Taylor came in second in heat A behind Tom Malchow with a National Cut qualifying time of 2:03.34. Pedersen placed sixth in heat A with a time of 2:07.78

Mike Brown swam to a second place finish in heat A of the 200-meter breaststroke and achieved an Olympic Trial qualifying time of 2:18.78 and Jeff Hackler took fourth with a National Cut qualifying time of 2:2.15. In heat B, Ryan Plummer took fourth with a time of 2:27.11.

In the 1500-meter freestyle, Minnesota’s Justin Mortimer placed third with an Olympic Trial qualifying time of 15:46.10 and Travis Beckerle brought in seventh (15:58.08). Silkaitis, with a time of 52.12, placed eighth in heat A of the100-meter freestyle.

Women’s swimming

minnesota’s women’s swimmers tied for second place Saturday at the US Open Swimming Championships at the Aquatic Center.

Florida captured the championship (401) while the Gophers finished the competition with a team score of 139 to tie them with Indiana for second place.

Keri Hehn posted a fourth place finish in heat A of the 200-meter breaststroke with an Olympic trial qualifying time of 2:32.47.

Minnesota’s 400-meter freestyle relay team of Dana Baum, Kate Hardt, Megan Moore and Katy Coombe finished fifth with a National Cut qualifying time of 3:58.27.

In other action, Baum placed eighth in heat B of the 100-meter freestyle (58.52) and Hardy was second in heat C (58.13). Juleen Rodawski was disqualified from the 200-meter butterfly but was still able to swim an impressive time of 2:20.00 in heat B.

ï Minnesota women’s swimming coach Jean Freeman has been selected to the U.S. coaching staff for the 2003 World University Games, announced by USA Swimming. The World University Games will be held in South Korea, August 11-27. Texas coach Jill Sterkel will serve as the U.S. head coach, while Freeman and Auburn’s Kim Brackin are appointed the assistant coaches.

Freeman is in her 30th year as the head coach for the Gopher women’s swimming and diving team. Freeman is a four-time recipient of the Big Ten Coach of the Year, most recently in 1999. She coached the Gophers to back-to-back Big Ten championships in 1999 and 2000.

During her tenure, Freeman has coached two national champions, over 140 Big Ten champions and 170 All-Americans.

Freeman is the second person from the Gopher women’s swim team to represent the United States at the World University Games. First-team All-American Keri Hehn will compete in the 200 breaststroke for the U.S.

Women’s gymnastics

minnesota women’s gymnastics co-head coaches Jim and Meg Stephenson announced that Andrea Cornelius, Stephanie Funk, Kelly Ganchan, Ashley Stanton and Kim Womack have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Gophers women’s gymnastics team for the 2003-04 season.

All five recruits are Level 10 gymnasts, which is the highest level in high school/club gymnastics.

Cornelius, a Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville HS), native, is a four-year Level 10 gymnast. She finished second at the 2002 Washington State Championships in the all-around competition with a score of 37.475. Cornelius was a member of the Cascade Elite gymnastics team, which won the 2002 Washington State Championships.

Funk, who hails from Lake Oswego, Ore. (Lake Oswego HS), is a member of the Metro gymnastics team. Funk has placed in the top 10 on bars at the Junior Olympic Nationals the past two years, taking seventh place in 2002 and 10th place in 2001.

A native of Reno, Nev. (Reno HS), Ganchan is a member of the Flips USA gymnastics team. She was a Level 9 Western National Floor Champion in 2001 and was a second-place finisher in the all-around competition at the Western Nationals.

Stanton, a Centennial, Colo. (Smoky Hill HS), native, was a 2001 regional beam champion and finished ninth in floor exercise at the Level 10 Nationals in both 2001 and 1999.

Womack, a Huntsville, Utah (Weber HS), native, is a member of the USA Gymnastics World team. Womack finished 24th in the all-around competition at the 2001 Level 10 Nationals.

Rowing

minnesota rowing coach Wendy Davis has announced that Rachel Hotkowski, Liz Ponder and Tracey Tallman have signed National Letters of Intent. The trio will join the Gophers rowing program in the 2003-04 season.

Hotkowski, an Old Lyme, Conn., native, is a member of the Old Lyme Rowing Club. She won the Women’s Secondary Single event at the Head of the Connecticut Regatta the past two years when she was a junior and senior in high school.

Ponder from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a four-year member of Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club. She won the 2002 high school national championship in the Junior Women’s Eight event. In the summer of 2002, Ponder was also an U.S. National Team Development Camp attendee.

Tallman, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a two-year member of the Saratoga Springs Rowing Club. She was a member of the fourth-place team at the Head of the Charles Regatta in the Youth 8+ event.