Keri Hehn gained her second, first-team All-America honors in the 200 breaststroke in Auburn, Ala. over the weekend. Hehn earned her status by finishing eighth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.27. She is the first person since Gretchen Hegener to win back-to-back All-America honors in the 200 breaststroke. Hehn was ranked 13th going into the competition in the 200.
In the 100-yard freestyle, Dana Baum finished 22nd overall with a time of 50.01. Baum entered the competition ranked 35th in the 100. She swam some of her lifetime bests in the final competition of her collegiate career in the past three days. Juleen Rodakowski tied for 20th in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing with a time of 1:59.94. She improved her pre-tournament ranking of 27th in the event.
Junior diver Rebecca Cornthwaite just missed the top eight, finishing ninth in the platform. Cornthwaite had a score of 394.75. It was the second straight year that Cornthwaite competed at the NCAA Championships, the first Minnesota diver to compete in the platform event since 1995.
The Gophers completed the season with an 8-1 dual record and a 9-2 overall record.
Men’s track and field
Throwers Lynden Reder and Karl Erickson led the men’s track and field team at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., over the weekend. In the first meet of the outdoor season, Reder hit a mark of 199 feet in the hammer throw, taking second place and breaking his school record of 196-4 set in 2002. Erickson took first in the discus with a throw of 186-1 and the shot put with a mark of 63-7.75. Both athletes qualified in their respective events for NCAA regional competition to be held in Lincoln, Neb., this May.
Ben Nyquist also earned a regional qualifying standard in the discus. His throw of 169-9 was good enough for fourth place.
Steffen Landgraf won first place and qualified for regionals in the long jump with a leap of 24-1. Kevin Netzer, Josh Paulson and John Albert earned regional standards in the high jump, all three jumping 6-9.5 to take first, second, and fifth place, respectively.
Luke Mullranin led the runners, taking first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:12.86. In the 5,000 meters, Michael Bialick ran a 14:48.97 to take second.
The 4×100 relay of Matt Taylor, Thomas Flensborg-Madsen, Robb Merritt and Andy Wohlin clocked in at 41.32 to earn third place. The 4×400 team of Vince Donahoe, Merritt, Travis Brandstatter and Scott Ferguson also took third with a time of 3:21.47.
The Gophers will be competing next at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, N.C. The meet will be hosted by North Carolina State University on Friday and Saturday.
Women’s track and field
Alean Frawley took first in the shot put at the Willie Williams Classic in Tucson, Ariz., highlighting Minnesota’s first competition in the outdoor track and field season. Frawley’s throw of 51-7.25 was also good enough to earn her a place in the NCAA Regional Qualifier to be held in Lincoln, Neb., this May.
Frawley took fourth in the hammer throw with a mark of 166-9. She went on to compete in the event at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., throwing a 164-2 mark to place sixth.
Other Gophers gave solid performances at the Willie Williams Classic. Nicole Kopari threw the discus 158-7, placing second and earning an NCAA regional standard.
On the track, Kou Luogon took first in the 400 meters, clocking in at 54.98. Luogon, a freshman, set the indoor 400-meter record earlier this year.
Distance runners Darja Vasiljeva and Jen Hess were strong competitors in the 5,000 meters. Vasiljeva earned first place with a time of 17:34.33, and Hess took second, clocking in at 17:49.53.
The Gophers’ next competition is the NCCU Invitational on April 4-5. Duke University will host the event in Durham, N.C.
Minnesota’s baseball team (10-10) pummeled Fresno State (14-13) by a score of 14-1 Sunday afternoon in Fresno, Calif. The win ended Minnesota’s five game losing streak and also snapped Fresno State’s nine-game winning streak. The game wrapped up the Gophers nine-game California road trip, with a final record of 4-5.
Minnesota got the game started with a bang thanks to first baseman David Roach. In the first inning, Luke Appert reached base on a four-pitch walk, then stole second. Next up, shortstop Scott Welch was hit by a pitch. Roach then stepped up to the plate and drove his first pitch over the right field wall to give the Gophers an early 3-0 lead. The home run was Roach’s second of the year and second in the Fresno State series.
Minnesota’s pitchers silenced the Fresno State bats for the majority of the game. Starting pitcher C.J. Woodrow threw for three innings allowing just two hits and striking out three. Glen Perkins came in top of the fourth and pitched five solid innings to pick up his first win of the season. Perkins only allowed three hits and one run while striking out six and issuing only one walk. Senior closer Nick McCauley threw the final inning with one hit and one strikeout.
Overall, Welch went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Roach hit 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI. David Hrncirik also was 2- for-3 with two RBI and a run. Appert scored three for the Gophers while hitting 1-for-2.
Minnesota opens their Big Ten season next weekend, Mar. 28-30, against Michigan State at Siebert Field.
The 25th-ranked Minnesota softball team fell to Southwest Texas 1-0 in eight innings March 20, falling to 18-8-1 on the season. Minnesota’s offense struggled, but its defensive plays are what kept the team alive.
The Gopher bats were silenced after Veronica Roberts led the game off by beating out a ground ball to the infield. Southwest Texas pitcher Nicole Neuerburg pitched eight complete innings, striking out seven Minnesota hitters.
In the first inning, Minnesota’s Anne Thul and Rachel Keeney connected to throw out the Bobcats’ Ashley Koop, who attempted to steal second base. The Bobcats threatened again in the bottom of the fifth inning with a leadoff single by Jackie Dixon. Thul and Shelly Nichols quickly picked Dixon off first. In the sixth inning the Bobcats threatened when they led the inning off with a triple to center field. The Gophers’ offense kicked into high gear as Jordanne Nygren threw the next batter out and Marten fanned the next two batters.
Minnesota’s Piper Marten recorded the loss and fell to 8-6 on the season. Marten gave up one run on seven hits, four walks and 12 strikeouts. Two of her walks proved to be costly in the bottom of the eighth inning. Marten struck out the leadoff hitter before walking the next two Bobcat batters. Southwest Texas designated player Katie Ann Trahan hit a single to center field, which scored the lone run of the game.
Minnesota finished its spring break trip with a 6-1 record. The Gophers open the Big Ten season on the road next weekend as they travel to Iowa City to face the University of Iowa.