Women’s swimming ninth after day two at Big Tens

Minnesota sits in ninth place after two days at the Big Ten championships. The Gophers have 111 points.

Junior Dana Baum contributed to Minnesota’s point total with a fifth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle and taking part in both the relays on Thursday.

The Gophers’ 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard medley relays finished ninth and eighth, respectively.

Men’s hockey

With every member on Minnesota’s men’s hockey roster hailing from a state which has WCHA hockey, coach Don Lucia has little trouble getting his players hyped up for a rivalry weekend. Wisconsin coach Jeff Sauer, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky.

“We’ve got guys on our team that have no clue how big it is to go up to Minneapolis for a WCHA weekend,” Sauer said using freshman and Edmonton, Alberta, native Alex Leavitt as an example. “We have to explain to him how big this weekend is. It’s not like he’s grown up with it like some of the other guys have.”

Ready or not, the Badgers (12-16-4, 10-11-3 WCHA) head into Mariucci Arena this weekend to face the sixth-ranked Gophers (22-7-4, 14-7-3) who cling to third place by the skin of their collective teeth.

Minnesota enters the weekend one point ahead of Colorado College in the league standings with just four games remaining. The Tigers face seventh-place Alaska Anchorage this weekend before finishing the year against cellar-dweller Michigan Tech. The Gophers, meanwhile, must face second-place St. Cloud State after dueling with Wisconsin.

“These two games (with the Badgers) are two must-wins for us,” defenseman Paul Martin said. “We control our own destiny, but we can’t look ahead too much. We’ve got to focus on this weekend.”

Lucia has pegged senior goaltender Adam Hauser as his go-to man for the rest of the season, saying freshmen Travis Weber and Justin Johnson have done their duty for the year.

“It’s nice to know the coaches want me to play all four games we have left,” Hauser said. “The hard work all three of us have put in with Robb (Stauber) will hopefully pay off.”


The defending national champion Minnesota wrestling squad brings its regular season to a close on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a match-up against fourth-ranked Ohio State at the Sports Pavilion.

The Gophers (18-0, 7-0 Big Ten) defeated Ohio State (19-3, 4-2) 26-8 at National Duals in January when the two teams wrestled for the championship.

Sunday will mark the last meet before the Big Ten Championships.

“We’re kind of looking forward to the last meet just so we can start focusing on the Big Ten and National tournament,” coach J Robinson said.

Seniors Owen Elzen, Chad Erikson, and Leroy Vega will be honored during a halftime ceremony as the meet is the last regular season contest in their careers.

For Vega, the meet will mark a milestone never before reached by a Minnesota grappler.

Vega has never missed a dual meet or tournament in his four years as a Gopher.

“Just to make it through four seasons is a big accomplishment, let alone make it to every single dual meet and wrestle in every tournament,” Vega said. “To be the first one at the University to do that makes me pretty happy and proud.”

Women’s track and field

Minnesota’s women’s track and field team travels to State College, Penn., this weekend for the 2002 Big Ten Indoor Championships.

The Gophers will be led by sophomore sprinter Tahesia Harrigan, who was named the Big Ten Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.

Additionally, head coach Gary Wilson expects Minnesota to perform well in the longer sprints and the distance events.

Wilson said his team could improve on last year’s fifth-place finish and crack the upper division with a great performance, but he will primarily be using the meet to develop young athletes for the outdoor season.

“We’ll see (distance runners) Laura Bjork and Darja Vasiljeva break out and run their best times of the season,” Wilson said. “Alean Frawley is ready to throw pretty far in the shot. But overall, it’s all preparation towards the outdoor season.”

Men’s gymnastics

Minnesota’s men’s gymnastics team will match up against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday at Williams Arena. The meet is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

The eight-ranked Gophers face the fifteenth-ranked Flames with a team average of 208.975 to Illinois-Chicago’s 203.062.

Minnesota’s Clay Strother and Guillermo Alvarez are both ranked in the top-20 nationally with Strother fifth and Alvarez ninth. Strother also ranks second in the country on the pommel horse with an average of 9.500.

Both took part in the 2002 Winter Cup in Las Vegas last week and finished in the top 10. Neither was able to grab one of the two U.S. national team berths at stake, however.

Women’s gymnastics

Minnesota’s women’s gymnastics squad has a rematch with Iowa State on Saturday at Williams Arena. The meet is set for 7:00 p.m.

The eleventh-ranked Gophers defeated the ninth-ranked Cyclones 195.175 – 195.00 on Feb. 15 in Ames, Iowa.

Minnesota gymnast MaryAnne Kelley, the Big Ten Gymnast of the
Week, scored team-records with a 9.95 on the balance beam and a 39.600 in the all-around against Iowa last weekend. Senior Courtney Norman also set a career-high in the floor exercise with a 9.925.

The Gophers haven’t lost a meet since Jan. 25 at Utah.

Women’s tennis

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team will host Penn State and Ohio State at the Northwest Athletic Club in Bloomington on Feb. 24.

The Gophers are 0-1 in Big Ten play going into the weekend. Minnesota lost to Wisconsin 7-0 in the first Big Ten match of the year on Feb. 3.