Halldorson signs on for three more seasons

Minnesota women’s hockey coach Laura Halldorson has signed a three-year contract, Minnesota Athletics Director Joel Maturi announced Tuesday.

Halldorson, who has led the Gophers to NCAA titles each of the last two seasons and an AWCHA national championship in 2000, just completed her eighth season with the program and will be committed through the 2007-08 season.

“In my opinion, there is no better place to coach or play collegiate women’s hockey than here at the University of Minnesota,” said Halldorson, who has a 226-44-20 record at Minnesota.

The Gophers released their 2005-06 schedule Friday. They open the season Oct. 7-8 at the Easton Shoot-out at Ridder Arena. Minnesota-Duluth comes to Ridder on Oct. 28-29, and Wisconsin visits Nov. 18-19.

Two Rivals All-America

Minnesota football junior running back Laurence Maroney and senior center Greg Eslinger have been named to the Rivals.com Preseason All-America First Team.

Maroney earned one of two running back spots on the roster, along with Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson. Eslinger was a 2004 Rimington Trophy finalist and an SI.com All-American.

The other Big Ten players on the team were: Michigan offensive guard Matt Lentz, Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk, Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway, Michigan State punter Brandon Fields and Ohio State punt returner Ted Ginn Jr.

Two game times set

The game times for two Gophers football games were announced Thursday.

Minnesota’s homecoming game against Purdue at the Metrodome on Sept. 24 is set for 11 a.m., and its nonconference matchup with Florida Atlantic at the Metrodome on Sept. 17 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Volleyball ranked sixth

Minnesota’s volleyball team was ranked No. 6 in the USA Today/CSTV Preseason Top-25 poll, released Monday.

The Gophers were ranked fifth in the preseason poll last season and went on to fall to Stanford in the national championship match, winding up No. 2 in the final poll.

Tollackson in Spain

Minnesota men’s basketball sophomore Spencer Tollackson and the rest of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Foreign Tour roster begins play Saturday in Barcelona, Spain, against the Huesca Basketball Club. They are scheduled for a day off Sunday before playing one game each Aug. 18 and departing Aug. 19.

Men’s swim nationals

Minnesota men’s swimming and diving sophomore David Plummer finished third in the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes, and former Gophers swimmer Justin Mortimer finished third in the 400 freestyle during the weekend at USA National Championships in Irvine, Calif.

The Gophers’ 800 free relay, consisting of Sean McCaffrey, Adam Mitchell, Zach Wood and Tyler Schmidt, finished fourth.

Women’s swim nationals

Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team also had a number of athletes competing at the USA National Championships.

Incoming freshmen Christine Jennings and Yuen Kobayashi finished 19th and 25th in the 400 free, respectively. Jennings’ time qualified her for the 2008 Olympic trials. Kobayashi also finished 25th in the 200 free.

Troup in world champs

Former Minnesota women’s track and field athlete and current team nutritionist Rasa Troup will compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase beginning Saturday in the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Troup, formerly Rasa Michniovaite, will represent her native Lithuania.

Soccer exhibition today

Minnesota’s soccer team opened its fall training camp this week and will play its annual Maroon and Gold game at 6 p.m. today at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Admission is free.