Playboy selects Gruening preseason All-America

Junior punter Preston Gruening was named to Playboy’s preseason All-America team. As a sophomore last season, Gruening led the nation all season in punting average, finishing at 45.2 yards per boot. He took part in the photo shoot in Phoenix, Ariz. two weeks ago. Gruening becomes the Gophers third consecutive selection for the prestigious team, following safety Tyrone Carter in 1999 and center Ben Hamilton last season. Hamilton turned down the invitation, citing personal reasons.


Junior Owen Elzen and senior Brad Pike earned first-team honors, while senior Brett Lawrence made the second team.

A trio of Gopher freshmen were named to the Amateur Wrestling News All-Rookie team. Jacob Volkmann and Damion Hahn made the first team, while Big Ten heavyweight champion Garrett Lowney was a second-team selection.


Men’s swimming
and diving

Coach Dennis Dale announced the signing of nine athletes who will join the defending Big Ten champion Gophers next fall. Headlining the list is Mike Hagen, a Minnesota state champion in the 50 freestyle event. The other signees are Scott Young, Terry Silkitis, Neil Osten, Bjorn Lundin, Sean McCaffrey, Christian Anguis, Nathan Bernier and Lucas Petersen.


Women’s track and field

Seniors Aubrey Schmitt and Corinne Nimtz were named to the 2001 Academic All-District At-Large team.

Schmitt, a three-time All-American and five-time Big Ten champion in the shot put, maintains a 3.51 grade point average while majoring in biology.

Nimtz, who provisionally qualified to compete in the 10,000-meter run at the NCAA championships, owns a 3.93 GPA in business.

The 10 members of the district teams are now eligible for academic All-America consideration to be awarded in June.