Lingering effects of head injury end Curtin’s career at U

Rookie forward Renee Curtin has been medically disqualified to play for the Gopher women’s hockey team due to previous injuries in her high school career.

Curtin was a member of the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team, but did not compete in the 2001-02 season after she failed to make sufficient progress from head injuries suffered during her senior year at Roseville High School.

“It’s sad and unfortunate that Renee will not be able to play hockey at the University of Minnesota, especially since she has meant so much to the sport here in the state,” Gopher head coach Laura Halldorson said in a statement. “Although it breaks my heart, I fully support this decision and believe that Renee’s long term health has to be our priority.”

Curtin, the younger sister of Gophers star forward Ronda Curtin, sat out the 2001-02 season to undergo a series of examinations by both university and outside physicians.

Curtin, who holds the state high school record for boys and girls with 544 career points, suffered a concussion during a Roseville-Stillwater game in the 2000-01 season when her head hit the ice after she collided with a Stillwater player. The injury forced her to miss eight games.

James named coach

Brad James was named head men’s golf coach last Monday after serving as the interim head coach since replacing John Means last September.

James, 30, led the Gophers to a Big Ten and NCAA title in 2001-02. Minnesota became the first northern school since Ohio State in 1979 to win the national championship.

“I’m very happy with my decision,” said James. “It’s been a stressful last couple of weeks. I feel that the University of Minnesota is going to make a commitment and has made a commitment to keep a nationally ranked golf program.”

James becomes the sixth men’s golf coach in school history. He follows W.R. Smith (1930-35); Les Bolstad (1946-76); Rick Ehrmanntraut (1976- 78); Greg Harvey (1978-90); and John Means (1990-2001).

Wrestling World Trials

Three wrestlers with Minnesota ties have advanced out of the United States World Team Trials and on to the Senior World Team.

Current Gophers heavyweight Garrett Lowney, 1998 graduate Brandon Paulson and 1999 graduate Tim Hartung all entered the weekend tournament ñ held in St. Paul ñ as top seeds and all advanced.

Lowney had the easiest road, advancing without competing a single second.

His opponent, Justin Ruiz, advanced to the Sunday final in Greco-Roman 211.75 weight class but opted not to compete due to his Mormon faith.

Lowney will represent the United States in September’s World Championships held in Moscow.

Paulson, an Olympic silver medalist in 1996, will join Lowney in Russia. The 121-pound Greco-Roman top seed defeated Lindsay Durlacher 6-0, 8-1 on Sunday to advance.

Hartung’s quest proved to be just as simple as he dispatched Chad Lamer 12-5, 11-4 in the 211.5-pound freestyle class. He will compete at the freestyle World Championships in Tehran, Iran.

In the women’s division, Stillwater native Jenny Wong advanced to the Halkida, Greece World Championships at 112 pounds defeating Katie Kunimoto 3-0, 3-0 (ot).