Swimming team excels; football begins practice

Mark Remme

The Minnesota women’s swimming team finished the 2007 ConocoPhillips Swimming National Championships on Saturday with nine school records and seven Olympic Trials qualifying times.

Juniors Stacy Busack and Yuen Kobayashi led the way for the Gophers as they each helped Minnesota to four school records, along with each tallying Olympic Trials qualifying times.

Along with Busack and Kobayashi earning Olympic Trials times, senior Roxane Akradi, junior Kait Strickland, junior Christine Jennings and freshman Megan Braun also established Olympic Trials times in their respective competitions.

The Gophers open up the 2007-08 season on Sept. 28 when they host the annual alumni meet at the University Aquatic Center.

Their first meet will be home against Florida on Oct. 12.

Football update

The Minnesota football team opened up camp Monday at St. John’s Clemens Stadium with a two-hour, helmets-only practice.

Coach Tim Brewster opened up the first hour of practice with special-teams drills along with individual-unit drills before concentrating on seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 play during the final hour.

Brewster acknowledged the strong play of the defensive unit, especially that of junior defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg, junior linebacker Steve Davis and freshman safety Curtis Thomas.

“I’m really impressed with our defense,” Brewster said in a team news release. “I think they are really looking good and are still ahead of the offense at this particular time. I’m pleased with the speed and the athleticism of that group.”