Big Ten names U’s Hegener top female athlete

Michael Rand

Gophers swimmer Gretchen Hegener and Wisconsin track and field athlete Kathy Butler on Tuesday were named Big Ten-Suzy Favor Women’s Athletes of the Year in one of the closest votes in the history of the award.
Ohio State gymnast Blaine Wilson won the Big Ten-Jesse Owens Men’s Athlete of the Year award in a landslide.
Hegener and Butler each earned 16 points and received three first-place votes to finish in a tie, marking just the second time — the other was 1991 — the award had co-winners.
Hegener, a junior from Cologne, Minn., became the first Minnesota woman to win the award. Gophers gymnast John Roethlisberger won the men’s award in 1993.
At the NCAA Championships this year, Hegener broke an eight-year-old American record in the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming the event in 1:00.32 and becoming Minnesota’s first national swimming and diving champion.
She was also a four-time 1997 Big Ten champion, winning the 100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.
Iverson on Big Ten team
Angie Iverson, a center on the Gophers women’s basketball team, is one of 13 players participating on the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tour that starts today and runs through June 25.
The team will play against the Australian All-Stars today and Thursday and then travel to Slovakia and the Czech Republic for games before returning home.
Iverson, a senior from Owatonna, Minn., was a second-team all-Big Ten media selection in 1997. She finished first in the nation in total rebounds with 344 and led the Gophers in scoring with 16.9 points per game. She is also an academic all-Big Ten selection with a 3.03 GPA in elementary education.
Iverson is the only Gophers player on the team.
Sears Cup final results
Minnesota finished in 15th place in the fourth annual Sears Directors Cup standings, which recognizes the best all-around college athletics programs in the nation.
The Gophers 15th-place finish is the second-best ever for the program. The school finished 14th three years ago.
Minnesota ranked third among Big Ten schools, trailing Ohio State and Michigan. Ten of the 11 schools in the Big Ten finished in the top 50.