Wrestlers win share of third Big Ten dual title

Brian Stensaas

Though there was no formal recognition, Sunday’s 25-17 win over Indiana gave Minnesota’s wrestling team its third-straight Big Ten dual meet championship.

Iowa won its match Sunday against Northwestern, meaning the Hawkeyes and Gophers will split the dual championship.

Pardon the Minnesota team members and coaches if they’re not too pumped up for the honor.

“It’s nice, but it would have meant a lot more had we beat Iowa,” senior 149-pounder Jared Lawrence said. “Our team’s not where we want to be right now. We know that not every dual meet is going to go perfectly, but at the same time we have to remember that we’re so well conditioned that we can do anything.”

Minnesota (17-5, 7-1 Big Ten) looked to control Sunday’s dual from the start as heavyweight Garrett Lowney downed Joel Powers 9-5 for the early 3-0 lead.

The third-ranked Gophers took a 9-0 lead after a scary moment at 125 pounds.

Down 8-4 in the second period, Minnesota’s Bobbe Lowe scored a two-point takedown against the Hoosiers’ (16-8, 1-7) Joe Dubuque in front of the Minnesota bench. Lowe trapped Dubuque’s right arm on the move forcing the Indiana freshman to smack the side of his face on the mat and his neck to twist in a gruesome manner.

Dubuque lay motionless for several moments before coming to in a spacey gaze. Indiana head trainer Kip Smith confirmed that Dubuque lost consciousness and received a concussion as a result of the blow.

At 133, top-ranked Ryan Lewis decisioned Greg Schaefer before Derek Phillips lost just his second Big Ten match as a Minnesota wrestler at 141.

Lawrence won his match at 149 by earning a 16-6 major decision over Matt Cooper to give the Gophers a 16-3 match lead.

After that point, however, the afternoon got dicey for Minnesota.

Filling in for 4th-ranked Luke Becker, who took the week to cross-train individually, Tyler Marr was pinned at 157, giving the Hoosiers six team points, closing the margin to seven at 16-9.

Jacob Volkmann answered with a pin of his own at 165, matting Alex LaPointe in 5:50. But from there things got interesting.

Josh McLay lost his match at 174 before Matt Nagel succumbed to a technical fall at 184 heading into the final match of the afternoon.

Damion Hahn needed to stay off his back at 197 to preserve the win, and did so despite some close moves early in the bout by Indiana’s Pat DeGain.

Hahn earned a takedown with 22 seconds to go and held on for the 4-3 individual win, sealing the dual victory.

“We’ve never considered ourselves to be a good dual meet team,” Gophers assistant coach Marty Morgan said. “Our four non-All-Americans need to step up. And it’s hard to explain because it’s a little different for each guy.”

One person in particular Morgan said was a disappointment was McLay. A first-year starter, the sophomore finished 3-5 in conference duals and knows his production must improve before the postseason.

“I have a tendency to get all nervous and stuff before a match,” McLay said. “I get so worked up beforehand and then go out and wrestle bad like today. I get so drained and then have nothing left for the match.”

McLay and his teammates have less than two weeks to decide how much they will exert. The Big Ten tournament is March 8-9 at Wisconsin.

Women’s swimming

Minnesota’s women’s swimming and diving team finished sixth in the team standings at the Big Ten championships, hosted by Purdue. The Gophers were three points away from tying fifth-place Purdue, who finished with a score of 403. Minnesota improved from last year’s Big Ten championships, where the team finished ninth with a team score of 226.

Keri Hehn finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:13.22. Hehn shaved tenths off her preliminary time of 2:13.72.

Dana Baum moved up in the ranks from the preliminaries, finishing third overall in the 100-yard freestyle. Baum improved her preliminary time of 50.70 to 50.24. It was her season best and lifetime best in the event. In all, Baum competed in three relays for the Gophers and three individual finals.

Juleen Rodakowski finished third in the 200 butterfly in 1:59.59, improving her preliminary time of 1:59.60.

Megan Moore gained 12 points for the Gophers, finishing seventh in the 200-yard backstroke. Moore clocked a 2:01.26 in the finals. Her preliminary time of 2:00.58 provisionally qualified her for the NCAA Championships.

Minnesota divers Rebecca Cornthwaite, Holly Hanneman and Kim Bahmer helped the Gophers move into fifth for a brief time, when the trio gained 30 points.

But Purdue’s 400-yard freestyle relay team finished third to regain the fifth spot with 30 relay points and a final team score of 403. Minnesota placed fifth in the event and had 28 points for a 403 team score. Minnesota’s 400-yard freestyle relay of Baum, Katy Coombe, Moore and Kate Hardt chipped in a time of 3:22.72, improving their previous season best of 3:29.36.

Men’s golf

Minnesota’s ninth ranked men’s golf team opened up play at the Puerto Rico Classic by shooting a team score of 3-over-par 291 to sit tied for second place with Oklahoma State. The Gophers are only three shots back from leader North Carolina State. The Classic is being held at the par-72, 6,945-yard River Course at Westin Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Mar, P.R.

Minnesota was lead by senior Simon Nash who carded a 70 (-2), one of only seven rounds recorded under par during Sunday’s action. The score tied him for third, one stoke off the lead. Fellow senior Matt Anderson and junior Justin Smith each shot a 1-over 73 to tie for tenth. Junior David Morgan and senior Wilhelm Schauman are tied for 24th-place with both recording a round of 75 (+3).

The Puerto Rico Classic will continue through Feb. 25.

Baseball

Freshman Brian Bull picked up his first collegiate win by pitching five and a third innings of relief and only giving up two earned runs. Freshman Matt Fornasiere also shined as he went 3-for4 with three RBIs. Redshirt freshman Andy Hunter also drove in two runs on the night.

For the third time in four games Minnesota got going early by scoring in the first inning. Fornasiere singled home Scott Welch to put the Gophers up 1-0.

Minnesota struck again in the third inning with three runs to go up 4-0.

Oklahoma State answered with three runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it 4-3.

Minnesota came right back with three runs in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 7-3.

Oklahoma State drew closer in the bottom of the fifth inning on a John Urick home run that cut the Minnesota lead to 7-5. The Cowboys trimmed the lead to 7-6 on a pinch-hit RBI single by Mario Matulich.

The Gophers were led by Fornasiere who was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in his second collegiate start. Appert was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs, while Welch was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs and one RBI.

Women’s track

Minnesota’s Erica Findlay set a new school record in the pole vault as the women’s track and field team hosted the Parents’ Day Open at the University of Minnesota Field House on Saturday. Findlay, a senior, vaulted 12-6 to top her own previous record of 12-1 1/4 set in 2002.

Amanda Sullivan won the high jump with a height of 5-3 3/4. In the shot put, Alean Frawley took first with a provisionally qualifying throw of 51-10 3/4, followed by Elizabeth Alabi in second with a throw of 45-10 1/2. Sara Clinkenbeard and Jessica Stephan took first and second place in the weight throw with marks of 56-2 1/2 and 51-10, respectively. Saree Zweifel leapt 38-6 3/4 to win the triple jump.

Kou Luogon edged out teammates Lisa Mickelson and Amber Day to win the 300-meter dash with a time of 39.42. Melissa Woltman sprinted to a first-place finish of 7.64 in the 60-meter dash. Elizabeth Woolford took first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.83 followed by Sharyl Schutz in second at 9.21.

Tanna-Marie Simmons topped six of her teammates to win the 1000 meters, clocking a finish of 3:00.68. Minnesota athletes also took the top four spots in the 600-meter dash with Shani Marks taking the title at a time of 1:31.98.

Women’s tennis

Minnesota’s women’s tennis team was defeated by 12th-ranked William & Mary, 6-1, in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday morning. The Gophers now stand at 5-3 overall.

The Tribe claimed the doubles points with wins at the No. 1 and 3 positions. Minnesota’s Angela Buergis and Nischela Reddy claimed the Gophers’ lone victory at No. 2 over Megan Muth and Amy Wei, 9- 7.

William & Mary claimed five singles wins en route to the victory. Senior captain Michaela Havelkova earned Minnesota’s lone singles win at No. 3 over Kate Boomershine, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Men’s track

With a season-best performance in the weight throw, junior Lynden Reder led Minnesota’s men’s track and field team at the Snowshoe Open in the University of Minnesota Field House on Friday. Reder won the event with a toss of 62-7 1/2.

The Gophers swept the sprints, highlighted by senior Andy Wohlin’s season-best time in the 200-meter dash of 21.84. Matt Taylor won the 60-meter dash in a time of 6.90, while Doug Swenson captured honors in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.87.

Minnesota captured two additional victories in the field events. Thomas Flensborg-Madsen won the long jump with a leap of 23-7 1/2. Kevin Netzer and Josh Paulson tied for first in the high jump, clearing 6-11.