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Big changes and big wins in Gopher sports

Welcome to The Gold Standard, a new sports podcast bringing you updates on Gopher athletics. In this episode, Andrew Cornelius covers the latest football recruits, standout golf performances, and changes in the basketball, baseball and softball teams.

ANDREW CORNELIUS: Hello, and welcome to The Gold Standard! I am Andrew Cornelius with The Minnesota Daily, and I am bringing you a weekly update on everything Minnesota sports. Thank you for joining us on our very first episode of this podcast. 

We’ll get you set with the Gopher football team. Daniel Shipp Jr., Mark Handy, Jaquan Stubbs and David Amaliri are the four that committed earlier this morning here in Minneapolis at an event called the Summer Splash that the Gophers host annually here in Dinkytown, looking to add new recruits. This is one of their best classes under PJ Fleck, and it’s coming off one of their tougher seasons.

They finished six and seven last season, finishing with a bold win over Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl. But the conference only gets tougher with the addition of four new teams. Oregon, Washington, UCLA and USC enter the conference with the realignment across the country, including teams heading to the ACC and SCC from the Big 12 and the no longer established conference of the Pac 12. And Minnesota themselves will travel to California and play in the historic Rose Bowl Stadium against UCLA as well as host the USC Trojans. 

Moving on to Gophers Golf, Isabella McCauley and Ben Warian represented the University of Minnesota at the NCAA Championships this past month. Warian wrapped up his final season as a Gopher, setting a new single season scoring record, breaking his one from last year, which was 70.69, now 70.35. That’s an all time record in Gophers history! And he got his first individual win that he was hoping for throughout his career at the Highland Meadows Intercollegiate Tournament. Head coach Justin Smith praised Warian for his historic performance. He was minus 14 over the first 36 holes.

He said, “That is not a level of golf many have seen in this program’s history.” Warian also competed in the Stanford Regional, where he entered the final day in 7th place and shot a 65 to tie for 2nd, and qualify for the NCAA Championship. Sophomore superstar Isabella McCauley also competed in the national championship for the second time in as many years and was named an All American which, to her, was not even attainable heading into college and she said, “It was truly a dream come true.”

Gopher basketball is back in action over the summer as both teams head in for summer practices in Dinkytown. Champ Howard will be writing up a story for the press conference tomorrow that Ben Johnson and student athletes will be speaking at. Over the off season, the men’s basketball team lost Elijah Hawkins, Brayden Carrington, Joshua Ola Joseph, Pharrell Payne, and Cam Christie.

They added Frank Mitchell, Trey Edmonds, Caleb Williams, Femi Odukale, and Lusai Patterson. Gopher fans will have a better understanding of what this team will look like for the future after Champ’s story later this week

For the baseball team, John Anderson, longtime head coach, retires after 43 seasons at the helm, 49 total throughout his playing and coaching career. And Ty McDevitt, his longtime assistant and pitching coach, is named the new head coach of Gopher Baseball. Anderson amassed 11 regular season Big Ten titles and 10 post season titles for the Gophers.

And he also produced 36 consecutive seasons with an MLB draft pick dating back to 1988. Coach McDevitt looks to carry that torch and continue the professional pipeline that Anderson has created while also adapting and changing the style of baseball the Gophers play. For Gopher baseball, Tristan Ellis, a junior infielder, transferred to Milwaukee, moving back to his home state of Wisconsin.

Easton Fritcher entered the transfer portal yesterday, still undecided on where he will go, and Brady Council, who led the Gophers in nearly every offensive statistic, entered the transfer portal just a few weeks ago. So there’s a lot of new names and new faces that the Gophers will add through freshmen, but also will have to replace some key figures in their lineup.

The other diamond sport, Gophers softball, finished 28-25, 13-10 in the Big Ten, and they lost six seniors. Including Jacie Hamrick and Bri Enter who led the pitching staff and innings pitched, and Morgan DeBord and Sidney Strelow, who are two of the top three hitters on the Gophers team. For Morgan DeBord, she started her pro career in the AU Pro softball league after completing her five seasons of college softball and for the Gophers, Addison Leshper entered the transfer portal after the season concluded. 

This episode was written by Andrew Cornelius and produced by Kaylie Sirovy. Thank you for listening to our inaugural episode of The Gold Standard.

And feel free to send a message to our email box at [email protected] with any questions, comments or concerns. This episode was recorded on Sunday, June 16, so Happy Father’s Day to my dad and all the fathers out there! I’m Andrew Cornelius, and this has been The Gold Standard.

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