The Minnesota Daily

All content by Thomas Jaakola
Minnesota's Kierra Smith swims the 100-yard butterfly against Iowa State on Oct. 12, 2012, at the University Aquatic Center.

Smith turns Rio dreams into a reality

April 19, 2016

Kierra Smith’s dream since she was a kid has been to compete in the Olympic Games.     After winning a gold medal in both of her breaststroke events at the Canadian Olympic trials in Toronto...

Gophers senior Lindsay Mable competes on the balance beam at the Sports Pavilion on Jan. 23, 2016.

Mable ends college career with honors

April 18, 2016

Senior Lindsay Mable capped off her Gophers career with a slew of awards.     Mable earned First Team All-American honors on the uneven bars, floor exercise and all-around at the NCAA Championships...

Gophers Junior Zach Liebler competes on the vault at the Sports Pavilion on Mar. 5, 2016.

Gophers sixth at NCAAs

April 18, 2016

Nine years and one heartbreakingly close finish later, the Gophers found themselves back in NCAA team finals this weekend.     Minnesota was one of six team finalists at the NCAA Championships...

Senior Lindsay Mable finishes her floor routine during Saturday's regular season finale at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

Mable set to close her Gophers career

April 14, 2016

Lindsay Mable has been busy as ever this season.     The Aurora, Colo., native earned the Big Ten Gymnast of the Year award for the second time in her career and was named Big Ten gymnast of...

Sophomore Yaroslav Pochinka competes on the still rings at the Sports Pavillion on Feb 13, 2016.

Minnesota looks for redemption at NCAAs

April 14, 2016

The Gophers are aiming for redemption at the NCAA Championships this year.     Minnesota has not competed in team finals since 2007, but last year it failed to advance by a slim margin. The...

Senior Lindsay Mable competes on the uneven bars at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday. The Gophers placed second and will be advancing to the Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.

Gophers win second at NCAA Regional

April 4, 2016

The Gophers delivered for their home crowd for one last time on Saturday.     No. 16 Minnesota hosted the NCAA Regionals at the Sports Pavilion and placed second to advance to the NCAA...

Senior Paul Montague, Jr. competes during the still rings event at the Sports Pavilion on Jan. 30.

Minnesota aims at the top of the Big Ten

March 31, 2016

Entering the Big Ten Championships this weekend, the Gophers have a chance to do something they haven’t done in nearly 20 years.     Minnesota is ranked No. 4 in the country with only...

Junior Manny Pollard dives at the Aquatic Center on Friday afternoon. The Gophers hosted the Jean Freeman Invite for swimming and diving on Dec. 5, 2014.

Minnesota places 20th at NCAAs

March 28, 2016

Senior Manny Pollard and junior Matt Barnard helped the Gophers finish 20th at the 2016 NCAA Championships, the team’s highest finish since 2013.     Pollard earned All-American honors...

Minnesota set to end year at NCAA Championships

March 23, 2016

The Gophers men’s swimming and diving team will send three individual swimmers and four divers to the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga., which begins Wednesday and runs through Saturday.     Three...

Senior Lindsay Mable performs on the uneven bars at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

Minnesota places third in the Big Ten

March 21, 2016

The Gophers finished third at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb., a large improvement on the team’s sixth-place finish last year.     Michigan took first...

Gophers sophomore Brooke Zeiger competes in the women's 400 individual medley finals in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Dec. 5.

Women’s team takes 16th at NCAA Championships

March 21, 2016

Minnesota finished 16th with 70 points at the 2016 NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Ga., with five Gophers earning All-American honors.     The finish is the team’s lowest since not participating...

Senior Hanna Nordquist performs on the balance beam at the Sports Pavilion on Feb. 27.

Upperclassmen trio leading Minnesota

March 10, 2016

A trio of upperclassmen led the Gophers to a season-high score last weekend in Colorado, and now the three have turned their attention to the Big Ten Qualifier.     Junior Bailie Holst and seniors...

Seven qualify for NCAAS

March 10, 2016

The Gophers qualified seven divers for the 2016 NCAA Championships at the NCAA Diving Zones, which concluded Wednesday.     Freshman Alan LeBlang, junior Matt Barnard and seniors Dylan Zoe...

Senior Paul Montague Jr. competes on the parallel bars on Saturday at the Sports Pavilion.

Montague wins first all-around title

March 7, 2016

Paul Montague Jr. waited until his final home meet to compete in the all-around.     And he made it count.      The senior gymnast won the event on Saturday at the Sports...

Pochinka taking flight in second year

March 3, 2016

Yaroslav Pochinka is soaring in his second year with the Gophers.     The sophomore is the top-ranked gymnast in the country on vault for the second consecutive week, and his average score in...

Former Minnesota diver Mikey Ross poses in partial stage makeup. Ross joined Cirque Du Soleil after graduation as an acrobat and performs in the show,

Former U diver with Cirque du Soleil

March 1, 2016

Three years after his final season with the Gophers, former All-American diver Mikey Ross is performing as an acrobat for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.     Ross spent two seasons with Minnesota...

Gophers junior Matt Barnard competes in diving at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Dec. 5.

Minnesota finishes in fourth at the Big Ten Championships

February 29, 2016

After ending the first day of the Big Ten Championships in eighth place, the Gophers improved to finish fourth at the four-day meet in West Lafayette, Ind., with 919 points.     Minnesota scored...

Senior Hanna Nordquist performs on the balance beam during Saturday's regular season finale at the Sports Pavilion. Nordquist scored a 9.850 on the beam, claiming second place.

Women’s team wins final home meet’

February 29, 2016

The Gophers finished with an eighth consecutive victory in the final home meet of the season.     No. 19 Minnesota tallied a team score of 196.200, the second-highest total of the season, to...

Abby DeMuse performs her floor routine against Illinois at the Sports Pavillion on Feb. 6.

Minnesota off to 7-0 start in duals

February 25, 2016

The Gophers have recorded seven consecutive victories in dual meets to open the season this year.     Minnesota is ranked No. 19 this season after finishing with the 23rd-best national qualifying...

Junior Daryl Turner charges ahead, dominating the 100 freestyle at the Aquatic Center on Oct. 24, 2014, against North Dakota. Turner took first place and finished with a time of 44.75.

Men’s team heads to Big Tens in Indiana

February 23, 2016

The men’s swimming and diving team defeated its last seven opponents in dual meets but will face its best competition of the season this week.     The Gophers will compete in the Big Ten...

Gophers sophomore Brooke Zeiger competes in the women's 400 individual medley finals in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Dec. 5, 2015.

Minnesota finishes third in the Big Ten

February 22, 2016

Junior diver Yu Zhou highlighted the Gophers’ third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships over the weekend, winning three events to earn her second consecutive Big Ten Diver of the Year award.     The...

Senior Lindsay Mable performs her floor routine at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday. Mable claimed first place on the floor with a score of 9.900, the highest of the night.

Gophers floor Iowa State and Air Force

February 22, 2016

Lindsay Mable put together another unstoppable performance in Ames, Iowa, Friday night.     The senior won the all-around competition with a score of 39.550 and claimed individual...

Sophomore Yaroslav Pochinka competes on the still rings at the Sports Pavillion on Saturday, Feb 13.

Young Gophers flying high in rankings

February 18, 2016

The Gophers are ranked No. 4 in the nation this season thanks to the young players on the roster.     Minnesota has only two seniors and one junior in a sport that stresses team depth and instead...

Sophomore Danielle Nack competes in the Women's 100 Yard Backstroke during the 2016 Minnesota Challenge at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on Saturday, Feb. 6.

Minnesota to swim for fifth consecutive Big Ten title

February 17, 2016

The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team will have a chance this week to add to an already impressive winning streak.     Minnesota will compete for its fifth consecutive Big Ten title...

Gophers junior Matt Barnard competes in diving in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Saturday, Dec. 5., 2015.

Gophers led by veteran divers

February 16, 2016

The Gophers men’s and women’s divers made their final dives of the season count last year, and Minnesota is confident it can do the same this season.     Eight Minnesota divers competed...

Freshman Justin Karstadt competes on the parallel bars at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday night, where the Gophers came in 2nd out of six competing teams.

Gophers barely edged by No. 2 Stanford

February 15, 2016

The Gophers women’s gymnastics team set a season-high in points but nearly saw their winning streak snap.     Minnesota defeated No. 14 Nebraska 196.300-196.100 in Lincoln, Neb., on...

Abby DeMuse performs her floor routine against Illinois at the Sports Pavillion on Feb. 6.

DeMuse makes quick return from injury

February 11, 2016

Sophomore Abby DeMuse returned stronger than ever after a major shoulder surgery last May.     Head coach Jenny Hansen said she was unsure DeMuse would be competing by this point of the...

Junior Ellen Bloom competes in the Women's 200 Yard 
Freestyle during Saturday's 2016 Minnesota Challenge at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center.

Gophers set records in tune-up meet

February 8, 2016

The Gophers men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams combined to set 35 personal records at the Minnesota Challenge on Saturdayin their final tune-up before the Big Ten Championships.     “They’ve...

Lindsay Mable performs her floor routine during Saturday's competition against Illinois. Mable took first place on Uneven Bars, Beam, Floor and All-Around as the Gophers won their fifth straight meet.

Gophers win fifth straight behind Mable

February 8, 2016

Lindsay Mable delivered a dominant performance at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday, winning four events and tying for first on a fifth as the Gophers won their fifth consecutive meet.     The...

Freshman Justin Karstadt concentrates during his performance on the pommel horse at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday.

Karstadt headed south to Gophers

February 4, 2016

The Gophers men’s gymnastics team turned to Canada the last two years when looking for talent and came away with two gymnasts from north of the border.     The latest is freshman Justin...

Freshmen pair earn first legs

February 4, 2016

The Gophers are using a rookie one-two punch to get ahead in medley relays.     Freshmen Zoe Avestruz and Rachel Munson have swum the first two legs of Minnesota’s medley relays this year...

Men’s team dropping time as end of the season nears

February 2, 2016

The Minnesota men’s swimming and diving team seems to be heating up at the right time heading into the final meets of the season.     The Gophers won seven meets in a row after defeating...

Gophers take Big Ten Triple Dual in Evanston

February 1, 2016

The men’s swimming and diving team kept their winning streak alive over the weekend in the Big Ten Triple Dual.     The Gophers defeated Northwestern 230-122 and Purdue 224-129 in Evanston,...

Senior Paul Montague holds a move during the still rings event Saturday at the Sports Pavilion. The Gophers scored the fourth highest team score in program history, defeating Nebraska  435.150-428.100.

Gophers earn season-high score in win over Nebraska

February 1, 2016

A sore wrist and an injured arm didn’t stop junior Zach Liebler from leading the Gophers to a season-high victory Saturday night.     Liebler had the highest individual score...

Wittenberg sticks in two events

January 28, 2016

A stuck dismount right out of the gate got the crowd of nearly 700 on its feet last Saturday at the Sports Pavilion.     Sophomore Alex Wittenberg, whose perfect landing capped off a career-best...

Gophers focus on relays

January 28, 2016

The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team has only lost one dual meet all season, thanks to an extra emphasis on the highest-scoring events: relays.     Sophomore Danielle Nack, senior...

Junior Zach Liebler competes on the high bar at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday where Minnesota met with Penn State.

Gophers exact revenge on Penn St.

January 25, 2016

Last year, Penn State edged the Gophers out of the NCAA team finals by 0.2 points. Minnesota was able to win by a much larger margin Saturday.     The Gophers defeated the Nittany Lions...

Sophomore Ciara Gardner competes on the Beam at the Sports Pavilion on Saturday.

Gardner takes personality to the floor

January 21, 2016

Ciara Gardner competes in all four events for the Gophers, but two of them stand out above the rest.     The sophomore competed in all 14 of the team’s meets last year, and her highest-scoring...

Pool records shattered during Colorado meets

January 18, 2016

Senior Lauren Votava broke six pool records in Denver over the weekend — two as an individual and four as a relay team member.     The Gophers women’s swimming and diving team broke...

Gophers take third at Windy City

January 18, 2016

The Minnesota men’s gymnastics team opened its season by placing third in the Windy City Invitational after placing fifth last season.     The Gophers finished with 424.500 points Sunday afternoon,...

Gophers sophomore Brooke Zeiger competes in the Women 400 Yard IM finals in the Jean K. Freeman Aquatics Center on Saturday.

Barnard breaks records at home

December 7, 2015

Junior diver Matt Barnard led the way for the Gophers over the weekend at the Jean K. Freeman Invitational.   Barnard started things off on Friday by breaking his own school record in platform...

Zeiger building off of strong freshman year

December 3, 2015

Brooke Zeiger started her sophomore year right where she ended last year.   As a freshman, she set the school record in the 400 individual medley, won a Big Ten individual championship and earned...

Junior Daryl Turner charges ahead, dominating the 100 freestyle at the Aquatic Center on Oct. 24, 2014, against North Dakota. Turner took first place and finished with a time of 44.75.

Turning it around

December 1, 2015

Junior Daryl Turner has been a consistent scorer for Minnesota since returning from a dislocated knee that held him out of the Gophers first dual-meet at Florida State.   Turner has produced three...

Team captain and junior Haley Johnson competes in the women's cross country intrasquad meet at the Les Bolstad Golf Course on Sept. 4, 2015.

Men finish in 19th at NCAA meet

November 23, 2015

No. 16 Minnesota raced its way to a 19th-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championships on Saturday morning. Sophomore Obsa Ali and redshirt senior Adam Zutz led the team in its first time back...

Zhou racks in awards at meet in Georgia

November 23, 2015

Junior diver Yu Zhou led the way for the Gophers by winning the 1-meter event, the 3-meter event and platform diving at the Georgia Tech Invite in Atlanta.   Zhou started things out for the team at...

Aaron Bartnik runs the final stretch of the Roy Griak Invitational at Les Bolstad Golf Course on Sept. 27.

Men’s team turns season around

November 19, 2015

The men’s cross country team looked like they would have a disappointing year after a slow start.   The team placed only 24th out of 42 teams at the Pre-National meet on Oct. 17, missing...

Pollard regaining form midseason

November 18, 2015

Gophers senior Manny Pollard has had flashes of his past form in some of his last few meets. The New York native has consistently been one of the Gophers top three divers in both the 1-meter and 3-meter...

Redshirt senior Adam Zutz runs at the 2015 Roy Griak Invitational at the Les Bolstad Golf Course on Sept. 26.

Minnesota men’s team second at regional

November 16, 2015

The men’s cross country team used its momentum from the Big Ten Championships in a big way on Friday.   No. 26 Minnesota finished in second place overall at the 2015 NCAA Midwest Regional...

Minnesota's Kierra Smith swims the 100-yard butterfly against Iowa State on Oct. 12, 2012, at the University Aquatic Center.

Kierra Smith training with trials in mind

November 11, 2015

Kierra Smith is taking a year off from the University of Minnesota, but she’s still swimming as hard as ever.   Just two weeks ago, Smith posted the third best 200 breaststroke time at an International...

Bartnik returns from injury to Gophers

November 9, 2015

Gophers captain Aaron Bartnik returned to race just when his team needed him.   Bartnik was limited in practice for over a month and at one point had to take eight consecutive days off due to a muscular...