By Ben Gotz, Athletic Communications Student Assistant
After finishing seventh at the 2013 Big Ten Indoor Championships, the Gophers are hoping a little bit of experience goes a long way. Over half of the track and field athletes that will compete at the 2014 B1G indoor championship also competed at last year's championships, and many of them are poised to take a big leap this time around.
The Gopher women are seeded high in several of the track events, sometimes with several Gophers near the top of the list. Here are some events loaded with Gophers to keep an eye on as the B1G championship gets underway this Friday and Saturday:
Four Gopher pentathletes are set to compete, including three seeded in the top 10. The highest seeded Gopher is junior Jess Herauf who ranks third with 4,008 points. Sophomore Alex Beckman is seeded seventh with 3,669 points, and she looks poised to improve upon her 14th place finish from last year.
Rounding out the Gopher contingent for this event is freshmen Audra Winter, seeded eighthth, and sophomore Amanda Beckman, seeded 17th.
1 Mile Run
The mile looks to be a strong event for the Gophers, as they have four runners seeded in the top 12. The Gophers' highest seed belongs to senior Maggie Bollig, listed fifth with a time of 4:46.49. Following Bollig is the only Gopher with Big Ten championship mile experience, sophomore Becca Dyson, who is seeded 10th with a time of 4:50.89.
The other two runners for the Gophers, freshmen Haley Johnson and senior Kaitlin Mincke, are seeded 11th and 12th, respectively.
The 400-meter dash features two Gophers who competed in this event last year, and they both are looking to make big improvements in their finishes this year. Senior Megan Geyen finished 11th at the 2013 Big Ten Championships last year, but she has dropped almost a full second off her time and is currently seeded fifth in the event with a 54.41.
Junior Jessica Waldvogel is seeded 15th in the event after finishing 18th last year with a time of 56.66. Freshmen Titania Markland is the final Gopher competing in the event, seeded 13th with a time of 55.77.
Senior Alena Brooks is the lone Gopher competing in this event, but she is currently the favorite to win the event with a seed time of 1:28.57. Brooks finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships last year, but this year she is looking to be the first one across the finish line.
The Gophers have four runners seeded in the top 12 in the 3,000-meter run, including three returning competitors from last year. Junior Molly Kayfes and senior Laura Docherty look to repeat top-10 finishes from last year. Kayfes is seeded sixth with a time of 9:31.75 while Docherty is seeded 10th at 9:35.41.
Sophomores Becca Dyson and Kaila Urick round on the Gophers' competitors in the 3,000m. Dyson is seeded ninth with a time of 9:34.69. Meanwhile, Urick returns to the Big Ten championships much improved, as she has dropped over 20 seconds off her time from last year and is seeded 12th after finishing 27th last year.
Distance Medley Relay
Three of the Gophers' four distance medley relay team members competed in the event last year. The team of Katie Hill, Alena Brooks, Te'Shon Adderley and Maggie Bollig finished fourth last year in 11:17.94. This year, the team of Hill, junior Jessica Waldvogel, Brooks and Bollig are seeded second heading into the meet with a time of 11:12.85.
The Gophers will have four competitors in the 5,000-meter run, all seeded within the top 15 in Molly Kayfes (second), Liz Berkholtz (fourth), Laura Docherty (seventh) and Kelli Budd (15th). Docherty and Kayfes led the Gophers in the 5,000m at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, taking second and third, respectively.
Kayfes is the highest seeded Gopher at second (16:19.12), while Berkholtz has shown tremendous improvement in the event in dropping her time by almost 25 seconds to put her as the fourth seed at 16:31.86. Berkholtz finished 19th in the 5,000m at the Big Ten Championships last year. Docherty is seeded seventh, less than five seconds out of fourth at 16:36.49. Budd also returns to the B1G 5,000m stage after finishing 18th last year.
The Gophers' 4x400-meter relay team brings back three of its competitors from last year, with a final runner entering the fold to hopefully improve upon the team's fourth place finish in 2013. The Gophers are seeded third with a time of 3:38.10, with freshmen Titania Markland joining seniors Te'Shon Adderley, Alena Brooks and Megan Geyen to complete the team.
Junior Katie Murgic and sophomore Cami Gilson are both ranked in the top 10 in the pole vault. Murgic is seeded sixth at 13-02.25 (4.02m), and Gilson is ninth at 13-01.50 (4.00m). The duo has consistently cleared the 13-foot mark this indoor season.
Three Gophers are seeded in the top 12 in the shot put, led by redshirt freshman Kailee Kamps in eighth at 48-10.75 (14.90m) and sophomore Becci Osterdyk in ninth at 48-07.50 (14.82m). Sophomore Lyndsey Thorpe comes in 12th at 47-01.75 (14.37m).
Junior Devin Stanford returns for the Gophers in the weight throw after finishing 12th at the 2013 B1G championships. Stanford's 2014 season-best throw of 62-01.00 (18.92m) positions her as the seventh seed in this year's championship. Fellow Gophers Lyndsey Thorpe (15th), Angie Guenther (19th) and Kailee Kamps (23rd) are also set to compete.
The 2014 Big Ten Indoor Championships get underway at 9 a.m. CT Friday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. Action continues at 9 a.m. CT Saturday.
Catch up on Gopher women's hockey in the news following Minnesota's back-to-back 6-0 wins over Minnesota Duluth to close out the regular season. The Gophers host St. Cloud State in a best-of-three series for the WCHA first round this weekend.
Minnesota Daily: Minnesota finds answers during season
Feb. 27, 2014
Minnesota Daily: Brandt, Bona among top-10 finalists for Patty Kazmaier; Leveille given weekly honor
Feb. 27, 2014
Minnesota Daily: Women's hockey attendance up
Feb. 26, 2014
Minnesota Daily: Gophers end regular season with sweep
Feb. 24, 2014
Minnesota Daily: Gophers recruit wins Ms. Hockey
Feb. 23, 2014
Let's Play Hockey: Sydney Baldwin of Minnetonka named Ms. Hockey
Feb. 23, 2014
Pioneer Press: Gopher women's hockey: U ends WCHA regular season with sweep
Feb. 22, 2014
Star Tribune: Gopher women overpower UMD in regular-season finale
Feb. 22, 2014
CBS Minnesota: Gopher Women's Hockey Wins WCHA Title
Feb. 22, 2014
Minnesota Daily: Gophers seniors reflect in final season
Feb. 20, 2014
The Big Ten Conference was well-represented at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games as 18 current and former Big Ten student-athletes, coaches and university students earned 20 Olympic medals in Sochi, Russia. The conference brought home medals in both men's and women's ice hockey, bobsled and ice dancing, including five gold, 11 silver and four bronze.
The Big Ten broke down how the 20 medals were awarded, including seven current and former Golden Gopher women's hockey players accounting for five silver medals:
Minnesota led all schools with five participants and one coach medaling, while participants from Michigan and Wisconsin took home five medals each. In addition, Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State saw their Olympic competitors bring home medals.
The Big Ten was well represented in the women's ice hockey final, as the United States challenged Canada in the gold-medal game. The Canadians came out on top, 3-2, in an overtime contest for the gold behind the play of former Ohio State forward Natalie Spooner and former Wisconsin defenseman Meaghan Mikkelson. Fellow Badgers Brianna Decker, Meghan Duggan, Hilary Knight and Jessie Vetter and former Gophers Megan Bozek, Gigi Marvin and Anne Schleper took home the silver skating for the United States. Current student-athletes Amanda Kessel and Lee Stecklein and assistant coach Robb Stauber, all from Minnesota, also earned silver as members of Team USA.
On the men's side, two Big Ten representatives took part in the final, with Canada defeating Sweden, 3-0. Former Michigan State student-athlete Duncan Keith helped Team Canada to the gold medal, while former Michigan standout Carl Hagelin took home the silver skating for Sweden.
In ice dancing, Meryl Davis and Charlie White added four medals to the Wolverines' lot. The pair became the first American ice dancing duo to capture Olympic gold. They also helped Team USA to a bronze medal in the inaugural team figure skating competition.
Former Illinois track and field athlete Aja Evans and Nebraska football player Curtis Tomasevicz each earned bronze medals in bobsled. Evans placed third in the USA-2 sled, helping Team USA to two medals in women's bobsledding for the first time. Tomasevicz was part of the USA-1 team that snagged the bronze medal in four-man bobsled with a time of 3:40.99, beating Russia-2 by 0.03 seconds.
Big Ten student-athletes and coaches have been a part of the Olympic experience on more than 1,370 occasions, including many taking multiple trips to the international event. That list of conference standouts has accumulated at least 480 medals, including 248 gold.
Big Ten Conference: Big Ten Totals 20 Medals at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi
McCutcheon Camp and Registration Information
Hugh McCutcheon is holding his annual volleyball camps, July 7-19, held at the University of Minnesota Fieldhouse. Both overnight and day camps are available throughout the camp sessions.
A variety of eight camps will be held, starting with the All Positions College Prep Camp, July 7-10. New to this year is the Boys All Skills Camp, also July 7-10. Events continue the next week with setting, attack and libero camps (July 11-13), followed by two all skills camps (July 13-15 and 15-17). Also new to this year's McCutcheon Volleyball Camps is a kindergarten through eighth grade Volley School (July 14-15 and July 16-17). The last camp scheduled July 18 and July 19, is geared towards Varsity and Junior Varsity athletes as they prepare for their high school training competition season.
Last year, a total of 350 campers visited campus and were split up into different locations. The University of Minnesota Field House will be this year's sole site for McCutcheon Volleyball Camps. With up to 14 sport courts and net systems, the Field House will accommodate all campers in one location. Overnight campers in our College Prep Camp and our Team Camps will stay in Territorial Residence Hall on the Super Block in the hear t of the U of M campus.
Gopher Athletics assisted the Unlimited Dance Marathon to
raise $83,746.59 in monetary and gift in kind donations, all of which goes
towards Amplatz Children's Hospital. The University of Minnesota went from
raising $13,800 in 2012 and 2013 combined to raising $83,746.59 this year. Gopher student-athlete
Minnesota Golf Fans!
Offering a slight break from the unseasonable winter Minnesotans have been experiencing this year, we took full advantage of a new rule instituted by the NCAA Division I Golf Committee this past year. All college golf teams are able to practice out of state as long as no class days are missed. This meant a late February trip to Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., for our team. I constantly joke with a close friend of mine, Brad Frost, who is the head coach of the women's hockey program at the University of Minnesota, that we should compare pictures of both of our teams' trips this time of the year. So he sends pictures of an ice rink in Duluth, Minn., while I reciprocate with a team photo standing on the 18th green of the Cochise Course, home of the 2014 Charles Schwab Championship on the Champions Tour. I know I will repeat this many times in my blogs BUT it is a great time to be a college golfer!
Gaugert led the way at the team qualifier.
Our qualifying tournament started out with a bang! Alex Gaugert, a senior and two-year letter winner, shot 64(-8) from 7,100 yards at the Cochise Course while playing in the same threesome as Jon DuToit and Jon Trasamar. Their 72s were solid but overshadowed by his two eagles and a lion's share of birdies en route to the lowest tournament or qualifying round registered since my arrival as coach on campus. All other scores for Day 1 of the Del Walker Classic qualifying can be found here on our GopherSports.com page. The guys practiced at the back range and short game facility the entire rest of Day 1 at the Outlaw Course at Desert Mountain.
The final round of every qualifier gives our coaching staff a glimpse into the mindset of certain players and provides equivalence to a pressure-packed tournament round. The Outlaw Course is a links golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus that sits off property from the other five Desert Mountain golf courses. The challenge of tight fairways, deep greenside bunkering, firm putting surfaces and windy conditions remain trademarks of this golf course. We did not find the golf course to be as easy as PGA Tour member Steve Marino found it on his way to a course record 12-under-par 59 back in 2011. Leading the way was senior captain Jon Trasamar with an even-par round of 72. Other final round scores were as follows: Rachey (74), Mendez (75), Gaugert (75), DuToit (77), Lowenstein (79) and Meyer (84). I want to personally thank two tremendous supporters of our program for making this experience possible. Fritz Corrigan of Minikahda Club and Cal Simmons of Interlachen Country Club are also both members at Desert Mountain, where they showed us an unbelievable time on the golf course and at the practice facilities. Without generous donors and friends of Gopher Golf, our program would not be able to continue to make strides back to the elite in the Big Ten and nationally.
It was a pleasure to have Grady Meyer, a freshman from Fargo Shanley High School, compete on his second trip since joining the team for the 2013-14 season. He exemplifies sportsmanship and outstanding character, which will help him have a big impact on our team in his final 3 1/2 years of college golf. Coming off a career low round of 66 (-6) at Lakewood Ranch GC in Bradenton, Fla., while practicing with Daniel Luftspring, our freshman from Toronto, Canada, Grady continued his hard work in Arizona. Striving for a more neutral grip, balanced setup and square club face that allow him to control the head in his golf swing, Grady has made as big of strides on the golf course as any player this year. Look for Grady to push his teammates with the endless amount of talent he has in the game of golf.
Back to four days of practice in Minnesota using our TrackMan launch monitor and loft/lie adjustments at 2nd Swing Minneapolis before heading to Long Beach, Calif., for the Del Walker Collegiate. The Del Walker is one of the longest running college golf tournaments in the country, contested at Virginia Country Club. In an attempt to always show my players a truly unique experience, we will be spending the day prior to the practice round playing at the Los Angeles Country Club, with the longtime director of golf, Kurt Schuette, at USC. Kurt has played a huge role in mentoring me with my first collegiate coaching job and all seven travelers are looking forward to the opportunity to play one of the top 10 golf courses in the United States! Keep your computers logged on to Golfstat.com on Monday and Tuesday, March 3-4, for tee times and complete live scoring of the 12-team Del Walker Classic.
Fairways, Fairways, Fairways!
What's In the Bag---Tyler Lowenstein (Jr./ Wayzata, Minn.)
Driver: Taylor Made RBZ Stage 2 10.5 degree
3-wood: Taylor Made Rocket Ballz 14.5 degrees bent to 15.5 degrees
Hybrid: Taylor Made Rescue 19 degree
Hybrid: Taylor Made Rescue 24 degree
Irons (4 to pitching wedge): Nike Pro Combo, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X-100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey 53 and 60
Putter: Bettinardi BB1 35 inches
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Shoe: Nike TW
Golf Glove: Nike Premium
The University of Minnesota volleyball team was well represented at the 2014 USA Volleyball Tryouts, held Feb. 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Five of the Gophers flew out of Minneapolis/St. Paul earlier on Friday, while Adrianna Nora flew out later in the day, due to class schedule. Four of the Gophers returned on Sunday night, followed by two on Monday morning, Feb. 24.
The Gophers were six among a record-number 248 athletes that competed at the event. The University of Minnesota was one of 106 schools represented as all were trying to make a spot on the United States National Team. Individuals who do not make the U.S. National Team, have a chance to make the Collegiate National Team, formerly called the Senior A2 Team. Three-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Olympic Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly and the U.S. Women's National Team staff led the tryout process.
"It was amazing to compete at such a high level all weekend with a gym full of talented athletes," Gopher outside hitter Sarah Wilhite said.
Selected athletes will be notified by early March. USA Volleyball will announce the selections by the end of March once all roster spots are accepted and confirmed. USA Volleyball will have one U.S. Collegiate National Team of 12 athletes and two coaches travel to China June 13-27, 2014, for a series of training sessions and matches in conjunction with a separate team representing the PAC 12 Conference.
The second option for the selected U.S. Collegiate National Team is training and participation at the 2014 USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships (GJNC) held in Minneapolis. A projected 36 athletes will be invited to participate in the program with training beginning on June 22, 2014, followed by the competition portion June 26-30. U.S. Collegiate National Teams will compete against each other while serving as inspiration for junior athletes competing in the GJNC on what the next level of competition is like in college.
I had a blast at tryouts," Hannah Tapp said. "It was amazing just to be playing around so many great players. One of my favorite parts was getting to play on the same side of the net as the others in the B1G! I got to know some really great girls that I'm excited to face next year in season. Overall I had an incredible time competing at such a high level and will be able to take away many things in just this short weekend in Colorado Springs."
The Gopher women's hockey team secured its eighth WCHA regular-season championship with a 3-2 win at Wisconsin on Feb. 14, 2014. Minnesota received the WCHA trophy before a 6-0 win over UMD on Feb. 21, 2014. Catch up on some of the reactions to the Gophers' championship!