One of the longest standing traditions of the M Club continued on Thursday when more than 100 alums from a variety of U of M athletics programs gathered at Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minn. for this year's Bolstad Cup.
A beautiful, sun-soaked day welcomed alums back to the traditional site of the event after a one-year hiatus brought the event to Town & Country Golf Club last summer. While the rolling hills and towering trees of the Bolstad course were the stars of the afternoon, the post-tournament program provided evening highlights with several Gopher coaches and administrators, including new athletics director Mark Coyle, director of men's track and field and cross country Steve Plascencia, and head rowing coach Wendy Davis, addressing the audience.
Coyle had returned to Minneapolis earlier in the afternoon after two days touring Minnesota with the Gopher Road Trip but found time to get to the course and talk to the collection of former letterwinners. Coyle expressed great appreciation to all in attendance for their contributions that helped build Minnesota into a national-level athletics department that will continue to pursue excellence for all 25 athletics programs.
Plascencia, a Minnesota alum who went on to run in the Olympics before returning to his alma mater to coach, gave the audience a summary of his team's 2015-16 seasons but also introduced the group to Aaron Bartnik, a cross country runner who recently was named a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
Davis used the opportunity to share more about her sport. While detailing how physically demanding the sport is, she encouraged Gopher alums to come down to the U of M Boathouse and learn more about the sport and the student-athletes that represent Minnesota as part of the program.
The Bolstad Cup crowned two championship teams this year -- one for golfers 64 and under, the other for those 65 and older.
The younger flight champions were Dan Moore and Jason Hagman, both football alums, Michelle Moore, a women's golf alum, and Travis Perry, who is currently an assistant recruiter for the football program. Competition was tight, with the winning team taking the crown by a single stroke.
The elder flight champions were a foursome that included two men's golf alums, Jim Carlson and John Paulson, and two baseball alums, Steve Schneider and Ron Roalstad.
With the end of this year's event, planning for next year's Bolstad Cup has already begun. Be sure to contact the M Club if you're interested in participating in the event next season.
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