Golden Nugz - 6.12.14 - WORLD CUP TIME!

Matthias Hangst

I love the World Cup! Seriously, I'm a glutton for everything related to this wonderful month. That means you get to put up with it in the Nugz. Don't worry, we've got Gopher related links too!

IT'S TIME.

I know not all of you care. I know that some of you are Kent Brockman.

But the best part of the Beautiful Game is here and nothing can spoil that. NOTHING.

/hears knock on the door

"WHAT DO YOU WANT?"

/muffled complaints

"I'M TALL AND I'LL DO WHAT I WANT!"

/muffled rebuttal that includes the point that height doesn't make right

"WELL FINE BE THAT WAY."

I guess it's time for the obligatory Gopher links. Thank you muffled complainer who looks suspiciously like GopherNation wearing a Zorro mask.

Track & Field

- Wally Ellenson is headed back to the NCAA Nationals in the high jump:

Ellenson, a sophomore, is the only underclassman on the men’s track and field team competing in the championships, which will begin Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.

When asked if there was a specific height he hoped to clear at this year’s NCAA outdoor championships, Ellenson didn’t pause before answering: 7 feet 5 inches.

The high jumper has come close to that goal before, which gives him confidence heading into the championships.

"I feel that if everything comes together," he said, "7 [feet] 5 [inches] should be a number I can hit."

At the 2013 NCAA championships, Ellenson jumped 7 feet, 2 ½ inches.

I really wish I had your hops bro.

- Speaking of NCAA Nationals...the Gophers already have 2 All Americans!

Two Gophers field athletes, men’s pole vaulter Zach Siegmeier and women’s hammer thrower Devin Stanford, turned in All-America performances on the first day of the NCAA Division I outdoor track and field championships on Wednesday in Eugene, Ore.

Siegmeier, the Big Ten pole vault champion the past two years, finished in a tie for fifth place with a mark of 18 feet, ½ inch to earn first-team honors. The senior from Lakewood, Ill., is the first Gophers outdoor All-America in the pole vault since 1998, and he had the best finish by a Gopher in the pole vault since 1993.

Stanford, a junior from Milwaukee, finished 15th to earn second-team honors. On her first attempt of the day, she threw 198 feet, 3 inches, setting a personal best by nearly 2 feet. It’s also the second-best mark in Gophers history.

Stanford was the first Gophers hammer thrower to compete on the national stage since 2007.

HATS OFF TO ZACH AND DEVIN!

Men's Basketball

- In happy news, the recruit with the name that can be said by anyone like Minnesota.

- A little old, but Pitino had a presser that included thoughts on recruiting (among many other topics).

- Remember when Flip was the media's choice for men's basketball head coach and thus they believed every single thing his camp leaked about the U spurning him and [RELATED UNVERIFIED BS HERE]?

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Friday that Saunders, who has served as the franchise’s president of basketball operations since last season, will take to the sidelines to replace former head coach Rick Adelman, who retired in April. Saunders will remain president of basketball operations while coaching.

I'm sure this had no part in why he might have actually not been very interested in the U after all. And it in no way justifies Norwood's desire to pursue others. /sarcasm

As a semi-Timberwolves fan my response is "MEH".

Football

- Cedric Thompson earned a national achievement award.

Thompson continued to thrive on the field last year for the Gophers and has established himself as a senior leader heading into this fall. On Saturday, Thompson received the Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award in Orlando, Fla., at the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention.

According to the Gophers' press release, the award "honors student athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics."

HATS OFF TO CEDRIC! Like Joe C. notes earlier in the blog post, Ced really does have an amazing story. If you've got a few minutes, you should check out the great work Joe C. and photographer Jerry Holt did in profiling Cedric last summer. Seriously, great stuff! Story and video.

Golf

Normally I'd try to shoehorn the US Open in as the lead because I love golf. But the US Open is nothing compared to the majesty and excitement that surrounds the World Cup. Did you know that the World Cup has...

/ducks flying brick

/ducks the brick that follows it

"Sigh...Ha ha GN. I get it. A lame Brick by Brick threat to get back on topic."

Gophers golf it is! Did you know two former Gophers made the field at the US Open? Because it's true. Clayton Rask and Donald Constable look to extend Phil Mickelson's US Open woes starting today. If your a golfer (or enjoy how difficult the game can be) then this story is worth a read. Because Clayton definitely earned his way in.

This is why the U.S. Open is unique. A couple of Sundays ago, Clayton Rask car-pooled with his fiancée and Josh Persons, another former Gopher. They finished a PGA Canada event in Vancouver, and drove through the night to a U.S. Open qualifying site in Oregon.

Only two of the dozens of players gathered would qualify for the U.S. Open at Pine- hurst No. 2. Rask shot a 69 and a 72 and became the second of those two players.

"We drove seven hours, got about seven hours of sleep, and played the golf course blind,’’ Rask said. "It was fun. Played good the first round and found out I was one out of the lead. I kind of had an up-and-down second round — two double bogeys, an eagle and three birdies, and I found out I needed one birdie with three holes to go.

"Birded the seventh, birdied the eighth, parred the ninth, and here we are. It was the first time I had dealt with that kind of excitement, nerves, adrenaline, whatever you want to call it. It was pretty cool to have all of that going on.’’

As for Constable? Well, you have to put up with extra doses of groan inducing Souhan slop writing to enjoy his story but he's a Gopher so deal with it and read. Donald had to hang up his skates in high school due to concussions.

By 16, he had suffered a few concussions, and his mother made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: Give up hockey, and she would bankroll his golf, including winter trips to warm-weather tournaments.

"I had started liking the game more and more,’’ Constable said. "So I took her up on that.’’

He won Minnesota state high school titles in 2005 and 2006, and accepted a golf scholarship to the University of Texas. After two seasons, he transferred to Minnesota.

Trips to Florida in January? You made a wise choice sir.

Twitter

- ATTENTION NORSK GOPHER THE COACHES LIKE TWITTER TOO!

WORLD CUP LINKS (FINALLY RIGHT?)

The Mothership has a lot of great content out about the WC. If you want to find it all in one place you can GO HERE. But here are some individual links I liked:

- ALL THE IMPORTANT INFO YOU NEED. Seriously, not a soccer person? SB Nation has you covered. Rules, explanations, the works. Don't miss out on the fun!

- World Cup for college football fans

- Who to root for via hilarious flow chart.

- People use Math to pick the winner.

- Landon Donovan is handling the snub well and makes a funny. (NOTE: The joke is based on the fact that he was left off the US World Cup team for younger, unproven players.)


USA! USA! USA!

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