This week’s look back at the week that was for Minnesota Golden Gophers non-revenue sports includes a Big Ten Championship in Cross Country and sweeps around in volleyball and wrestling along with more. This week’s look ahead sees the start of both the men’s and women’s golf seasons adding to an already incredibly busy February. Lets take a look at the week that was, and the week that is upcoming:
Minnesota Track and Field/Cross Country:
The Gophers split their attention last week between the Big Ten Cross Country Championships at the Blue River Cross Country Course in Indiana and the Big Ten Multi-meet at Illinois.
The star of the week was Gopher senior Bethany Hasz who became only the second Gopher ever after Eileen Donaghy in 1987 to win an individual Big Ten Cross Country Championship. Hasz won the 6K race in a time of 20:13.2 overcoming Bailey Hertenstein of Indiana in a sprint to the finish for the title.
For her performance Hasz was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Cross Country National Athlete of the Week. It is the first time a Gopher has ever been awarded the award. It’s her second award of the season having earlier in January earned the USTFCCACC National Athlete of the Week award for Track and Field. She helped the rest of the Gopher women to a 2nd place finish in the team competition behind Michigan State for the second time in four seasons. Abby Kohut-Jackson was the second Minnesota finisher in eighth-place overall in 20:45.2 earning All-Big Ten Second Team honors.
The Gopher men finished in 8th place in the team competition with Alec Bastian leading the pack for Minnesota in 17th place overall.
Minnesota also had five athletes competing in the pentathlon and heptathlon at the Big Ten Multi-Meet at Illinois last weekend. Allison Gerads took second place in the women’s pentathlon with the sixth best score in program history. Wyatt Lubarski led the men in the heptathlon with a fourth place finish.
Minnesota is back in Lincoln this weekend for the Husker Quad meet between Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. Action starts at 11AM Saturday with live video from Nebraska provided HERE.
The Gopher Volleyball team remained perfect on the season with a pair of 3-0 sweeps of Maryland Terrapins last weekend. The Gophers won on Friday 25-16, 25-17, and 25-23 and on Saturday 25-23-25-18, and 25-15.
On Friday Stephanie Samedy led the Gophers with 14 kills while Taylor Landfair and Adana Rollins each had nine. Landfair would lead the team with 11 kills on Saturday and it would be enough to get her honored with the Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award,
The Gophers moved from #7 to #6 in this week’s poll, and will now see their toughest test yet this season as they travel to West Lafayette to face #13 Purdue Boilermakers in a pair of matches. The Gophers have won three straight matches over the Boilermakers and will look to make it five by the end of Saturday. Purdue is 2-2 on the season after getting swept by #1 Wisconsin on the opening weekend and bouncing back to sweep Iowa last weekend. The Gophers will need to neutralize reigning Big Ten Player of the Week Jael Johnson who has 31 kills on the season for the Boilermakers.
The two teams will face off at 6PM Friday live on BTN, and will rematch at 4PM Saturday on BTN+ ($$)
The #10 Gopher wrestling team swept a Big Ten Tri-meet last Sunday getting wins over #18 Purdue 32-4 and #17 Rutgers 21-18. Five of the Gophers ten wrestlers went 2-0 on the day including a pair of Gopher wresters who swept ranked opponents. #9 Patrick McKee defeated Purdue’s #6 ranked Devin Schroder and Rutgers #15 Nic Agular at 125 pounds while Owen Webster upset Purdue’s #10 Max Lyon and Rutgers #15 John Poznanski at 184 pounds.
Minnesota needed a win from Gable Steveson at heavyweight to win the Rutgers duel and he had no problem is easily defeating the Scarlet Knights’ Boone McDermott with a technical fall to clinch the win.
Minnesota is back at home this weekend as they host #12 Illinois on Friday night at the Pav. The match will start at 5PM and will stream on BTN+ $$
The Gophers bounced back from a defeat at Michigan to claim a 196.675 to 194.750 win over Penn State at the Pav last Saturday. Minnesota swept all four event titles and Lexi Ramler looked like the gymnast of old claiming the all-around crown with a season high score of 39.675. Ramler also won individual event titles on the bars (9.925) and beam (9.950) and tied for the floor title with a 9.925. For her performance she was honored with the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week Award, her first of the season and 13th of her career.
Minnesota got other great performances from Maddie Quarles who won the vault with a 9.900, and freshman Mya Hooten who tied Ramler for the floor title with a 9.925.
The Gophers will hit the road this weekend to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes. Minnesota and Iowa previously met in Minneapolis for the first meet of the season for both schools with the Gophers claiming a 197.025-196.450 win. That meet was classified as non-conference and did not count in the Big Ten standings, while this one will. The meet will begin at 3PM on Saturday and will air live on ESPNU.
The Gophers men’s gymnastics season kicked off with a loss to Iowa 393.650-387.050 last Saturday night at the Pav. The highlight of the meet for Minnesota was freshman Noah Duran scoring a 12.900 on the pommel horse to claim the event title for the Gophers. Donte McKinney would add a 13.700 to win the high bar as well for Minnesota, but it wasn;t enough to close the gap in other events.
The Gophers lost to Iowa last Sunday at the Barn 94-68. The Gophers only trailed by six points at half but then were outscored 28-8 in the third quarter to seal the game. Sara Scalia led the Gophers with 16 points and Jasmine Powell added 12.
The Gopher men’s tennis team kicked off their season at the Badger Invitational in Madison. The event was held across three days and featured Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Nebraska. Over the duration of the event Minnesota went 6-6 in doubles matches and 9-15 in singles. Siim Troost and Vlad Lobak were the most successful going 2-1 as a team in doubles. Dylan Heap and Daniel Martin both went 2-1 in singles in the event.
The Gophers will pick up the rest of their play in the spring when the Big Ten schedule is released.
Swimming and Diving:
The Gopher swim and Diving teams will be back in the pool this weekend for their last current scheduled meet of the season and the only one at home. Minnesota will host Iowa and Nebraska at the Jean K Freeman Aquatic Center beginning at 10 AM on Saturday. The meet will be streamed live on BTN+.
The Gopher women’s tennis team takes the court for the first time this season at the Wisconsin Invitational in Madison. Just like the men’s event a week ago the format will be comprised of a hidden duels with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska participating.
The tentative schedule is as follows:
Friday, Feb. 5
10:00 a.m. - Singles vs. Iowa
1:00 p.m. - Doubles vs. Nebraska
Saturday, Feb. 6
10:00 a.m. - Singles vs. Wisconsin
1:00 p.m. - Doubles vs. Iowa
Sunday, Feb. 7
9:00 a.m. - Singles vs. Nebraska
12:00 p.m. - Doubles vs. Wisconsin
Video can be watched HERE from Wisconsin.
The Gophers kick off their 2021 season this weekend at the Big Ten Match Play event at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Beach, Florida. The twelve participating teams were drawn into a single elimination bracket. The top four seeds will receive a bye into the quarterfinals. Minnesota is the #2 seeded team and will begin play Friday afternoon against the winner of the #7 Ohio State vs #10 Indiana match. Play continues Saturday with the championship and consolation semifinals and 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th place matches.
Minnesota had three golfers recognized by the Big Ten as All-Big Ten Preseason honorees. Senior Angus Flanagan returns after an All-American season in 2019. Flanagan posted a 69.33 stroke average through five tournaments in the fall of 2019 including three top-10 finishes. Also honored were senior Thomas Longbella and sophomore Connor Glynn.
The Gopher women also hit the course for the first time this season this weekend competing in the Heroes Ladies Intercollegiate event at the Founders Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida. The event is hosted by Purdue and will feature fifteen teams from across the country in a 54-hole stroke play event beginning Sunday and continuing through Tuesday.
The Gopher women also have a trio of Big Ten Preseason honorees. Seniors Joanne Free and Katie Lillie and sophomore Annabelle Ackroyd were all honored by the Big Ten .
It will also be the first tournament for new Minnesota golf coach Rhyll Brinsmead who comes to the Gophers after thirteen seasons as the head coach of Kennesaw State University.