It’s a gorgeous Friday morning in the Twin Cities. Here are a few news nugs for you about your favorite Minnesota Gophers teams that have happened this week:
The Gophers close out the regular season this weekend at home against Rutgers. Barring a Gopher sweep of Rutgers and both Purdue and Michigan State faltering, the Gophers will be out of the Top 8 in the Big Ten and will not make the Big Ten Tournament and see their season end early for the third straight season. Minnesota went 29-27 in 2019, the last normal year pre-COVID. Excluding the 2020 season which never really happened, since then the Gophers have gone 39-90 with a pair of games against Rutgers left this weekend still to play in 2023. It’s not been great.
Despite all that, Randy Johnson of the Star Tribune let is slip in an article on the baseball team this week that John Anderson WILL be back to coach the Gophers in 2024. The key quite in the article is , “Anderson and athletic director Mark Coyle have agreed that he will return next winter. The two-year contract that Anderson signed in 2021 included a renewal clause that will be exercised, an athletic department spokesman said.”
If you want to see this year’s team, they will play the Scarlet Knights at 6PM Friday and 2PM Saturday at Siebert Field.
The Gophers got a boost for the 2023-24 season this week when they officially announced a pair of fifth year seniors will return next season in center Jaxon Nelson and goalie Justen Close.
It hasn’t been officially announced yet but it is expected that fellow fifth year senior Bryce Brodzynski will join Nelson and Close in stating he is returning for a 5th year.
The lone major question mark who hasn’t officially stated his intentions for next season would be rising sophomore Logan Cooley.
***EDIT*** At 11:15 on Friday the Gophers announced Cooley is back for his sophomore season!!!
Cooley was the #3 pick in the NHL Draft last summer by the Arizona Coyotes and could sign with them, or return for his sophomore season. Pundits have predicted both results, so we will all need to just wait and see what he decides to do.
Gopher Junior Ben Warian was competing at the Bath NCAA Regional this past week trying to earn a spot in the NCAA Championships. To advance he needed to be the top individual scorer not on a team roster. Warian got off to a great start shooting a -4 67 in his opening round tying for 5th overall after the first round and tied for the top individual spot. His second 18 was a big tougher as Warian shot -1 70 to move to -5 overall for the tournament. he was tied for 6th place overall and tied for the top individual spot after 36 holes and would just need to try and put together one last good 18 hole round to advance.
Unfortunately Wednesday was a tough day on the course for many golfers. The course played much tougher than it had the previous two days and Warian struggled to a +1 72. His -4 total for the tournament would place him in a sixth way tie for 11th overall, but two shots back of Wright State’s Mikkel Mathiesen who will move onto the NCAA Championships in two weeks.
Two weeks after being the top individual at the Westfield Regional and qualifying for the NCAA Championships, Gopher freshman Bella McCauley kicks off those Championships on Friday at the Greyhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale Arizona. McCauley will tee off at 3:42 CDT on Friday for her opening round of the four day tournament. She joins 155 other golfers from 36 universities in Scottsdale for the tournament. There are a total of 30 teams and six individuals competing. Everyone will play in the opening three founds Friday through Sunday with the top 15 teams and nine individuals on a non-advancing team advancing to the final round of stroke play on May 22nd to crown an individual winner.
You can follow her path at the NCAA Championships HERE. If she advances to Monday’s final round it will stream on the Golf Channel and the NBC Sports APP.
Track and Field:
After a great performance at the Big Ten Championships last week the official list of NCAA West Regional Qualifiers was released this week with Minnesota having 32 entries. The West Regional is scheduled for May 24-27, hosted by Sacramento State at Hornet Stadium, in Sacramento, Calif. Qualifying individuals and relays advance to the 2023 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Austin, Texas, held on June 7-10 at Mike A Myers Stadium and Soccer Field. Athletes with the top 12 times/marks and the best 12 relay teams at both the East and West Preliminary Rounds sites will qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The Gopher men will have 20 entries while the women will have 12. All four relays will be represented in Sacramento with the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m teams all qualifying.
The full list of qualifiers is below:
Kion Benjamin, 100m
Devin Augustine, 100m/200m
Carlon Hosten, 100m/200m
Eli Hoeft, 1500m
Michael Buchanan, 110m Hurdles/Long Jump
Matt Wilkinson, 3000m Steeplechase
4x100m Relay (Hosten, Benjamin, Schirmer, Augustine)
4x400m Relay (Hosten, Ayoub, Antoine, Augustine)
Jak Urlacher, Pole Vault
Isaiah Schafer, Shot Put
Kyle Atkinson, Shot Put
Kaleb Siekmeier, Discus/Hammer
Jake Kubiatowicz, Discus/Hammer
Kostas Zaltos, Hammer
Austin Parsons, Javelin
Odell Frye, 100m
Amira Young, 100m/200m
Akilah Lewis, 100m
Janielle Josephs, 400m
Jayla Campbell, 400m
Zariyah Black, 100m Hurdles
Maja Maunsbach, 100m Hurdles
Taylor Kreitinger, 3000m Steeplechase
4x100m Relay (Frye, Hansen, Lewis, Young)
4x400m Relay (Campbell, Josephs, Etienne, Hansen)
Nyalaam Jok, High Jump