Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.
The Gophers totalled 93 points in the Big Ten track and field meet in Columbus, Ohio, to finish second behind Nebraska, which had 131.5. Third was Wisconsin with 86.5.
Individual champions for the maroon and gold were Harun Abda in the 800. He won in 1 minute, 48.64 seconds, teammate Travis Burkstrand was third in 1:49.74.
Abda also ran the third leg of the 4x400 relay which took third in 3:09.15.
Also first for the Gophers was Micah Hegerle in the hammer throw with a heave of 214-4. He was second a year ago but won the title in 2010. Teammate Quentin Mege, the champion a year ago, took second this year throwing 205-2 with a broken hand.
Junior Zach Siegmeier was the third Gopher to win an individual title, taking first in the pole vault by clearing 17-1.
Second was senior Oladipo Fagbemi in the triple jump, going 50-10 3/4. Wally Ellenson, a freshman basketball player for the U, took third in the high jump, clearing 6-11 1/2.
Logan Connors was fourth in the javeling, throwing 208-3.
The Gophers women's track and field team did not have an individual winner, but had two athletes finish second and three place third in the Big Ten meet last week in Columbus, Ohio.
Junior Megan Geyen was second in the 200 in 53.91 seconds, junior Laura Docherty was second in the 10K in 34:13.21 and fourth in the 5K in 16:16.10.
Athletes placing third were Alena Brooks in the 800 in 2:09.70, Katie Loberg in the high jump -- she actually tied for third -- with a leap of 5-8 1/2, and Devin Stanford in the discus with a throw of 170-4.
Loberg played basketball for the Gophers for four seasons before joining the track and field team.
The Gophers also had three fourth-place finishes from Katie Moraczewski in the steeplechase in 10:15.7, Emily Betz in the javelin in 151-3, and the 4x400 relay team which finished in 3:40.76. Geyen ran the first leg of that relay, Brooks the anchor leg.
Adding up the Gophers points, they had 66.5 for eight place out of 11 teams.
Six goalies from Minnesota -- four boys and two girls -- are participating in the Warren Strelow national goaltending camp, which began today in Ann Arbor, Mich., and runs for four days.
The boys there are Vaughan Ahrens of Wayzata High School, Zach Driscoll of Eastview, Ryan Edquist of Shattuck-St. Mary's and Drew Scites of Compuware Midgets. Scites is from Maple Grove.
There are 25 boys and 12 girls at the camp.
The two girls, both from Minnetonka High School, at the camp are Hannah Ehresmann and Sydney Rossman.
Ahrens and Rossman were at the goaltending camp last year, too.
The Gophers baseball team won two of three baseball games over last-place Penn State last weekend on the road, but the one loss -- 4-3 in10 innings on Sunday -- tightened up the Big Ten race.
Minnesota, 28-15, 11-4 in the conference, now has a one-game lead, which will shrink to one-half game after Indiana plays at Nebraska on Monday afternoon. Both those teams are 12-5, tied for second.
The Gophers have only six games left in conference play -- all at home. They play Nebraska next weekend, then finish with Illinois, 9-9 in conference play.
Then the U of M hosts the Big Ten tournament at Target Field May 22-25.
TICKETS FOR TOURNAMENT
All-tournament passes and group tickets to the Big Ten tournament are on sale now.
All-tournament passes are $30 each, while group tickets (minimum 20) are available for $7 per ticket by calling the Target Field Box Office at (612) 338-9467 or (800) 338-9467.
Single-game tickets will be available day-of-game only at the Target Field Box Office and are $10 each for adults and $7 each for youth, senior citizens and students.
The tournament bracket will be announced on the evening of Saturday, May 18, which is the final scheduled day of regular-season competition.
The Big Ten tournament is a double-elimination event that awards byes to the top two teams. The Big Ten champion is the team or teams that finish atop the regular-season standings, while the Big Ten tournament champion receives the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Jeff Taffe, 32, and has played in the American Hockey League for all or parts of 11 seasons.
And the ex-Gopher reached a milestone Saturday night in his 605th AHL game. He got his 500th point. Only four other AHL players have done that.
Taffe reached that milestone with an assist in the Bears' 4-2 loss to Binghamton. He has 203 goals and 297 asssists in the AHL. He also has played in 180 NHL games and has 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 more points.
This season he is the second in the AHL in scoring with 18 goals and 53 assists for 71 points in 72 games.
That puts him four points behind Brandon Pirri of the Rockford Ice Hogs (22-53--75). The Ice Hogs don't have any regular-season games left.
The Bears finish their regular season at 4 p.m. Sunday with a home game agaist Manchester. Currently, they are tied for eighth place -- the final playoff spot -- in the Western Conference with Connecticut and Norfolk. All have 79 points.
Taffe also could wrest the scoring title away from Pirri -- or tie him -- with a big game. Taffe has had three four-point game since early March.
“Jeff's been consistent in a season that there hasn't been a lot of consistency within our lineup,” Bears head coach Mark French is quoted as saying in a recent story in The Patriot-News of Cental PA. “Within our lineup in general, he's been a guy who's been a mainstay for us on the power play.
“He's been a guy that, even when we were struggling offensively as a group, he was a consistent guy that would produce offense for us. He's been very valuable to us because of his excellence throughout the entire season.”
* One of Taffe's new teammates is ex-Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt. Schmitty had three shots on goal and was a minus-1 last night.
* Another Gopher defenseman new to the AHL is Mark Alt. He had a goal and a game-high six shots on net in Adirondack's 3-2 loss to Springfield on Saturday. Last week he also had a game-winning shootout goal. ... All of that is interesting because Alt did not a score a goal this past season at the U of M.
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