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.
PrepVolleyball.com recently rated the nation's 2013 college recruiting classes.
And, in this sport, at least, the Big Ten, led by Nebraska and the Gophers, does real well.
Minnesota is rated No. 3 in the country behind Nebraska and Southern Cal. Also in the top 10 are Wisconsin at No. 4 and Michigan State at No. 7. Three other conference teams crack the top 25: Ohio State is No. 11, illinois No. 20 and Michigan No. 25.
Here is what John Tawa says about the U, which is bringing in six player, three from in-state:
Tyler Marie “Kalei” Mau, 6-1 OH, St. Francis, Honolulu, Hawaii;
Katie Schau, 5-9 S, Gull Lake, Richland, Mich;
Hannah Tapp, 6-1 MB/OH, Stewartville, Minn;
Paige Tapp, 6-1 MB/RS, Stewartville, Minn;
Sarah Wilhite, 6-1 OH, Eden Prairie
COMMENT: In his first recruiting class, Gophers head coach Hugh McCutcheon adds seven athletes who provide a tremendous combination of athleticism, skill, and history of winning to a team that returns 11 players from the 2012 Elite Eight roster.
Mau brings a physical presence and is a true competitor at the outside hitter position. She led St. Francis High School to a 2011 state championship and chose to graduate early from high school in order to join the Gophers for the 2013 spring semester, gaining valuable collegiate on-court experience.
No. 14 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Senior Aces, Wilhite is a six-rotation outside hitter with a live arm who led Eden Prairie
High School to its first-ever Class 3A State Championship in 2011. She is a two-time Minnesota Gatorade POY and 2012 Baden Minnesota Miss Volleyball honors.
Stewartville standouts Paige and Hannah Tapp add speed, power, and versatility with their ability to play multiple positions at a high level. Together with Wilhite, the Tapps, both Top 30 Senior Aces, led the Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1s team to the 17 Open title USAV Junior National Championships last summer.
A fantastic leader and fierce competitor, Schau brings a unique ability to manage a game that isn’t seen by many young setters. She understands the game at a high level and her ability as a great decision maker will help her develop quickly in the collegiate game.
Minnesota also adds two defenders from outside the USA. Puerto Rican libero Dalianliz Rosado, a Youth National Team member, has a natural feel for the game and an elite ability to read in the backcourt.
Australian Brittany Jack represented her country in several major tournaments over the past several years and is also a talented beach player. This is an extremely well rounded class with elite players at every position.
Earlier this week, the Big Ten released its all-conference teams. The Gophers had two pitchers on the first team, a catcher on the second team and an infielder and outfielder on the third team. They did not have anyone on the all-rookie team. The teams:
ALL-BIG TEN FIRST TEAM
C – KYLE SCHWARBER, IND
1B – David Kerian, ILL
2B – Pat Kelly, NEB
SS – Thomas Lindauer, ILL
SS – Kirby Pellant, OSU
3B – Dustin DeMuth, IND
OF – Justin Parr, ILL
OF – Michael O’Neill, MICH
OF – Chad Christensen, NEB
DH – Scott Donley, IND
SP – AARON SLEGERS, IND
SP – DJ Snelten, MINN
SP – Tom Windle, MINN
RP – TRACE DEMPSEY, OSU
ALL-BIG TEN SECOND TEAM
C – Kurt Schlangen, MINN
1B – Sam Travis, IND
2B – Zach Morton, NU
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – Jordan Parr, ILL
OF – Eric Toole, IOWA
OF – Jimmy Pickens, MSU
DH – Michael Pritchard, NEB
SP – Kevin Duchene, ILL
SP – Joey DeNato, IND
SP – Luke Farrell, NU
RP – Scott Effross, IND
ALL-BIG TEN THIRD TEAM
C – Cole Martin, MICH
1B – Kash Kalkowski, NEB
2B – Connor Schaefbauer, MINN
SS – Michael Basil, IND
3B – Blake Headley, NEB
OF – Andy Henkemeyer, MINN
OF – Rich Sanguinetti, NEB
OF – Kyle Ruchim, NU
DH – Blaise Salter, MSU
SP – Andrew Waszak, MSU
SP – Brad Goldberg, OSU
SP – Brian King, OSU
RP – Ryan Halstead, IND
ALL-BIG TEN FRESHMAN TEAM
C – Jason Goldstein, ILL
1B – JOSH ESTILL, PUR
2B – Nick Ramos, IND
SS – TRAVIS MAEZES, MICH
3B – Jacob Cronenworth, MICH
OF – CAM GIBSON, MSU
OF – JAMES COATES, PSU
OF – Kyle Johnson, PUR
DH – KYLE WOOD, PUR
SP – KEVIN DUCHENE, ILL
SP – Will Coursen-Carr, IND
SP – Evan Hill, MICH
SP – Jordan Minch, PUR
RP – Scott Effross, IND
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD HONOREES
Alex Lincoln, ILL
Michael Basil, IND
Ricky Sandquist, IOWA
Patrick Biondi, MICH
Jordan Keur, MSU
Ryan Abrahamson, MINN
Bryan Peters, NEB
Trevor Stevens, NU
Ryan Cypret, OSU
Luis Montesinos, PSU
Robert Ramer, PUR
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Justin Parr, ILL
PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Aaron Slegers, IND
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Kevin Duchene, ILL
COACH OF THE YEAR
TRACY SMITH, IND
Two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson was named the MVP of the Gophers wrestling team.
He led team to a 16-2 dual meet record, 7-1 in Big Ten. Gophers won national duals title, were second in Big Ten and third in NCAA meet.
Nelson was 33-1 overall, 8-0 in conference. He also had seven pins, tying David Thorn for team high.
Other award winners:
Most dedicated: Scott Schiller, 29-6 at 197.
Most courageous: Logan Storley.
Leadership award: Kevin Steinhaus.
Most improved: Cody Yohn and Danny Zilverberg.
Intensity award: Chris and Nick Dardanes.
Nine of 10 starters were juniors or younger. Yohn was the only senior, so team should be good again next season barring key injuries.
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.
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