Gophers graduate student Matthew Wilkinson was named national Division I athlete of the week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
In his season debut, Wilkinson was second in the 3000-meter steeplechase last Thursday at the Raleigh (N.C.) Relays. He was the top college finisher in 8 minutes, 29.35 seconds, breaking the meet and facility record.
Wilkinson's top national ranking in the steeplechase also helped the Gophers reach the No. 1 team ranking for the first time in school history this week.
"This is such a great honor for Matt. He's a guy who works very hard and this was really an outstanding early-season performance," assistant coach Brad Wick said. "We were expecting a good and competitive race and it turned out to be an even better race. We cannot wait to see what the rest of the season brings for Matt."
U men's golf team finishes 15th
The Gophers men's golf team finished in 15th place in the Valspar Collegiate in Palm City, Fla., with an overall team score of 18-over par (291-293-286–870). Third-ranked North Carolina took first place with 27-under par (275-278-272–825).
Junior Ben Warian, Minnesota's top individual, had five birdies in his final round to finish in a tie for 30th with a score of 1-under par (67-71-74—212).
"Ben Warian had a solid week." Gophers coach Justin Smith said. "We need to get more consistency from our regular starters. We will get back to work this week to ensure that we can have that much needed consistency when we head to Missouri."
The Gophers will play in the Tiger Collegiate from April 10-11 in Columbia, Mo., at the Club at Old Hawthorne.
- Fifth-year senior Joy Zhu of the Gophers was named the Diver of the Year in the Big Ten and Minnesota's Wenbo Chen the Diving Coach of the Year. Zhu finished her Minnesota career with a pair of All-America honors. At the recent NCAA women's championships, she placed eighth on the 1-meter springboard with a score of 297.35, while on the 3-meter she finished in seventh (322.55). Chen has received the conference's top award for diving coaches nine times.