The Gophers will try to improve upon last year's fourth-place finish this week in the Big Ten men's swimming and diving meet, which starts Wednesday in Iowa City.

No. 22 Minnesota has finished among the top four teams in the conference meet for the past 26 years. Sophomore Jakub Maly of Vienna, Austria, was fifth in the 400-yard individual medley last season and placed in the top 10 in two other individual events. Afterward, he was named the conference's freshman of the year. Junior Manny Pollard took third in platform diving a year ago.

Michigan is the four-time defending champion in the four-day meet.


• The Gophers softball team, which went 5-0 last weekend in the Diamond Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., to improve to 13-1, moved up in both major national polls. Minnesota is No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll, up three spots, and No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA poll, up two.

• Freshman Charlie Duensing made a hole-in-one and sophomore Jose Mendez finished in a tie for 17th in the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande. The Gophers finished 13th. Duensing's first ace came on the 178-yard 10th hole. He used a 7-iron. Mendez shot an even-par 72 his final round for a 216 total.

• The Gophers wrestling team is No. 2 in InterMat's final regular-season tournament rankings and No. 4 in its dual meet rankings. Five seniors are in the top five in their weight class: Chris Dardanes is No. 1 at 133 pounds, Dylan Ness No. 2 at 157, Nick Dardanes, Chris' twin brother, No. 4 at 141, Logan Storley No. 4 at 174 and Scott Schiller No. 5 at 197.

• Gophers senior Ellis Mannon was named the Big Ten co-gymnast of week after winning pommel horse in prestigious Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas. His scores of 15.250 and 15.450 points were the highest of his career.

• Nebraska's Ryan Boldt, a sophomore outfielder from Red Wing, was named the Big Ten baseball player of week. He led the Cornhuskers to three wins in four games with BYU. He was 10-for-16 with six runs scored.