The Gophers opened the four-day Big Ten women's swimming and diving championships in Columbus, Ohio, with second-place finishes in two relays.

The 200-yard medley relay was clocked in 1 minute, 35.06 seconds and the 800 freestyle relay in 6:59.53. Both times are school records and qualified the relays for the NCAA meet.

Zoe Avestruz, a junior from Chaska, swam the anchor leg on both relays. Danielle Nack also was on both.

Ex-Carleton AD dies

Jack M. Thurnblad, a former longtime Carleton College athletic director and men's basketball coach, died Monday at age 96 at his residence in Northfield.

He was hired as the Knights basketball coach in 1960 and named the AD in 1970. He also served as golf coach for years before retiring in 1989 with more wins than any other Carleton basketball coach in school history.

In 1979, Thurnblad helped form the Carleton "C" Club Hall of Fame and was named a charter member.

Funeral services for him will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Church of St. Dominic in Northfield.

U baseball third

The Gophers baseball team was picked to finish third in the Big Ten preseason coaches poll announced Wednesday behind Indiana and Nebraska.

Minnesota was 36-20 overall last season and 15-8 in conference play.

Gophers coaches picked three infielders as players to watch on the team: first baseman Toby Hanson, second baseman Luke Pettersen and third baseman Micah Coffey. Cole McDevitt, a first team all-Big Ten catcher, also returns.

The Gophers open their season against Georgia Tech at 3 p.m. Friday in Atlanta.


• Michigan State's Sarah Burnham, a senior from Maple Grove, was named the Big Ten women's golfer of the week. She shot a 7-under 209 for 54 holes to tie for third place at the Florida State Match-Up. The Spartans were the team runners-up.

• The St. Scholastica softball team was picked to win the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference for the 10th consecutive season in a conference coaches preseason poll.