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Three Gophers lose in quarterfinals of NCAA wrestling

The three Gophers in the quarterfinals of the NCAA wrestling championships in Tulsa, Okla., all lost competitive matches against No. 1 seeds.

Aaron Nagao fell to defending champion and unbeaten Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State 2-1 at 133 pounds. It was scoreless after two periods.

Bailee O'Reilly was beaten at 174 by another Penn State wrestler, unbeaten Carter Starocci, 5-2. And Isaiah Salazar lost to Northern Iowa's Parker Keckeisen 3-2 on a third-period takedown at 184 pounds.

Nagao and a fourth Gopher, Michael Blockhus, at 149, won consolation matches Friday night to assure themselves of finishing Saturday in the top eight, meaning All-America recognition for the team's two Big Ten tournament runners-up.

  • One Minnesotan is in the finals on the third day. Penn State heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet, of Inver Grove Heights (Simley), will meet Michigan's Mason Parris, the top seed. Kerkvliet is 19-2, Parris 32-0.

U softball wins seventh in row

Four of the first five hitters in the Gophers softball lineup each had a two-run extra base hits as Minnesota beat South Dakota State 9-5 in the Shocker Invitational in Wichita, Kan.

Jess Oakland drove in her two runs on a homer, Maddy Ehlke and Amani Bradley on triples and Kayla Chavez on a double.

Later the Gophers beat host Wichita State 5-2 for their seventh straight win. Natalie DenHartog hit two homers and Breezy Burnett one for Minnesota (18-9).

U shines in field events

Kostas Zaltos of the Gophers won the hammer throw (231 feet, 10 inches) in Southern Florida Bulls Invitational. Austin Parsons, in his second meet with Minnesota took third in the javelin (222-8) with the third-best throw in school history. He placed third. And teammate Jak Urlacher tied for first in the pole vault (16-8¾).

  • Big Ten weight throw champion Shelby Frank of the Gophers was named the Midwest Regional Field Athlete of the Year while Minnesota associate head coach Peter Miller was named Midwest Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year for the second time.

U gymnasts off to Big Ten meet

The No. 20 Gophers gymnastics team (10-6-1, 4-4-1) will compete in the Big Ten championships on Saturday in Coralville, Iowa.

Minnesota seems to be peaking lately, scoring above 197.000 in two consecutive meets. Junior Mya Hooten ranks No. 2 in the nation on floor exercise.

The NCAA selection show, which will name the teams and locations for regional competition that begins on March 29, will be on Monday.


  • Minnesota Duluth's Brooke Olson was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's NCAA Division II Player of the Year. She is averaging a career-high 23 points per game average and 7.4 rebounds. The Rice Lake, Wis., native has led the Bulldogs to their first Elite Eight against Assumption University in St. Joseph, Mo.
  • Junior Megan Van Berkom of the Gophers placed sixth (4 minutes, 5.37 seconds) in the 400-yard individual medley at the NCAA swimming and diving championships in Knoxville, Tenn. Joy Zhu of Minnesota was seventh (322.55 points) in 3-meter diving.
  • Gustavus defenseman Kayla Vrieze, a senior from Eagan, was named to the American Hockey Coaches Association's West Division III All-America first team for the second year in a row.
  • Saint Mary's senior guard Raheem Anthony and Carleton senior forward Jeremy Beckler were both named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches' All-District 9 first team while Anthony added All-America second team honors as well. Carleton's Ryan Kershaw was named Coach of the Year for District 9 in his first season.
  • The shorthanded Gophers women's tennis team lost 4-0 at Penn State. Minnesota (5-8, 0-4 Big Ten) is forfeiting two singles matches and one of three doubles matches because of a lack of available players.
  • The Rapp triplets, Rami, Eli and Cat, have re-signed with the Minnesota Aurora, the USL W League team announced.