By Gene McGivern, Sports Information Director
Here’s what’s happening with the Tommies this week:
- Cross country teams run Saturday in NCAA regional
- Football to close season with Saturday home game
- Swimming and diving teams at Macalester Friday
- UST men’s hockey hosts rival St. John’s Friday night
- Volleyball team 1-1 in MIAC tourney
- UST men’s soccer finishes with winning record
The UST cross country teams run Saturday in the NCAA Division III Central Regional meet in Waverly, Iowa. The 8,000-meter men’s race starts at 11 a.m., and the 5,000-meter women’s race at noon. The top five teams and the next four individuals advance to the Nov. 18 NCAA meet in Spokane, Wash.
The Tommie men, ranked sixth nationally, are favored to win the meet. Coach Pete Wareham’s team is trying to advance to nationals for the fourth year in a row and 21st time in 27 seasons. UST took eighth, 12th and 12th the last three seasons at nationals. Leading UST are Nick Maddox, Brian Preus, Steve Henderson, Dan Draine, Ryan Kollmann, Rick Chapko and Levi Severson.
The Tommie women, who placed eighth in the Oct. 28 MIAC Championships, aren’t expected to qualify, although MIAC individual champion Kelly Faris is expected to contend for a top-three individual finish Saturday to advance to nationals.
Joining Faris in the meet will be Lindsey Hansen, Becky Mooney, Alana Lucio, Abby Olson, Sara Kittelson and Sara Conrad.
The UST football team (5-4 overall, 5-3 MIAC) plays Hamline (2-7, 2-6) Saturday at 1 p.m. at O’Shaughnessy Stadium. It’s the final game for eight Tommie seniors — co-captains Mike Westland, Marcus Ludtke, Brett Gjovik, Nick Johnson, Mike Leiss, Josh Brand, Tom Eldridge and Pete Cullen.
With a victory, the Tommies can clinch a winning season overall and assure themselves the school’s fifth-consecutive top-three MIAC finish. UST is currently tied for third with Gustavus and St. Olaf.
Sophomore halfback Jake Barkley needs 194 yards Saturday to break Tommie Gary Trettel’s 10-year-old MIAC record for rushing yards in a conference season. He has 1,396 rushing yards in nine games and 1,324 yards in eight conference games. In 18 career games, Barkley has 1,755 rushing yards. Barkley ranks sixth in NCAA Division III rushing at 155.1 ypg.
Despite taking leads of 14-0 and 31-28, St. Thomas dropped a 49-31 MIAC football decision last Friday to unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Bethel in the Metrodome. UST outgained the Royals 435-425 yards and held a big edge in time of possession, but the Tommies committed five turnovers and allowed four TD passes. One interception was returned for a 25-yard TD for the Royals’ final TD. Bethel (9-0, 8-0) clinched an NCAA playoff berth and can win the conference title outright with a win at Augsburg this Saturday.
Barkley had 77 first-half rushing yards but finished with only 104 yards on the game. It was still his eighth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. Trettel holds the MIAC record with 15 consecutive 100-yard rushing games in 1989 and 1990.
For St. Thomas, quarterback Nick Ambrasas completed 27-of-40 for 313 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted three times. Justin Hall caught seven passes for 79 yards and TDs of 13 and 21 yards; Phil Remes had two 4-yard TD runs; Andrew Hilliard had three receptions for 73 yards; Brian Lynch kicked a 32-yard-field goal and was 4-of-4 PATs and now has made 20-of-20 PATs on the season and his last four field-goal attempts; Mike Westland caught seven passes for 83 yards to surpass 100 career catches (now 103) and 1,000 career receiving yards (now 1,051 yards); Bob Hannah had an interception; Rick Joslin had 10 tackles and recovered a fumble; and Brent Nelson had a sack among his four tackles.
The Tommie women’s swimming and diving team opened the 2000-2001 dual season last Friday with a dual-meet victory over host St. Catherine.
Despite missing two of its top performers, St. Thomas used its depth and balance proved more than the Wildcats could handle. After placing 1-2 in the 200 medley relay, the Tommies went on to win nine of the remaining 12 events.
Melissa Stahl won the 200 freestyle and the 500 freestyle and led off the victorious 400 freestyle relay; Crystal Dusich won both one-meter and three-meter diving events; Courtney Zurek, Katie Kirchgessner and Missy Jackson won the 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 100 breaststroke; and Kristi Cook won the 200 individual medley and was a close second behind Jackson in the 100 breaststroke.
The Tommie women join the men in Friday’s 6 p.m. coed dual meet at Macalester. It’s the first season dual meet for the Tommie men, whose lone previous competition was Oct. 28 in the UST Relays.
St. Thomas (1-1 overall and in the MIAC plays a weekend series with St. John’s Friday (home 7 p.m.) and Saturday (at St. Cloud State’s arena, 7 p.m.).
The Johnnies lost a pair of close games to Bethel last weekend and are 0-2. UST won all four games with St. John’s last season in its 27-4-2 finish.
St. Thomas scored a 4-1 win over Augsburg Sunday afternoon in MIAC men’s hockey at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. The Tommies had dropped a 7-3 decision at Augsburg Saturday night in a game played without Tony Lawrence, who was sitting out for a penalty from last March.
In Sunday’s win, Lawrence and Matt Caven scored back-to-back first period goals in a 56-second span for a 2-0 lead. The Auggies cut it to 2-1 later in the period,
but Eric Wenkus’ second-period goal and Jake Searles’ third-period goal finished the scoring. Brad Moore stopped 27 of 28 shots for the Tommies.
In Saturday’s loss, the Tommies fell behind 6-1 in the second period and couldn’t recover. Drew Palmgren had two goals and Searles had one for the Tommies, who outshot the Auggies 43-32. Augsburg All-American goalie Ryan McIntosh had 40 saves. Moore stopped 23 of 29 shots in 47 minutes and Mat Gershater stopped two of three shots in 13 minutes.
No. 4-seed St. Thomas lost a quarterfinal match to No. 5-seed Bethel 3-0 last Friday night in the MIAC Volleyball Tournament. The Tommies lost 15-8, 15-6, 15-10 in their third defeat to Bethel this season.
The Tommies came back Saturday in the consolaton round and beat Gustavus 15-12, 15-11, 13-15, 15-7. UST ended its season 21-10 overall.
No. 2-seed St. Olaf beat top-seed St. Mary’s in four games to claim the tournament championship and the automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs. St. Mary’s earned an NCAA at-large berth.
Steph Blanda had 17 kills, four aces, 10 digs vs. Gustavus and 10 kills and 13 digs vs. Bethel; Erin Keating had nine kills and 15 digs vs. Bethel and 13 digs vs. Gustavus; Kristen Pins had 10 blocks vs. Gustavus and three vs. Bethel; Katie Reynolds had 16 kills vs. Gustavus.
The UST men’s soccer team broke to a 3-0 lead and went on to a 3-2 win at Bethel Saturday in MIAC men’s soccer. The Tommies clinched a winning season as they finished 10-8 overall. Their 4-6 finish in the MIAC let them take eighth place out of 11 teams.
The Tommies took a 2-0 halftime lead as Charles Ripley scored three minutes into the contest and Peter Lefebvre scored in the 30th minute (assisted by Tom Hart). Rocky Friede scored on a penalty kick in the 65th minute to make it 3-0. Bethel scored in the 72nd and 82nd minute to close the final margin. Will Loepfe was in goal all 90 minutes.
Lefebvre led the Tommies in scoring this season with eight goals and 20 points.