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Friday, April 30, 2010

Ca Va?

Not sure how many people outside of our men's and women's track and field programs are actually aware of this, but there's a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding the construction of the new facility on the south end of campus.

"Obviously it means a lot for our programs," said Jen Blue, head coach of the Maverick women's track and field team. "Everyone from our student-athletes to our alums are really happy with what's happening for a number of different reasons.  For example, it's always been tough on our athletes as they've had to get their workouts in on an off-campus facility while at the same time making sure they made it to their classes.  This will make that issue far easier to address.  It's also been a safety issue with the travel to on off-campus facility.  But the reality is that it's going to be in our back yard.  We're going to have something we can be proud of and a facility that will even out the competitive advantage other schools have had with their own on-campus tracks."

The new track will feature a 400m Mondo surface track (the same as used in Bejing Olympics).   The facility will be lighted with a long jump pit, pole vault pit, two shot put rings, two discus rings, a hammer throw area and two javelin rings.

It's been a while since MSU has hosted a track and field meet.  MSU Athletics used the old facility during the course of the Cerebral Palsy National Games which were held on campus in 1989, but it's been more than a quarter of a century that MSU has hosted a collegiate track and field meet.

It's great to be a Maverick!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

As it Pertains to...

My, my how time, it really does fly.  The harsh reality is that once we get past spring break, MSU student-athletes and teams have approximately two and half months left of regular-season competition.  Most of our spring teams will participate in NCAA postseason competition, so that will extend things somewhat past MSU's graduation commencement ceremony which takes place in Taylor Center May 8.

NCAA softball regional action is slated for May 14-16, super regional action is May 21-22 and the eight-team championship finals take place in St. Joseph, Mo., May 27-31.  The NCAA Division II softball page is located here.

The NCAA Division II baseball regionals are scheduled for May 13-16 and the NCAA Championship, scheduled for May 22-29, will be held in Cary, N.C. The NCAA Division II baseball page is located here.

Postseason action for men's and women's tennis gets underway May 6-8 with regional competition.  Championship action takes place in Altamonte Springs, Fla., May 12-15.  The NCAA Division II tennis page is located here.

Maverick track & field student-athletes, usually the last of our competitors to compete, will be looking to qualify for the NCAA National Track & Field Championship Meet, which is hosted by the city of Charlotte, N.C., May 27-29.  The NCAA Division II outdoor track & field page is located here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

For the Good of the Cause

Just a couple of quick things as we head off into what is sizing up to be a great weekend here in Minnesota.

Former Maverick men's hockey forward Ryan Carter has been named to Team USA for the IIHF World Men's Championship, May 7-23, in Cologne, Gelsenkirchen and Mannheim, Germany.  Carter played at Minnesota State for two seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06) before signing as a free agent with the NHL's Anaheim Ducks.

Another former MSU forward, Jon Kalinski, was called up from Adirondack of the American Hockey League by the parent Philadelphia Flyers prior to the start of the 2009-10 NHL play-offs. Kalinski, in his second season as a professional, had 28 points (10G,18A) in 69 games with the AHL Phantoms this year.

In case you missed it, today's Maverick Magazine featured junior catcher Steven Helget and head coach Matt Magers from the 20th-ranked Maverick baseball program.  A podcast of the half-hour program, which takes place every Friday on KMSU FM 89.7, is located here.

Senior Ashley Clinchoc, who led the 14th-rated Minnesota State women's bowling program to a 48-42 overall record this year, has been named a Third-Team All-American by the NTCA.

Not sure how many folks were aware of this, but April 14th was a key date for athletic departments around the country because it signalled the day when schools could announce another round of recruit committments.  MSU had a few - be sure to check out our front page at msumavericks.com, with men's basketball, women's basketball and women's soccer making some roster additions for the 20010-11 school year.  Pretty sure there will be a few more to come next week.

Before ending, let me just say the the new ballpark up in Minneapolis sure is nice.  Good times.

It truly is great to be a Maverick.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Stay Thursday, My Friend

Back in the fall we started featuring Maverick student-athletes on our website using the Get to Know format.  We recently rolled out four more of these with tennis players Adam Doll and Heather Jensen, along with baseball infielders Kosuke Hattori, from baseball, and Abby Morris, from softball, highlighted.

The winners of eight of their last nine games, the Maverick baseball team stands 23-7 for 2010 and is rated 23rd in this week's NCBWA poll.  MSU, which heads off to Bismarck, N.D., for four games with NSIC-foe University of Mary this Saturday and Sunday, was rated third in the region by the NCBWA this week.  The most important poll, issued by the NCAA, hasn't come out yet, but it's likely the Mavericks will be around third in that poll, as well. New Mexico Highlands and St. Cloud State are rated first and second, respectively in the NCBWA regional poll.

The NCAA began releasing its Division II regional softball poll a couple of weeks ago and MSU, which stands 17-5, recently moved from fourth to second in the rankings.  The Mavericks, who claimed a home league sweep over St. Cloud State Wednesday, hosts the University of Mary Saturday and Northern State Sunday in their next action.

And while MSU's spring sports are well into their seasons, it should be noted that Todd Hoffner's Maverick football team has been working its way through spring practice at Blakeslee Stadium and on the adjacent practice fields.  MSU's annual spring football game is slated for 1:00 p.m. on April 24th.

Other key dates coming up include the Sixth Annual Women's Walk on the morning of April 10th and the 24th Annual Maverick Achievement Awards and Senior Honors Dinner May 2nd. 

It also not unimportant to note that there are several familiar names at MSU's Distinguished Alumni Awards which take place April 23rd.   Former MSU Reporter sports writer Steve DiMeglio (MSU '87), one of the pre-eminent golf writers in country who currently covers golf for USA Today, will receive the Achievement Award.  Longtime MSU men's cross country and track coach Mark Schuck (MSU '69) will recieve the Harold J. Fitterer Service Award.  And former MSU football tight end John Hoffman (MSU '99) is slated to receive a Young Alumni Award.

It's great to be a Maverick.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thursday Grab Bag


Former Maverick punter Joel Nielsen (MSU 1984-85) was named Director of Athletics at Kent State late last week.  Nielsen, an All-North Central conference pick as a senior while at MSU, spent the last seven years as the AD at the University of South Dakota.  He was the AD at Colorado College prior to that and also served under Ron Wellman at Wake Forest from 1993-2001.  Wellman, you will recall, was the men's AD at MSU for one year in 1986-87.

Former MSU women's soccer assistant coach Mandy (Brettingen) Green has been selected as head coach for the women's soccer program at the University of South Dakota.

And in coaching movements around the NSIC,  Northern State introduced its new football coach back in January in Tom Dorsch and its new men's basketball coach, Paul Sather, last week.  Southwest Minnesota State announced that Cory Sauter is its new football coach.  Back in February Augustana selected Mike Aldrich to guide its football program.  And yesterday, Upper Iowa announced that Carol Russell is its new women's basketball coach.

The NHL Draft and MSU's Tyler Pitlick

Freshman forward Tyler Pitlick, who had 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points in 38 games in his first year with the Mavericks this winter, was rated 21st in Central Scouting's Mid Term Rankings.  The Centerville, Minn., native has received an invitation to attend the annual NHL Scouting Combine.  The combine, which will run May 24-29 in Toronto, is an opportunity for teams to meet and interview prospects, as well as see them tested in an off-ice setting.  Two of five bloggers on NHL.com have Pitlick going in the first round of their mock drafts.  The actual NHL Draft is scheduled for June 25-26 in Los Angeles.


Hey, it's supposed to be in the high 70s, low 80s today in Mankato.  And with that in mind - Maverick Baseball vs Southwest Minnesota State in a NSIC doubleheader scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. at the MSU Baseball Complex.  Just a thought.