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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Things I think

Tandy Juell and Nathan Hancock finished
eighth and sixth in the heptathlon, respectively,
at the NCAA Division II
Indoor Track & Field Championships

That screeching sound you heard over the weekend signalled the completion of the winter sports seasons for Minnesota State Athletics.

The Maverick men's hockey team went two and out in the first round of the 2012 Western Collegiate Hockey with a pair of losses at third-ranked Minnesota Duluth.  The MSU wrestling squad sent two freshmen to the 2012 NCAA Division II national championships in Pueblo, Colo., and David Demo and Cody Quinn both placed seventh in earning All-America honors.

And then there was the matter of the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships which we hosted in Myers Field House Friday and Saturday.  The Maverick men's team qualified five individuals in six events and came away with six All-America performances with Dan Novak placing fourth in the pole vault, Nathan Hancock placing sixth in the heptathlon, Tandy Juell placing eighth in the heptathlon, Keyvan Rudd was seventh in the high jump and Jerrell Hancock placing sixth in the 200m and eighth in the 60m, respectively. Those efforts gave Minnesota State a 16th-place finish in the final team standings.

This was the second time we've hosted the event in the last four years and not unlike the 2008 Championship, this was a tremendous opportunity for MSU to showcase its facilities and the greater Mankato area with nearly 800 student-athletes and coaches, along with the families, friends and fans visiting southern Minnesota.  Thanks to all the volunteers, officials and staff members who helped us make this event a success.  One could surmise, given the positive feedback from the NCAA track and field committee and the participants themselves, that this won't be the last time we will host the national championships.

And so it goes, as our attention turns toward our spring sports, all of which are up and running and in some cases, have been since February.

Quickly closing in on 900 career wins, softball head coach Lori Meyer has her team ranked 16th in the nation after racking up 13 wins in 14 games during the course of its spring trip to Florida.  The MSU baseball team, which stands 9-3 and is rated 14th it the nation, begins conference action March 24th with a home series vs. Minnesota Duluth.  The men's and women's golf teams are coming off of tournament wins in Palm Desert, Calif.,  over spring break and will vie for conference titles and NCAA berths in April. The women's tennis team stands 5-5 with eight matches standing between it and the 2012 NSIC tournament.  And the men's and women's track & field teams regroup now, after hosting the national indoor meet, with the goals of winning NSIC individual and team titles on the way to qualifying for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championshps, which are slated for May 24-26 in Pueblo, Colo.

And, oh yeah, spring football begins March 19 and concludes with the spring game April 14.  The cycle begins anew.

Good times and as usual, its great to be a Maverick!

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