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Sports Briefs

BY DI SPORTS STAFF | MARCH 3, 2009 7:20 AM

Wrestling seeds announced

The preliminary seeds are out for the 2009 Big Ten wrestling championships.

Conference officials announced the tournament seed chart Monday afternoon, and all but one Iowa grappler was seeded third or better.

Juniors Daniel Dennis (133), Brent Metcalf (149), and Dan Erekson (heavyweight) lead their respective weight classes as No. 1 seeds, and seniors Charlie Falck (125) and Alex Tsirtsis (141) and junior Jay Borschel (174) each stand as No. 2 seeds for the Hawkeyes.

Ryan Morningstar (165), Phillip Keddy (184), and Chad Beatty (197) are third-seed selections.

Sophomore Matt Ballweg is Iowa’s only unseeded wrestler for the upcoming tournament, which will begin Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa.

“I think they are where they earned themselves to be,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. “Whatever our matchups are, we have to be ready.”

— by Ryan Young

Field hockey racks up another honor

Its season has been over for several months, but the Iowa field-hockey team continues to grab awards following its Big Ten Tournament championship and Final Four appearance. On Monday, the Hawkeyes were honored academically, receiving the 2008 National Field-Hockey Coaches Association National Team Academic Award.

The award goes out to programs that finish with a team GPA of at least a 3.0 during the first semester of the 2008-09 academic year.

“I am very pleased with the team’s academic performance this past fall,” head coach Tracey Griesbaum said in a statement. “[The team members] have a team goal every semester, and they achieved this marker. It is the highest team GPA for a semester that we have had in over seven years. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and am appreciative that our coaches’ association recognizes such excellence.”

This is the second-straight year the Hawkeyes have been honored with the academic achievement.
Individually, freshman Becca Spengler, junior Tricia Dean, and seniors Lissa Munley and Lauren Pfeiffer were named to the 2008 Division-I National Academic Squad. The award recognizes the athletes who achieved a GPA of 3.30 or higher.

— by Jeff Pawola

Reins honored

Iowa’s Geoff Reins was selected on Monday as Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, joining Penn State’s Casey Sandy. This is the second time the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native has been selected for the award, having been previously honored on March 19, 2008.

The honor follows the senior’s performance in a dual with Illinois in Champaign on Feb. 28. He took first place on the vault (16.05) — a season high for the Hawks — and floor exercise (15.25). The two wins also improved his season total to four vault victories and three floor victories in just six meets this year.

Reins and the rest of the Hawkeyes will try to close out their dual schedule with a victory on March 14, when they compete against the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The meet is slated for a 5 p.m. start, and it will be Iowa’s last before the Big Ten championships, April 3 and 4 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

— by Jordan Garretson

Smith All-Big Ten

Iowa women’s basketball senior Kristi Smith was named All-Big Ten for the second year in a row Tuesday.

The point guard earned first-team honors from conference media and coaches.

The Thornton, Colo., native is averaging a team-best 13.4 points-per-game, with 3.2 assists per game. Her 15.2 points per game in Big Ten games is good for fourth in the league.
Joining Smith in garnering All-Big Ten accolades were sophomore Kachine Alexander, seniors Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby, and freshman Kamille Wahlin.

Alexander was a second-team choice by the coaches and a third-team choice by the media. The guard averages 9.6 points and a team-high 8.7 rebounds per game. The Minneapolis native was named Big Ten Player of the Week twice during the season.

Ausdemore was named to the coaches’ third team and was honorable mention by the media. The senior forward is third in scoring for Iowa at 12 points per game. The Neola native is also the team’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award nominee.

Skouby earns All-Big Ten recognition for the fourth year after being named honorable mention by the coaches and media. The Mentor, Ohio, native was Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2006, honorable mention for both as a sophomore, and Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year last season.

Wahlin was named to the all-freshman team. The guard is averaging 7.2 points-per-game, including 11.6 points-per-game since joining the starting lineup on Jan. 26.

— by Mike Brownlee


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